The latest answer to shift handover in the NHS

The latest answer to shift handover in the NHS, thanks to E-Health Insider:

iSoft chosen as reseller of mobile clinical assistant

Motion Computing have chosen iSoft to be the first UK-based reseller for the C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant, a rugged and washable tablet-PC style device specifically designed to provide doctors and nurses with access to updated patient records and the ability to document a patient’s condition.

Incorporating Intel’s latest wireless technology the MCA features a built-in bar code reader to enable patient wrist bands to be read, a digital camera and an RFID scanner enabling clinical users to be securely identified of drugs to be verified before being given to a patient.

Barcode scanning and RFID should directly help with improved patient identification and safety helping reduce medication errors. Bluetooth connectivity meanwhile will allow the MCA to link to patient diagnostic devices.

The device was first launched in February when prototypes were tested at three pilot sites in North California, Singapore and at England’s Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. iSoft was involved in the UK trials at Salford.

Marc Horowitz, iSoft’s group business development director, said: “We have seen that mobile devices achieve high levels of user satisfaction among doctors since they support decisions at the point of care. Mobility transforms care by helping doctors and care providers deliver the highest quality of care, which is beneficial for them and for patients.”

Trials of the MCA in the UK were first reported by E-Health Insider since October 2006. In the UK, Connecting for Health have been involved with development and iSoft now aim to offer the device to its 8,000 customers worldwide, both in the NHS and globally.

Horowitz added: “MCA is a major advance in mobile healthcare computing and puts computer technology into care environments safely. Having real-time clinical information to support decisions at the point of care will reduce errors and save valuable time, which are significant benefits to clinical staff and patients alike.

“To improve the quality of healthcare and staff workflow, it is vital to have timely and accurate information at the point of care.”

Motion Computing say that iSoft’s commitment to mobile technology makes them an “excellent partner.”

Motion Computing’s head of EMEA, Nigel Owens said: “iSoft has vast experience and market presence and its applications are proven and ideally suited to the MCA platform. Jointly we provide exactly what customers require by capturing information at source, reducing errors, increasing productivity, and cutting costs.”

The news has been welcomed by Connecting for Health who say the Mobile Clinical Assistant is the “missing link”.

Dr Mike Bainbridge, NHS Connecting for Health’s clinical architect, said: “It is the one thing clinicians having been looking for. The fact that we can get information with greater ease and genuinely collaborate for the first time is a major breakthrough. MCA’s features, tailored to clinical use will show some real benefits.

“The MCA is optimised to reduce risk, which is especially vital during the handover of care and at the point of administering prescriptions. With in-built barcode and RFID readers for patient identification and to validate medications, the process is simplified and the risks reduced dramatically.”

“Today technology comes to the aid of those who help others,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO.

“The mobile clinical assistant was defined and shaped by the clinicians who will use it. They have told us it will improve their decision making and patient care while easing overall workloads. This is a great example of putting innovative technology to work solving real needs.”

Motion currently charge $2200 for the unit, and iSoft anticipate selling at the retail price of £1100 or around Euros 1570.