Much of the supportive technology developed for using within medical environments is targeted towards computers. As the hospitals face increasing demands to participate in a wide range of quality improvement activities, the role and influence of using mobile applications in these efforts is also increasing. Healthcare professionals spend much of their time wandering between patients and offices, while the supportive technology stays stationary. This paper presents a study performed using the mobile application for storing and following up patients status. Therefore, mobile application for tracking patient progress is proposed to minimize such challenges and demands, by allowing physicians and nurses to track the patients’ conditions more efficiently and easily. The experimental results conclude that the working environment would be improved by supporting the mobile workers with mobile technology.
During the last three decades, development of medical technology has been the main engine that has driven the spectacular advances in our ability to diagnose and treat many human ailments. This has reduced mortality and morbidity for thousands. Medical costs paid by the governments grow so rapidly that it will be necessary to reduce other areas of country spending to the “bare bones” levels 1. Information technology plays a major role in every field of modern development and is an essential tool in health care. Mobile technology has offered an opportunity to provide a new generation of people with the means to interact with activities irrespective of location. With the speedy development of mobile communication and wireless technologies, business activities will break away from the limitation of the region and time step by step, which bring the continuing influences on organizations 2. Mobile computing applications allow anytime, anywhere access to the internet and corporate intranets.
The physicians at various hospitals face many problems with tracking the patient’s status, where in natural case physician still relies on paper to record and track the patient’s status progress, in the other words tracking has been done manually. This can cause damages, misplaced and loss of some papers relating to information of the patients. In addition, nurses and physicians have to check the patient status daily and report on the progress of the patient.
However such manual case forced the physicians to track all the patients and read their reports. Tracking manually is considered inefficient and time consuming. Thus some patient’s status is provided by the reports without the need for the physicians checking. Some orders can be given to nurses to achieve the task and some cases cannot wait for the physicians checking round. Additionally, patients are not regularly given written information about their care and treatment, making it difficult for doctors and nurses to remember and manage their care effectively. This paper aimed to develop a handheld solution that could support hospitals in tracking patients progress and overcomes these challenging.
Physicians have to examine and to apply a variety of treatments to patients. Without improving their equipment and technology, they will face a big challenge. Therefore, health care administrators are always looking for the latest technologies that will improve the output. In hospital system, one complicated issue will slow down the workplace, in trying to keep track of what is occurring throughout the health care system with every patient. Their orders, lab, radiology, and other pertinent results, and even general information such as nurses assigned to them on a particular shift are necessary to keep the flow of care. Delaying this flow can consume time of the overall process of their care. In order to face the time consumption, software companies are always looking for new and improved ways to assist health care providers in better managing personnel and time constraints.
1.1. Mobile Application
Nowadays, with the increasing growth in technologies, mobile devices being used in many fields such as agriculture, medical, tracking and learning. Mobile devices have become widely used technology. The main aim is to enable communication and information access anywhere and anytime 3. Portable device is accompanying users most of the time. Thus, makes it an interesting platform for building convenient applications that can display output any part in the world 4. Mobile devices are used commonly in daily life to communicate, coordinate and to access information.
1.2. Mobile Application in Health Care Area
For the majority of mobile device strategy for developing health care, mobile device companies have to design and provide a system which is helpful and easy access the information in health care databases. Moreover, in the fact the cell phones started using computers (applications such as PDA) to facilitate mutual feedback on the health care environment effectiveness such as clinical skills evaluation, support continuous quality improvement initiative, provide treatment and monitoring services. According to 5 pharmacist is arguing to use computers and mobile applications with transactions through the internet. The patients put pressure on health care providers such as contacted through phone or via the internet.
1.3. Handhelds in Health Care
Portable devices have proved to be popular in medical practices, its most popular because it able to store a vast amounts of information in the pocket 6. A mobile client allows remote access to reference material, clinical lab data and patient health states via a wireless connection. 7 Have indicated a study among the staff at a Swedish county hospital where doctors and nurses had high expectations of mobile information support systems. The study is conducted of interviews which showed that physicians need a mobile tool for accessing such information about patients, a knowledge database and functions to ease and standardize everyday tasks. It also, is being able to understand the patient’s case and to decide quickly for a patient’s condition. Thus, there is needed for mobile access to the information. The study also showed that the nurses are concerned about not interfering with the interaction between the staff and patient. The tool should be easy to use so that the treating staff focus can remain on the patient and not to the Personal Digital Assistance (PDA). The physicians/doctors and nurses state that access to test results and reference values has the highest priority when looking in patient information.
In 8 it is stated that the main resources to improve medical work would be mobile accessible. Particularly, in the treatment information databases, tracking patient health, cost tracking and prescription of pharmaceuticals. 6, 8 has both conducted research programs to produce review articles on handheld computing used in medical environments up until 2004. The main source for both articles is Medline and other medical reference libraries. The studies do not discuss gains in mobility or collaboration to the extent that would be found in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW) or mobile informatics research fields. The articles reviewed were mainly focused on the practical use of mobile medical applications. Mobility and communication are mentioned the benefits of the retrieval and use of patient and medical information are the main theme. Accessing to medical information where and when needed is the common denominator which would make handheld devices a valuable contribution to medical work.
1.4. Mobility in Health Care
Mobility in health care often chained that more mobility would improve patient care and allow hospital personnel to spend more time with patients and reduced the time of gathering information 6. The handheld device would give the user more freedom to plan and spend their time. The spatial restrictions imposed by stationary information support system forces the user into a pattern where a “home base” needs to be visited at intervals to gather information for current and further work activities. A mobile solution aids the user by providing up to date information on any location, and also allowing a more fluent time schedule where important events can be noticed and acted upon. 9 Have found that participants in studies of various settings rely on their own mobility and the mobility of artefacts to be able to coordinate activities with others. In their study of the introduction of computer based records into the medical consultation they explored how the technology has undermined collaboration. Traditional paper records support collaboration between both clinicians and other professionals, and between patient and the clinician. Luff and Heath express that paper records serve as an important resource for communication and collaboration and are, even with the introduction of computerized systems, an important resource in professional medical practice. The paper becomes important because of its portability; it can be passed around, be carried around, and be moved between different parts of a location. It is said that when developing mobile technologies to support collaboration between users, developers need to explore in more detail how objects are used in interactions where mobility is crucial.
10 Stressed the importance of artefacts in an environment where written paper has a value itself. A paper act as a token and the bookshelf acts as a measure of the workload. Actions such as moving a document from one table to another, face-to-face discussions and the use of boards for scheduling influences different kind of interdependence in medical work. In another article 11 concludes that translating the coordinating role of paper documents and other linked artefacts to computer systems is a challenge because artefacts are part of a shared infrastructure and needs to be better understood. Lundberg and Tellioglu explained that system designers need to understand the complex coordination of work in an organization in order to support coordination. An attitude towards artefacts must be considered when presenting information on a handheld device instead of the binders used today. The effect of using handheld devices in medical work rather than stationary computers would be high, because one of the normal modes of operating in a hospital environment is by wandering between different locations of work 12 Adding frequent derails to this workflow for visiting a stationary computer would be to minimize the effect, especially if a question cannot be answered while being with a patient and the clinician needs to leave to find the answers for that question.