Mobile Persuation: the future of patient safety?

In Human Factors, Resiliency on September 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Many experts believe mobile phones are the future of societal behavior change (Fogg & Eckles, 2007). They are light and full of features and the wireless networks on which they run rival speeds of wired high speed systems. The best feature of mobile phones that contribute to persuasive behavior change is their ability to relay information, make that information actionable and maintain links to social networks. The social connection is where the real magic happens (Fogg & Eckles, 2007). From a mobile platform one could conceivably fall in love, start a revolution, read a life changing book or find a treasure.

In terms of patient safety, I see the ability to act on information as well as the social interaction to hold the most promise. Abnormal labs are sent to an MD who can click on them which takes him to an order set designed for treating the anomalies. This relays to a nurse who carries out the treatment and is beeped if any of the patients vital signs are compromised or even if the patient calls to report a symptom. A nurse could see what the patient ordered for a meal and put a hold on it if it contained too much potassium for example.
With gps and bluetooth, healthcare providers can be tracked on handwashing performance or prompted to wash when they pass a pump. A provider who cant come to a bedside could chat in real time with words and video.
Phones can already scan product barcodes and this technology could enable healthcare providers to have all patient information with them wherever they went.

It’s time to throw out those one way pagers and switch to interactive technology. Pagers function well in a hierarchical system, however if relational coordination is a safety goal, the technology has to facilitate relationships and action.

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