Late last year, we talked about how Microsoft-powered devices were revolutionizing healthcare, ushering in a new era or patient care, comfort, and connectivity. A prime example of this was at the Lille Regional Teaching University Hospital in France which utilized new bedside terminals that not only made it easier for nurses and doctors to access up-to-date patient information, but also made it easier for patients to get access to multimedia services as well as get in touch with friends and family via video conferencing.
Now, Belgian home-nursing organization Wit-Gele Kruis is utilizing Microsoft technology and Windows-powered devices to improve healthcare services provided to the elderly, so rather than be admitted to a hospital, services can be provided in the comfort of their own homes. Making this possible would require Wit-Gele Kruis to ensure their healthcare professionals are equipped with the necessary tools to update and share information on the fly.
The company acquired enough Dell Venue 11 Pro tablets to provide 2,500 doctors and nurses with a way to access the latest patient information. Nurses voted for the Venue 11 Pro for its excellent battery life, particularly compared to the devices they used before, which would allow them only a few hours of usage before the devices needed charging. Even though mobile devices gave nurses more freedom to roam around and still be connected, a battery that dies quickly is a deal-breaker, especially if the devices are relied upon heavily to get work done.
“The new Dell tablets last at least two days without needing a charge; our old devices lasted just four hours. Also, the Dell tablets are lightweight and sit nicely in the hand, and they have a built-in electronic ID smartcard reader, which we use daily to confirm our visits.” – Marie-Jeanne Vandormael, Quality Manager, Wit-Gele Kruis
Another reason for its choice of tablet was that simply being able to access information wasn’t enough, and for that reason Windows 8 was an important factor in their purchase decision. Wit-Gele Kruis’s choice in operating system meant that tablets would be able to seamlessly integrate with multiple existing medical applications and systems. Obviously the security of sensitive patient information is a top priority, and Windows 8 would allow for easy and secure connectivity to the organizations existing IT infrastructure, Active Directory and Group Policy systems.
With the new systems in place, the quality of service offered during the 300,000 home visits the company makes is significantly improved. Nurses visiting patients at home can easily communicate to other health professionals that are involved in a patients care and tablets can even be used to take images of injuries and have them sent immediately and digitally to doctors to determine whether a hospital visit is needed. This keeps patients at home longer which is especially beneficial for elderly patients who find it difficult to travel.
Microsoft services and products are certainly improving healthcare, and hopefully success stories like these will inspire more health institutions to adopt the technology as well, making life easier for both healthcare professionals and patients.