With mobile EHR system, you can access your data on-the-go.
Even away from your computer, you can check patient records, update information, and access charts and test data. Many vendors offer mobile healthcare apps that are compatible with the full desktop versions. Your vendor can help you determine if mobile apps are right for your practice and can help you establish a mobile EHR system with the right equipment and access.
By establishing mobile access, you can increase the flexibility of your practice and provide better care to your patients. ¹
Uses for mobile EHR
Mobile apps can help you take patient records with you as you walk to different rooms in your practice, check lab results quickly, make quick changes to existing records, and accomplish more of your work away from your computer. If you have limited office space for multiple computer terminals, change locations frequently, or offer off-site clinical care, mobile apps may help you bring your EHR system along. ¹
Historically, most mobile access was limited to checking messages or reviewing information. Now, EHR apps are increasingly capable of doing much of the same work as traditional EHR systems.
You may even find the same or a very similar interface to your desktop’s system. Before you make the investment, consider how you will be using mobile EHR and make a list of important features and uses. From there, your list can help you discuss your needs with the EHR vendor to determine how mobile apps can help your practice. ¹ ³
Equipment and hardware considerations
Some apps are available for popular smartphone systems, tablet computers, and other devices. You should ask your vendor to help you choose the right phones and mobile devices to use. Depending on your EHR app’s needs, you may need to upgrade your practice’s hardware or purchase a newer smartphone. Smartphones are very portable but have smaller screens, so you may want to use tablets in your practice to have both portability and functionality. ¹ ²
In many cases, mobile apps will allow you to complete all the same tasks as you would on your desktop. Many apps are very similar to the desktop versions, but you may need additional training to use your mobile healthcare app effectively. If you use mobile devices, remember to also consider how you will physically secure each device and ensure only authorized people have access to them.¹ ² ³
Mobile healthcare apps have their own security considerations. Just like with desktop computers that have access to your EHR system, you will need to ensure your smartphones and tablets are fully compliant with HIPAA and restrict access to only authorized personnel.
If a vendor hosts your EHR records in the cloud, you may need a to have them sign a business associate agreement acknowledging their responsibility to secure your patients’ data. Any outside organization involved in providing your clinic with mobile access or having access to patient data should have a completed agreement and follow any applicable local, state, and federal security laws.²
Get the most from your app
Apps can accomplish much of the same work, but may require additional training and security considerations. Be sure to ask your EHR vendor for tips to optimize your mobile system and improve access.³
In the future, EHR apps are likely to improve and offer better functionality for DCs and office personnel. Investing time in determining how your practice will use mobile access can help you find the right app and mobile device for you. Mobile EHR systems can help you offer better care to your patients, have greater flexibility and independence from your office’s computers and do more at your clinic.³
If you are ready to use mobile EHR apps, ask your vendor if they offer mobile access and follow their recommendations to choose the correct hardware and establish secure access.
¹Ali, Abder-Rahman. “The Growing World of Mobile Electronic Health Records.” SitePoint.. Published: September 2015. Accessed: November 2016.
²Siwicki, Bill. “How HIPAA applies to the burgeoning world of mobile health.” Healthcare IT News.. Published: May 2016. Accessed: November 2016.
³Giannulli, Tom. “Mobile benefits continue to grow.” Medical Economics.. Published: October 2016. Accessed: November 2016.