Miami Children's Hospital CIO talks mobile apps for clinicians, patients

By Aditi Pai
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Fit4CareKids Miami Children's HospitalMiami Children's Hospital CIO Edward Martinez talked about two of the hospital's new mobile offerings for patients and clinicians in an interview with HealthcareIT News this week.

The hospital has developed a care coordination app that helps clinicians hand off patients between shifts in addition to a patient-facing version of the app that helps parents keep tabs on those transitions. The facility has also added a video discharge feature to its parent-facing app.

Martinez explained the generation of parents that are bringing their children to the hospital now are more mobile-savvy than before.

"They want to have their information, and they want to have it now," Martinez said. "So we feel that the engagement from that perspective -- getting them engaged that early on -- will get us a much better outcome earlier because they like the idea of being engaged on mobile and not face-to-face. They don’t like the face-to-face. They like texting, and they like to look it up on a handheld." 

Miami Children's Hospital has been developing mobile tools for patients for several years, but Martinez said the most recent feature that they plan to release is a virtual discharge option so that the hospital can record a video of the discharge process. This way, parents of patients can better remember instructions from their child's care team.

"The thing about pediatric care is that mostly moms -- dads sometimes, but mostly moms -- are highly responsible for the care of the kid when they go home," he said. "You make sure they get the injections, if it's diabetes. If they're on a pulmonary machine, they have to make sure the ventilator is working correctly, so they become very, very good at caregiving, and the fact that we’re giving them instructions has made it much better."

A version of video offering has been in development for at least the last couple years. Martinez mentioned this feature to MobiHealthNews in 2013 when discussing the hospital's Fit4KidsCare app. The app already offers appointment reminders, a hospital location finder, an indoor location aware system that enables step by step directions for patients and their parents getting around the hospital, and an online store that allows families to deliver cafeteria food or gifts to a patient in the hospital.

Another app Miami Children's has created is a care coordination app for its clinicians.

The app allows providers who are finished with their shift to enter information about a patient's condition quickly on a mobile device and pass it to the next clinician. This way, the next clinician doesn't miss any information that could have been lost in translation, Martinez explains. But, parents can also keep tabs on those transitions via an app called Care Notes and, as a result, stay up to date on their kid's condition, he said. Martinez also mentioned a medication adherence app, likely one MobiHealthNews has covered before -- ScripteRx -- that the hospital created and that ties into the Surescripts clearinghouse.

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