The Canadian Broadcasting Company is reporting that the Ottawa Hospital, which already has about 500 Apple tablets being used by health-care providers, has recently ordered another 1,800 iPads to replace paper medical charts.
Doctors at the facility currently use iPads to examine X-rays, write prescriptions and take notes during patient visits. The devices carry patient medical histories, triage information, allergy data and allow doctors to order treatment while they're still with the patient.
The hospital hopes to offset the cost of the additional iPads through replacements of old equipment, increased productivity and a reduction in errors. Ottawa Hospital CIO Dale Potter, who proposed the iPad plan to the hospital, noted that for handwritten doctor orders, "15 or 20 percent of those are missing information, or are illegible, and require human intervention." It is expected that the devices, which will arrive by July, will reduce the amount of rework required on orders that have been entered incorrectly by hand.
Ottawa Hospital is working with Select Start Studios, a Canadian development firm that created the Ottawa Hospital EMR (electronic medical record) Client app. The app is designed with patient information security in mind, and no data is stored locally on the iPad in case the device is stolen or lost.