Since the launch of the Apple iPhone and iPad and Windows Tablet PCs, gone are the days when data capture - be that on forms for clinical audit, research or patient experience – have to be completed on printed paper. The latest Tablet PC or mobile device, with versatile ‘touchscreen’ or ‘pen’ can enable clinicians or patients to write or respond to questions directly. This information can be transmitted ‘real-time’ to a central database, where it can be analysed, reported on, or sent to other back-office systems.
Tablet PCs enable healthcare professionals to be more efficient and accurate in their daily data capture collection – either at their desk, in the field, or at the bedside. This can include the collection and integration of patient experience data, clinical audit, infection control surveillance, house call information, as well as wireless interaction among staff and clinicians.
Forward thinking organisations are looking to adopt mobile technology solutions that are sustainable and scalable, that enable the sharing of accurate, real-time information – easily and securly and if not now, at a later date, across the entire Trust. A solution that isn’t just for standard form completion on individual Tablet PCs within one department, but one that can capture and aggregate data – both externally from patients, staff and stakeholders – and internally from various core operational systems.
In addition, in certain circumstances, the solution should also enable the deployment and processing of paper forms, as well as provide the ability to retain a visual audit trail of each individual form completed. Only by sharing this information through this integration can the Board, Management and Clinicians, see the complete picture, and as a result, deliver efficient, effective and better quality healthcare.
Recently Formic was asked, by a company that works with the NHS, for a solution that could streamline the process of capturing information from patients, at the bedside. In the past this had either been performed via their website, or by the 250 personnel visiting hospitals and completing the paper forms manually. This amounted to hundreds of thousands of completed forms per annum. In addition to capturing the data, personnel also handed out leaflets and samples, and therefore needed to complete a daily stock form, which acted as a summary of the day’s activities. These additional forms are collected daily, 7 days a wekk, amounting to a futhre 100,000 forms per year.
This organisation needed to save time, reduce resources and improve data capture accuracy, by introducing a faster, more robust method of information collection, using Tablet PC devices. The timeliness of the sign up process from initial contact, to the processing of an individual’s details was lengthy. In addition, the accuracy of the data was also compromised as any queries relating to the information gathered on the form could not be rectified at the point of keying the data. Implementing an electronic system, that enabled instant data submission and validation at the point of contact, was a vital part of the strategy.
Formic was able to provide a solution that enabled the company to capture data from forms deployed onto 250 Tablet PC devices. Personnel are now able to collection information on the Tablet PC, validate the data at the point of entry and submit this to a central database, which in turn is uploaded to their internal system for processing.
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