Sutter Health Awarded CHIME’s Innovator of the Year Award
Honored for Using Mobile Tablets to Improve Medical Care in Patient Homes
By equipping more than 1,000 home care clinicians with secure mobile tablets, not-for-profit Sutter Health improved access to up-to-date clinical information and enhanced efficiency—resulting in more timely and personalized patient care. Sutter’s innovative program earned the organization CHIME’s 2013 Innovator of the Year Award.
Sutter Care at Home’s caregivers use mobile tablets as their sole computing device when caring for more than 35,000 home health and hospice patients across Northern California. Philip Chuang, IS director for Sutter Care at Home, guided the complex deployment of the tablets and training for staff. He accepted the award for Sutter Health and, in addition, received the Bill W. Childs/SAIC Innovator Scholarship.
“Our clinicians spend most of their time caring for patients in their homes,” Chuang said. “Tablets travel with our caregivers and enable our staff to improve coordination of care and work more closely with patients to better understand their personal health care needs.”
Before transitioning to tablets, a team of Sutter Health technology, clinical, ergonomic and operations experts spent months exploring how to best design the technology for medical use.
“Securely completing health records and other clinical documentation is complex. Using tablets to deliver patient care in the field remains a new concept,” Chuang said. “We needed to develop our own roadmap to success with this new technology. Through collaboration we identified and overcame the challenges and learned what worked for our staff.”
Prior to using tablets, caregivers prepared for patient visits by collecting faxed referrals, patient histories and other documentation at a central office. Mobile tablets allow clinicians to instantly and securely access scanned copies of referral documents. In addition, caregivers can use the built-in camera to take pictures of injuries and securely upload the images to Sutter Health’s electronic health record system for more swift evaluation by specialists.
“Our clinicians drive more than six million miles every year across Northern California making more than 530,000 patient visits,” added Marcia Reissig, CEO of Sutter Care at Home. “Tablets help us improve care quality and work more efficiently.”