Contribution by: Steve Campbell EMR Daily News
TabTimes has a wonderful article on Ottawa Hospital CIO Dale Potter who has successfully added 3,000 iPads throughout his 1,300 bed hospital in Canada.

According to the article he made the decision to begin considering the iPad after returning from a Las Vegas speaking Engagement in 2010. He came back with four brand new iPads and was excited about their potential as a mobility solution. To test the idea he gave two to his technology team and one each to a surgeon and general internal medicine physician to get their assessment of the iPads’ potential value to the staff.

“Their response was, ‘How quickly can we get these?’” Potter recalls. He decided to take a huge plunge in purchasing over 1,000 iPads initially and developing a native iPad version of the electronic health record (EHR) software in use at the hospital.

“My own gut feeling on this was so strong,” Potter says, even as he recognized he was taking a significant career risk. “There were arguments being made that these were just toys. There was media scrutiny here in Canada on all types of government spending looking for waste. That was a risk. “I told our CEO he should fire me if this doesn’t work.”

To make sure the iPads had access to useful information he set up his own  software development team of approximately 70 people made up of internal employees and contractors. That group built a clinical mobile application that pulls information from the EHR data source but takes advantage of the native functionality of the iPad.

The teams product was launched in January 2011,and allowed physicians and nurses view-only access to clinical data that resides in the EHR. The team is now working on adding features that allow physicians to order digital imaging, medications and lab work.

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