Mobile medical software issues: system-focused approach


To reach stage 7 of the EMR (EMRAM) and outpatient EMRAM adoption model, healthcare organizations are considered to create clinical environments without paper graphs. According to HIMSS Analytics, only 4.1% (for EMRAM) and 7.79% (for outpatient EMRAM) of care systems in the U.S. have achieved this by the end of 2015.

Healthcare Computer News Reports “80% of the 571 doctors Respondents felt that EHRs prevent patient care and nearly half say patient safety is at risk. ”“ The costly and clumsy systems the government is asking for make matters worse and even make some software experts they’re back on paper, ”says AAPS (Association of American Physicians and Surgeons) executive director Jane M. Orient, MD.

The organization and continuous improvement of the management of medical records to achieve better care is problematic without doctors and nurses moving. With a proper approach development of mobile health applications, caregivers invest in optimizing routine processes, as well as improving data flow and overall performance. However, the problem inherent in most clinical mobile applications is that they are built around EMR / EHR systems, not the needs of healthcare professionals.

Rugged road from web to mobile

Approach problems

Mobile applications can be useless for managing the routine tasks of clinical staff when IT experts apply the system focused approach to medical software development. This attitude means creating a mobile app that completely inherits the functionality of the desktop and web app.

At first, this may seem like a good idea, but “mobilizing” a desktop EHR application is likely to compromise the user experience due to awkward browsing and therefore low productivity. Instead of helping doctors and nurses complete their tasks more quickly and efficiently, the “replica” will do the opposite.

Functional gaps

A unique solution is a tempting but surreal idea. From department to department, doctors will use a maximum of 30% of the app’s features. Doctors will have to waste time walking around the app to find the necessary functionality.

In addition to meeting departmental requirements, you may also want to adapt to the needs of nurses, surgeons, and physicians in each department. All of this makes developers believe an impractical monolith. But there is another way.

So what does useful mobile medical software look like?

According to Gartner, developers should rethink the way they create apps by activating the mobile mindset: “Mobile strategists need to use tools and techniques that fit the growing needs of mobile apps in their organizations.”

Gartner believes that developers should replace the traditional big screen approach with a bimodal strategic path that supports innovation and agility to deliver applications more efficiently and quickly. In this way, background software engineers will create stable infrastructures and APIs to retrieve and deliver data to background systems without affecting web applications. At the same time, front-end developers will use agile, high-productivity approaches to deliver a fast user interface.

In fact, it’s easier to stick with the system-centric approach, creating mobile copies of desktop solutions. But it’s also an investment in inappropriate software that will slow down the healing process instead of increasing doctors ’performance, as users will end up touching small screens and trying to find the right menu item.

Now, here’s what the user-centric approach offers:

  1. Quick creation of mobile applications. It is technically possible and does not compromise data integrity or systematic approach. And it can bring what technology often doesn’t offer: increasing efficiency and convenience.
  2. Small application development. Each application should contain functions tailored to cover a specific function within a given department (however, we do not suggest creating a thousand microapplications of a single function, as you might think).
  3. Optimization of navigation and user interface. Excellent usability comes first, so we stick to intuitive design. Because health care professionals need mobile medical software to work better, they will appreciate a clean interface and smooth navigation.

On the way to life-saving software

Overall, we don’t want to create a false impression that the system-centric application approach to mobile development is catastrophic. Many industries remain calm and continue to use mobile copies of web software, but if we want to make a change in healthcare, achieve meaningful use, and improve outcomes, we need to create small, effective applications tailored to specific clinical tasks.

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