By Laura Lovett | January 29, 2018
Health care technology company Zebra today released its “2022 Hospital Vision Study,” which anticipates the top three trends in the industry will be remote monitoring, telehealth and artificial intelligence.
The study also predicts a growing number of healthcare workers using mobile health — by 2022, 97 percent of bedside nurses and 98 percent of physicians will be using mobile devices, it suggests. That would mean a significant increase from 2017, where responders reported 65 percent of nurses using mobile devices and 51 percent of physicians using mobile devices.
“The global healthcare industry is facing a seemingly insurmountable number of challenges — from aging populations and staff shortages to rising costs — that are placing enormous pressure on institutions, doctors, workers, patients, and communities,” the authors of the study wrote. “As a result, there is a higher demand for services and support that are not sustainable with existing resources and methods. Hospitals are increasingly turning to technology and automation to reduce the strain on an already fragile system.”
But it is not just the doctors and nurses who are predicted to use digital health in 2022. According to the study, the implementation of digital health will be expanded across disciplines to include pharmacists, lab technicians, and ER nurses. The research predicts that the use of mobile devices is expected to grow by up to 40 percent for all hospital employees.
“According to The Joint Commission, 70 percent of medical errors are attributable to communication breakdowns,” the authors of the study wrote. “By integrating clinical mobility throughout their organizations, hospitals will improve staff communication, make real-time access to medical records possible, and ensure faster availability of lab results, to name just a few.”
In fact, 67 percent of nurse managers in the study credited clinical mobility with improving staff communications and collaboration, as well as the quality of patient care. Further, the communication areas that most need improvements are nurse-to-physician communication, nurse-to-nurse communication, nurse call and patient monitoring alerts to mobile devices, and clinical decision support, according to the researchers’ findings.
The study includes a look at how mobile technology will specifically impact the nursing field. It predicts that 98 percent of nurses in 2022 will use mobile devices to access EHR notifications, up from 52 percent in 2017, and that 97 percent will use mobile device to track remote patient monitoring and health tracking, up from 33 percent last year.
The study also forecasts an elevating quality of patient care attributable to clinical mobility. Seventy-two percent of hospitals reported that mobile technology led to improved quality of patient care, 61 percent of hospitals surveyed reported a reduction in medication administration errors, and 52 percent said it led to a decrease in specimen collection labelling errors.
“The digital hospital of the future won’t just be more efficient, but it will also deliver better care, be more affordable, and more deeply engage patients in their treatment and recovery,” the authors of the study wrote. “Most respondents expect analytics technology to improve the quality of healthcare globally. In addition, tech-savvy patients are finding comfort in technology and are, in fact, bringing their data with them to the hospital.”
Patients seem to be receptive to mobile care. In the study, 77 percent of patients surveyed said that they felt positive about clinicians using mobile devices in their care. Currently, 57 percent of patients in the study reported using wearables to track health metrics.
The study included 1,532 respondents made up of nurse managers, IT executives and patients. Responders came from the United State, Brazil, the United Kingdom, China, and the Middle East.