iPads are all the rage amongst doctors right now and it is understandable with all they are able to do. They provide a great amount of convenience for a relatively small financial investment. For some reason hospitals have not been as quick to adopt this great technology.
According to an article on Fierce Mobile Healthcare, less than one percent of hospitals have a fully functional tablet system. That seems ridiculously low to me considering how many people use iPads in general.
The article says that one of the major issues is that many of the EMRs currently being used do not have native iPad apps which prevents iPad usage. It is also not realistic for hospitals to go back and switch EMRs just to be able to use the iPad, no matter how useful they may be.
What this says to me is that many hospitals moved a little too quickly to adopt an EMR without considering all of their options. While it makes little sense to make such an important decision so quickly, I can also see why it may have happened. With all of the money that meaningful use offers it is totally understandable that hospitals would move quickly to get that money.
I know it is shocking that a government program would induce rapid decision making that leads to undesirable consequences, but that may be exactly what happened here.
Don’t get me wrong, I think EMRs and meaningful use are great, and definitely the path that healthcare needs to go, but forcing hospitals to rush into such an important decision may end up costing them more in the long run. Not having iPads is by no means the end of the world, and it shouldn’t be the measure of success, but it is a tool that may not be used to its full potential because of the current situation.