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Microsoft Industry Blogs

home-careAs I wrote in my last blog, the need for home care is increasing, and the great news is that today’s clinical-grade, enterprise-class tablets are better than ever at supporting that need.

For example, the Windows Panasonic Toughpad is one of the key technologies in the University of Kansas WellCar, which Joan Hankin, RN, NP, recently wrote about. The KU WellCar empowers nurse practitioners-connected to remote physicians and other resources as needed-to take healthcare on the road. “The Toughpad … is the brains of the WellCar-the workhorse, very fast and durable,” said Gregory Thomas, Professor of Design and the Director of the Center for Design Research at the University of Kansas. “We looked at a ton of computers and narrowed our choice to the ones that could securely handle the heavy data and performance requirements, as well as take the hits of being on the road and being carried in and out of patients’ homes.”

The WellCar is an innovative example of how technology can enable care to be delivered in more places. It provides a way to reach underserved populations such as rural communities with high-quality, convenient care. Not to mention, the sophisticated medical office on wheels can enable house calls to elderly patients and those with chronic disease, so they don’t have to travel to a clinic or hospital.

Another example of how today’s mobile devices are supporting home care comes from the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society. Nurses there are using Microsoft Surface tablets with a program built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM-called the Nightingale app-to help with patient assessment and education when they visit new moms and their babies at home. During the post-partum visits, nurses can use the mobile solution to access patient EMRs in near-real time, communicate quickly and easily with other clinicians, and answer health-related questions.

When I asked Ruthi Moore, International Director of Nursing at the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, how it’s been going, she said: “With the introduction of the Surface tablet and Nightingale App into our clinical workflow, our nurses can now complete their assessments and documentation at the point of care. They can also educate new moms using the device. In addition, it enables the nurses to collaborate with each other and with me in a more timely and secure fashion. Even our most reluctant ‘technophobes’ have found they love it!”

These are just a couple of examples of how advances in mobile technology are empowering nurses to provide high-quality, personalized care to people in their own homes. Stay tuned right here at the nurse’s blog as we share more examples.

We’d also love to hear your stories. How are you using mobile technology to extend the reach of healthcare in your community? And please let us know if you have any questions or if we can help you achieve your goals in any way. You can reach us via email, on Facebook, or on Twitter.