iPad Solves Healthcare Providers' Clipboard Conundrum

Cynthia Johnson for HealthLeaders Media , June 8, 2012

The company charges customers using an annual license cost that is based on broad tiers of survey volume. In the future, Tonic Health plans to allow patients to save their information. That way, when they go to other Tonic enabled practices, they won't have to reenter the data.

Tonic's HIPAA-compliant system is cloud-based, meaning that the data that is collected does not live on the iPad. Every time a patient clicks Submit, the data is sent to an electronic health record, or database, where it is saved. Additionally, each iPad is password protected. Tonic is currently implementing a physician version of the product. After patients complete their intake form using Tonic, the information will be sent to an iPad with a physician version of the software.

"Before a physician walks into the room, he is able to review all the completed information from the patient's screening form," says Lanier. "The doctor pad will highlight the answers that have potential abnormalities." Reducing the impact of resident regulations.

Every morning, residents at teaching hospitals begin their day with patient rounds. As they work with patients, they must compete with one another for use of a limited number of computers that are needed to order tests and medications, get results, and input data. In addition to their limited availability, the computers are often physically located away from patients.

"There's this tension between wanting to be with your patients and needing to use the computer to implement the plans for the day," says Bhakti Patel, pulmonary critical care fellow at the University of Chicago Medicine. "If you have your own way of accessing the record, you're going to be more efficient."

In November 2010, the University of Chicago Medicine deployed 115 iPad devices to internal medicine residents to help increase their efficiency. The devices are showing promise by helping residents make the most of their time in the wake of newly implemented regulations that limit their shift hours.

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