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Mobile devices increase productivity in Medical practice and support patient care

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Mobile technology is an integral part of modern clinical practice, but one that is costly for individual health professionals and rarely reimbursed by healthcare providers, according to a report being presented by a UK charity. d4 is a new UK charity which recognises that mobile technology is critical to improving efficiency within UK clinical practice, and that cost should not be a barrier to use.

An online survey by d4 of 474 UK registered health professionals showed that 80 percent rely on a mobile phone at work for a range of purposes, with the most commonly cited reasons being communicating with colleagues (82%) and accessing information on the intranet/internet (46%). With increasing pressure being placed on health professionals to deliver cost-effective, high quality care, it is no surprise that technological innovations are being utilised to share knowledge, help make informed decisions and expedite improved health outcomes.

Yet the survey also showed that the benefits of mobile technology for clinical practice may not yet be recognised by healthcare managers, with very few health professionals reporting that their use of mobile technology is financially supported by their employer. Only eight percent of respondents incurring a work-related expense for use of mobile technology reported receiving compensation for the cost incurred.

The need for good communication in such an inherently mobile and highly complex industry as healthcare is perhaps unparalleled. d4 estimates that poor communication costs NHS hospitals in England alone in excess of £1 billion through wasted doctor and nurse time, and patients remaining in hospital beds for longer than necessary.

Chairman and Senior Medical Trustee of d4, Professor Michael Orme, commented, "We know that the ability to share information and ideas quickly is a cornerstone of modern medicine, but the problem is that the cost of mobile technology use within the NHS is largely borne by the individual. Health professionals should be supported to use innovative, cost-effective technologies to help deliver improved patient care."

To launch d4 and demonstrate the value of the initiative, the charity announced a collaboration with Happtique, a health app store designed specifically to meet the needs of health professionals.

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Tags: mhealth  telemedicine  nhs  UK