Skilled nursing and retirement communities are becoming fertile ground for technology innovation, as baby boomers retire and seek out nursing care. Front Porch, a nonprofit organization that supports a family of companies dedicated to serving retirees’ healthcare needs, is leading the charge by employing technology to support its mission. The organization conducted a highly successful pilot deploying 2 in 1s as part of a technology refresh strategy. Laptops and touch-screen kiosks on the walls were already in place, but mobile devices were the final piece.
Building a Successful Mobile Pilot
“If we’re going to be successful, we need to use technology in the best and most transformative ways possible,” says Kari Olson, chief innovation and technology officer at Front Porch. Leaders realized that 2 in 1s empowered staff to complete their work on the go while improving face-to-face patient care. So, Front Porch partnered with Intel on a pilot project exploring mobile adoption in healthcare.
Project leaders had three main priorities for the tablet pilot:
- Be purposeful: Identify your main goal and pinpoint how technology can help you reach it.
- Pick the right device: Choose a device that fits your usability and workflow needs, confirm the device is consistent with your work environment, and make sure users have all necessary accessories.
- Provide training and support: Train staff thoroughly on use cases, tools, and applications. Customize training to fit different staff members’ jobs, and make ongoing support available to all.
Broad Impacts of Mobile Healthcare Integration
Front Porch’s mobile pilot included 15 participants representing a full range of users and use cases. Leaders selected Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet PCs with an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and Windows 8.1. These devices were chosen for their compatibility, physical size, performance, and flexibility.
The team identified several benefits from integrating the tablets into their workflow:
- Enhanced patient interactions: Using a 2 in 1, healthcare providers could interact more naturally with patients without being distracted by paper files or having to turn their backs to access a stationary PC.
- Streamlined documentation and collaboration: Employees used their tablets to enter data in real time, reducing duplicate steps and avoiding transcription errors. The devices also allowed faster communication, allowing staff to answer questions and make decisions as issues arose.
- Workplace flexibility: Staff who used the tablets often moved between rooms and buildings all day. The mobile interface and keyboard/touchscreen combination of the 2 in 1 allowed them to work flexibly throughout the day, increasing efficiency and reducing crowding in central work areas.
“When you finish a pilot and users won’t give the devices back, that’s a successful pilot,” Olson says. The pilot participants loved their 2 in 1s, and the Front Porch team is moving on to a broader deployment. Touting the necessity of business evolution in a rapidly changing world, Olson sees the demand for mobile deployment across industries.
“The key is to be very intentional about using mobile technologies as a way to empower your workforce,” she says. “Get ahead of the curve and manage the change.”
For more on Front Porch's mobile technologies, click here.