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Exploring Mobile Care

by Geri Aston

Hospitals & Health Networks

Article excerpt

Mobile Acute Care for the Elderly

Some hospitals are trying to improve inpatient care for seniors with teams that work with elderly patients throughout the hospital or in specific service lines to prevent some of the common complications in this population. A study published in the June 10, 2013, issue of JAMA Internal Medicine found that one such model — Mount Sinai Hospital’s mobile acute care for the elderly service — improved some outcomes but didn’t affect others.

Our take

Not All Mobile Interventions Achieve Results

When it comes to impacting patient outcomes through mobile care, there may be no one-size-fits-all approach as a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine reports. While some outcomes showed improvement—a decline in adverse events and reduced length of stay—other results were unchanged, or negligible. What implications does this have for your health organization as you consider the use of eHealth options in patient care?

The big takeaway may be that mobile tools are no panacea for all that ails healthcare delivery. While technology certainly holds promise in some regards, healthcare administrators should be realistic in terms of their expectations when turning to mobile health interventions or apps. There may be tradeoffs to be made in terms of improvements in certain areas versus lack of impact in others. Priority should be given to opportunities to improve outcomes or reduce costs.