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HIMSS07 to HIMSS16: The Long Road to True Clinical Mobility

· Kim Tucker,

Having returned from an exhausting but outstanding time at HIMSS16, I looked at a picture on my memory wall and could not help but reflect back to HIMSS07 which was the very first time I spent my HIMSS time talking about clinical mobility – in fact, being one of the first informatics nurses to do so. Back in 2007 there was no iPad and the iPhone wouldn’t be released until later that year. But at HIMSS07, the first purpose built ruggedized computer for clinicians was released and the response was overwhelming. Literally, people were lined up to see this new device. Unfortunately, the product concept was ahead of its time as wireless wasn’t mature enough and EMR vendors focused in other areas. Then healthcare turned its focus to Meaningful Use and the concept of true clinical mobility – having access to data whenever and wherever it was needed and being able to document at the point of care – was subsumed. 

But at HIMSS16, clinical mobility was back at the forefront as the industry has moved from EMR implementations to optimization. Clinicians are tired of being tethered to computers whether on a wall or on a cart. They want the same mobility, communication functionality, and access to data that their smartphone gives them in their personal life. But they don’t want the physical toolbelt of equipment repeated in the application world.

Once again, I am privileged to be at the right place at the right time. The concept of smartphone-based clinical mobility through a single, EMR-agnostic application has ignited at healthcare organizations worldwide. At HIMSS16, everyone at our booth was constantly busy. Our client panel breakfast was standing room only – literally! Just glad the fire marshal didn’t stop in. The questions and comments flowed about how our clients from different types of facilities, from different parts of the country, and using different EMRs were gaining value from using our various modules – secured texting and VoIP to positive patient identification workflows in specimen collection, mother-baby matching, medication and blood administration.

Visiting client facilities where clinicians tell me they can’t imagine working without their PatientTouch application has brought the vision of clinical mobility I had back in 2007 into reality…can’t wait to see what the next 12-18 months has in store!


Learn how Director, Nursing Informatics from NewYork-Presbyterian leveraged the hospital’s smartphone solution to improve specimen collection compliance and reduce duplicative laboratory errors, click below.

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