Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Wireless health check...

These past few days have been spent in anxiety. My wife had a major operation. It has been stressful for all of us.

I'm not going to voice my complaints here about the healthcare service in the UK, as I know that with it being "free", we're luckier than most. However, I can certainly suggest some improvements. One of them is automated patient tracking that allows wireless querying of patient status.

As patients get moved from one phase of administration to another, this should be tracked in real time electronically. From what went on - and wrong - during my wife's 3-day stay, it is obvious that tracking would be useful for all kinds of internal procedures. For example, after coming out from surgery, there could be an automated notification to remind the consultant to do the post-op check.

What really sparked my interest in automated patient tracking is making it available to friends and family. I imagine that I can't be the only relative who keeps phoning the hospital to find out what's going on with their loved one. This phone polling is terribly inefficient for everyone.

An alternative is to issue me with a code that I can text to an enquiry number and get an automated status response, such as "out of theatre", "awaiting consultant", "staying overnight", etc. These states would have to be thought through carefully, but the general idea seems both possible and hugely beneficial.

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