RDNS TAKES TO THE ROAD WITH MOBILE DEVICES RDNS has recently undertaken a refresh of its mobile computing device deployment, rolling out a new range of lightweight devices with improved battery life and several layers of connectivity. The organisation is also exploring the use of telehealth through its BEIP project as well as interfaces with GP software, and is also keenly watching developments with the implementation of the Aged Care Gateway and the PCEHR.
KATE MCDONALD Journalist: Pulse+IT email@example.com
RDNS has used mobile devices for its nurses for well over a decade and was one of the pioneers of mobile computing at the point of care in Australia. This is not a surprise, considering the highly mobile working conditions of its nurses, who visit a range of clients, many of them frail and elderly, in their homes. In what is perhaps the fifth refresh of its mobile computing fleet, this year RDNS has rolled out new Lenovo Helix convertible ultrabooks, which allow nurses to use the devices as a tablet for quick access to information but which also come with a keyboard for easier data entry.
The device roll-out and the telehealth trials are all part of the organisation’s strategy to use technology to better equip nurses with what they need in their daily work. RDNS project manager Owen Smith describes the strategy as “crafting a service model that is closely aligned to a day in the life of a nurse”, and when the organisation issued a request for tender to refresh the mobile device fleet, it provided a use case scenario illustrating a day in the life of a typical RDNS nurse.
Nurses have full access to a range of software and applications used by RDNS, including its Camillus electronic client record, designed by Ascribe, and a system called Gemino, which acts as a store-andforward back-up application to capture important data and hold it on the device even if connectivity is lost.
“When vendors come to talk to RDNS, invariably they are amazed at how mobile RDNS is,” Mr Smith says. “A lot of sales organisations think they have road warriors but they pale when they see that the nurses have 30 minutes of office time in an eight-hour day and the challenges are broad ranging. It’s not people going from city office to city office with 4G at their fingertips. It is quite the opposite – it is going into the most difficult environments.”
Connectivity is essential for RDNS nurses, many of whom travel considerable distances to see clients in their homes. The organisation is also involved in telehealth trials, including one that allows nurses staffing its Customer Service Centre to teleconference with clients to observe them taking their medications.
Full-time nurses and those who work for more than 20 hours a week are given the device to take home with them, while part-timers often share a device. There is also an agreement with the vendor that a broken device will be replaced within a day, and there are spare devices at each base in case of equipment failure.
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