Johns Hopkins Hospital recently completed a 10 month pilot project to assess the utility of the Apple MessagePad in the hands of health care case managers. The hospital developed its own software called the PD Tracker that runs on the Newton platform. Physicians and case managers using the PD Tracker and the Apple MessagePad combination have found it to be an effective replacement for their current paper-based system.
The physicians and case managers who tested the product found that the Apple MessagePad improved the documentation process and assisted in achieving clinical outcomes while using a definable amount of hospital resources. The Johns Hopkins study also found that health care professionals appreciate the device’s many other features including minimal training requirements, size (i.e., fits in a lab jacket pocket), portability, and attractive price performance. Because of such features, the MessagePad was found to be superior over competing automated devices.
Kevin Johnson, M.D., M.S., Robert Bruce, B.S., and Beth Weiczorek, R.N., M.S.N., at Johns Hopkins hospital are enthusiastic about the benefits that the MessagePad offers. Johnson claims that, “The Apple MessagePad is portable and facilitates rapid data collection. We believe these are two essential elements of a successful clinical computing tool.”
The Apple MessagePad is being used with the PD Tracker program to allow case managers to enroll their patients on one or more critical pathways, use infrared technology to transfer patient information between case managers, document variances from their patients’ expected courses, and to document codified and free-text explanations for those variances. Variance information is uploaded onto a personal computer and automatically transferred into a relational database supporting ad hoc querying and report writing, which eliminates much of the paperwork demanding time, space, and other resources.