Chris Gregory, head of clinical systems for LGSS Local Health and Care Shared Service explains how mobile solutions are transforming the work of community-based health teams | NHE
As the IT provider to Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS FT, LGSS has been involved in delivering mobile working solutions to a number of community-based health teams, including health visitors and district nurses, and for providing similar solutions in local government.
The trend towards delivering care closer to home to meet both patient aspirations, and the need to deliver savings through the reduction of estate, means that increasing levels of flexible working are being demanded across the NHS. If done successfully, mobile working can help to deliver the type of service that patients tell us they would like from their health service.
As with many IT services we’ve had a few attempts at delivering practical mobile working solutions, each based on and constrained by the technology available at the time. Prior to our latest deployment, we asked staff what they needed from a mobile device. Overwhelmingly, those who responded wanted:
- A small form factor: There is plenty of other equipment a district nurse needs to carry so devices need to be small, as light as possible and certainly no more awkward to carry than the files of paper notes previously used
- Sufficient battery life to get through an entire working day
- A fast start-up: Ensuring that as little of the precious contact time with the patient was spent waiting for the technology
- Versatility: Multiple means of inputting data, suggesting the need for both touchscreen and keyboard input
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