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Nursing IT

Saint Elizabeth tests mobile computers in Windsor

WINDSOR, Ont. – Saint Elizabeth Health Care has chosen Windsor as the site of a pilot project to test the use of tablet computers by visiting nurses. The nurses will use Motion Computing’s C5 tablet computer, which contains an integrated camera.

Among other applications, the new technology will enable a nurse to use the computer to photograph a patient’s wound, e-mail the image to a wound specialist and receive directions on how to treat it – while still in the patient’s home. That way, the wound can be treated faster and more effectively.

Toronto-based Saint Elizabeth Health Care, which provides at-home nursing, support care and rehabilitation services, is one of the first healthcare organizations in Canada to receive the portable electronic tablets, roughly the size of a clipboard.

“Saint Elizabeth Health Care is a pioneer when it comes to providing cutting-edge technology solutions for optimal in-home patient care,” said Roy French, CIO of Information Services for SEHC. “We are confident our nurses will experience significant time and cost-saving performance when using the C5s, so we have plans to expand the solution rapidly to our nursing staff, who conduct three million home care visits each year.”

The tablets and the software they run on allow nurses to access a client’s chart and history with a few clicks, fill out forms online, take photographs and instantly communicate with doctors and specialists in their offices.

In June, a few SEHC nurses in Windsor were given the tablets to use on their daily rounds. The home-care organization is planning to have the pilot project out in full force by September, said SEHC President and CEO Shirlee Sharkey, who is originally from Windsor.

“We call it user-acceptance testing,” Sharkey said in an interview. “We want to make sure that our nurses are comfortable with using the technology.” If the Windsor pilot project is successful, SEHC will use the tablets elsewhere across the province, Sharkey said.

SEHC has about 210 front-line staff in the Windsor area who made 290,000 home visits last year.

“With the tablets, you are able to provide a higher quality of care,” Sharkey said. “Nurses are often burdened with a lot of indirect care work, or busy work, such as the redundancy of filling out forms.”

She said the electronic tablets allow nurses to spend more time focusing on the client and less time doing paperwork.

The ability to communicate with doctors and specialists in real-time and to access medical databases on the spot is a big advantage, she said. “You have support for the nurses’ decision-making and information is readily accessible.”

About Saint Elizabeth Health Care
Saint Elizabeth Health Care is a Canadian not-for-profit charitable organization that shares its talent and wisdom nationally and internationally through direct care and service, consultation, and education and e-learning to support the transformation of care for families, health organizations and communities. With nearly a century of experience and a dynamic talent team of 3,700, SEHC delivers three million home care visits annually and has been recognized as both one of the 50 Best Employers and Best Workplaces in Canada.

About Motion Computing
Motion Computing is a mobile computing and wireless communications leader, combining world-class innovation and industry experience so professionals in vertical industries such as healthcare, field sales and service and government can use computing technology in new ways and places. The company’s enhanced line of tablet PCs, mobile clinical assistants and accessories are designed to increase productivity for on-the-go users while providing portability, security, power and versatility. Motion combines those products with services and unique vertical market knowledge to deliver robust solutions, platforms, peripherals, services and wireless customized for the needs of a particular industry. For more information, visit