Allowing patients to use tablets in a healthcare setting

One of the newest trends in healthcare is allowing patients more access to information about their own care, including being able to see their health records and communicate with their physicians through mobile devices, especially during in-patient stays. Patients now a day want to be able to stay up to date with their care developments while not feeling as though they are outside of the information loop or not in control of their wellbeing.

Currently, one of the ways that several hospitals have met this need is by issuing patients tablets for their personnel use while they stay in the hospital. These tablets allow patients to easily access their information and stay up to date with the many aspects of their medical records, information about medications and other medical history. They also have been given out for other uses such as for patient surveys for the hospital, for them to enter their dietary needs and for menu planning while staying in the hospital, creating patient email accounts or for access to other resources specific to the health needs of the individual patient.

While this is a great addition to the hospital’s patient resources, this can be an IT headache. When a new patient arrives at the hospital he or she needs to first be entered into the hospital’s Active Directory with the correct information then entered into the care system and any other appropriate systems, as well as be issues an email, and then issued a tablet.

Another obvious challenge is that new patients are coming into the care setting each day and other patients are being discharged. There’s also the time constraint in that the tablets should be issued during the patient’s first day in care so, optimally, administrators need to be given the devices during almost immediately upon check in.

To alleviate this headache many hospitals and healthcare organizations have implemented automated account management solutions. This type of solution allows them to simply enter the patient data one time into the source system and have accounts automatically provisioned in all other systems and applications (care system, email, etc.). Instead of manually entering information in each system for the patient and having them wait to receive access and credentials, the patients receive everything they need quickly, according to the hospital’s mission and goals related to the program.

Overall, the use of tablets within hospitals is a new method that can be extremely beneficial for the many uses mentioned, as well as for many other unlimited options in the future. Hospitals have to ensure though that they have a process in place that can handle the needs of efficiently provisioning patient accounts and issuing them a tablet. Use of tablets in hospitals, in conjunction with an automated process for account management, allows the IT department to efficiently provision tablets, so that patients can receive the benefits of this new technology.

Learn more about Identity and Access Management in the Healthcare Industry.