Mobile Technologies in the Emergency Department: Towards a Model for Guiding Future Research

Mobile Technologies in the Emergency Department: Towards a Model for Guiding Future Research

Judith W. Dexheimer (Cincinnati Children's Medical Center, USA) and Elizabeth M. Borycki (University of Victoria, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8756-1.ch086
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Abstract

Hand-held and mobile technology is steadily expanding in popularity throughout the world. Mobile technologies (e.g. mobile phones, tablets, and smart phones) are increasingly being used in Emergency Departments (ED) around the world. As part of this international trend towards introducing mobile technologies into the ED, health professionals (e.g. physicians, nurses) are now being afforded opportunities to access patient information and decision supports anywhere and anytime in the ED. In this chapter, the authors present a model that describes the current state of the research involving mobile device use in the ED, and they identify key future directions where mobile technology use is concerned.
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Background

The Emergency Department

The emergency department (ED) see patients needing critical or urgent care. Visits range from life-threatening to minor and non-acute complaints. From 1996-2006, ED visits increased by 3% annually (Pitts, Niska, Xu, & Burt, 2008) and utilization rate increased by 18% (Pitts, et al., 2008). The majority of visits occur in community EDs. A dedicated ED includes access to a wide-variety of specialists. The ED plays an important role in addressing, treating, and stabilizing life-threatening conditions. To address the unique needs of providing patient care there is a need to identify technologies that would best support health professional work in these settings. These technologies include EHRs, DSS and mobile technologies.

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