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Patient Alert Fatigue

Posted on April 15, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

On this blog we’ve often covered the concept of physician alert fatigue. It’s a major challenge for EMR software providers to balance the alerts a doctor gets so they don’t just ignore the alerts all together. What makes this even more challenging is that every doctor reaches alert fatigue at a different point. One doctor might get fatigued and stop looking at the alerts very quickly while another doctor can handle a massive number of alerts and not get tired of looking at them.

I’m certain that physician alert fatigue battle will never stop. Although, I recently was introduced to another alert fatigue in healthcare. It is patient alert fatigue. With the growing number of smart phone apps in healthcare, this is going to become an ever growing problem. Soon patients will be getting health alerts from every angle. I expect that most patients are going to get fatigued very quickly.

Plus, like doctors, patients become fatigued at very different points. In fact, the variety of patients that are out there is much more complex than the physician community. This variety makes the challenge of adjusting the patient alert barometer that much harder.

As more and more healthcare institutions start leveraging patient alerts, they’re each going to need to be keenly aware of patient alert fatigue. If the alerts aren’t providing value to the patients quickly, then it won’t matter if you send the alert or not since many patients will stop reading them.

BabyTime Connects Moms to Babies in NICU

Posted on I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Nothing pulls at my heart strings more than stories of babies in the NICU. And this story did just that.

At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, mothers who aren’t able to see their babies who were whisked away to the NICU can now see them a little bit sooner. The hospital is using FaceTime, the free, video chat app that iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches have, to connect new moms to their sweet little ones. A lot of the time, these mother’s aren’t able to go and be with their baby’s in the NICU for awhile, or even the baby is sick enough, they have to be held in isolation. On the flipside, sometimes a mother may be too weak or ill after delivery to be with her baby. Using this simple app helps make this hard situation a little easier.

The hospital calls this “BabyTime,” and it has been used with a small group of moms who delivered via C-section, though they have plans to have mothers who had a traditional delivery. In the article, Yvonne Kidder, a nurse at Cedars-Sinai, said that sometimes it can take between 2 and 3 days before a mom can see her baby, and that they want to “cut that down to 2-3 hours.” The hospital now has guidelines that allow for new moms to have access to BabyTime at least once time during a nursing shift, which lasts 12 hours.

My son was healthy when he was born, and I was able to see him about 10 minutes after birth. I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to have had him taken away to the NICU, and not been able to see him for who knows how long. I think it’s wonderful that this hospital is seeing the benefit of using technology to connect moms with their NICU babies, and I hope other hospitals will follow suit. Babies can recognize their mother’s voice right out of the womb, and I imagine that hearing the voice of their mother while in a vulnerable state has got to help in some way!

Another thing I love about this is that it shows that mHealth doesn’t have to be complicated. Sure, there is a lot of mHealth apps and technology out there, and some of it is not-so-user friendly. But I love seeing existing mobile technology, that most know how to use, being used in new and innovative ways.