As a leading provider of hospital-based rehabilitation facilities, medical and surgical therapies, and outpatient services, RehabCare has one important goal: helping people regain their lives after medical treatment. Now RehabCare has turned to iPhone and iPad to make both its caregiver services and its business operations faster, more accurate and more responsive.
At the company’s headquarters in St Louis, Missouri, as well as hospitals and medical facilities throughout the US, iPhone gives RehabCare employees immediate access to the resources they need, from business applications to phone, email, contacts and calendars.
“Mobility is an enormous part of the job here,” says Dick Escue, Chief Information Officer. “We have more than 1,200 client hospitals and Skilled Nursing Facilities in 43 states, and we also own 34 long-term acute care and rehabilitation hospitals. So a big part of IT at RehabCare is providing solutions to a workforce spread across the country. To meet that need, we are using iPhone and iPad.”
“By giving therapists these devices, we can share information with them that we couldn’t before,” says Jim O’Brien, Assistant Vice President of Technology Services. “iPhone excites them because they know it’s helping them provide better patient care.”
Before iPhone, patient pre-admission screening was a time-consuming process involving multiple paper forms and questionnaires. To simplify this workflow, RehabCare built a customised iPhone app based on the Force.com development platform from Salesforce.com, and deployed via the App Store.
“We took that manual paper process and developed a cloud-based application in about a week,” explains Jayson R. Chitwood, Vice President of Information Services. “Collection of patient data can happen very quickly, and folks have access to it instantaneously. iPhone supports that immediate information transfer.”
RehabCare also contributed to the development of SmartTX Mobile from Casamba, a caregiver app that enables therapists to quickly record patient activities at point-of-care. With Smart TX on iPhone, therapists can record accurate, complete documentation of the time-based activities that drive their billing and compensation.
“Using a mobile device at point-of-care saves time,” says Chitwood. “We’re capturing the treatment delivered, the time spent and any other relevant clinical information, which makes documentation more accurate and increases compliance.”
Rolling out iPhone at RehabCare was straightforward — and iPad was even easier. “We knew we would be able to deploy to iPad rapidly, because the hurdles had already been cleared on the iPhone side,” Chitwood says.
Jayson R. Chitwood, VP of Information Services, RehabCare Group
For RehabCare’s executive staff, iPad has become the preferred business tool for meetings and presentations. “I’d rather use it than anything else to bring up email or look at my calendars,” says Escue. “The speed and the battery life are fantastic. I have days where I never turn around and use the desktop. I just use iPad.”
With its large, easy-to-read screen and fast Internet access, iPad is an unbeatable mobile interface for clinical applications and documentation, from diagnostic and imaging tools to nursing notes and patient intake forms. “iPad will be the new workstation for healthcare workers,” says O’Brien. “With iPad and virtualisation technologies, there is nothing we can’t do. It was all about the proper form factor, size and capabilities. And it’s all there, out of the box.”
Jim O’Brien, Assistant VP of Technology Services, RehabCare Group
iPhone and iPad integrate easily into RehabCare’s mobile device management infrastructure, and require only minimal training and support. “It just works,” O’Brien says. “Connecting with Exchange to deal with contacts, calendar and email is a very simple process.”
The IT team at RehabCare uses the MobileIron app to manage and monitor the company’s iPhones and iPads. MobileIron’s visually rich, intuitive interface allows them to track individual devices, perform remote wipes and view customised reports in a management dashboard.
“We can see which devices are in compliance and which ones need updates,” says O’Brien. “MobileIron gives you better visual representation to get to the problems. This solution gives us just enough control, and also ensures that our mobile devices are functional and secure in this highly regulated industry.”
Using Citrix virtualisation apps, RehabCare executives can remotely access corporate servers via iPhone or iPad. “Citrix enables us to use any enterprise application on these devices,” O’Brien says. “If I want to connect to our health information systems or get into my workstation, it’s the missing link.”
Equipping RehabCare’s staff with easy-to-use, process-driven apps on iPhone and iPad helps them improve patient care. It also makes for a more motivated workforce and a healthier bottom line. “iPhone instantly met or exceeded our most fundamental needs,” says Escue. “It reduces spending. It reduces staff requirements. It reduces our support workload significantly.”
Dick Escue, CIO, RehabCare Group
“Whether we’re documenting a patient’s treatment, showing a potential patient or family member what our facilities look like, or delivering training to our therapists, we’ve got an iPhone or an iPad in place that supports them,” Chitwood says.
“Everything about RehabCare is people-centric,” adds Escue. “Helping people get back on their feet and get back to work. Using iPhone and iPad, we can do a better job of getting people back home.”