InformationWeek 500 healthcare companies and hospitals are using technology in inventive ways to improve care. These innovations include a unique virtual reality system for burn victims, "Smart Rooms," and a customized program to track application and system performance problems. Take a quick peek at 10 of these IT initiatives in our slideshow.
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As an early adopter of e-medical records and other clinical systems, St. Joseph Health System is now on a mission of "consumerization" of its IT innovations. For instance, iPads are being rolled out to business and clinical operations. So far, 337 iPads have been distributed to help board members access a Web-based application designed to decrease the need for paper reports and facilitate dialogue and data sharing. For physicians, SJHS is piloting a variety of device options, including iPads, iPhones, and BlackBerrys, within the hospital and remotely. In one pilot, physicians using smartphones can access fetal-monitoring strips, annotations, and data to remotely monitor their pregnant patients. Meanwhile, clinical hospital staff is piloting wireless VoIP technology for hands-free communication.
Other initiatives: Webcams are used in the neonatal intensive care units to provide "virtual visits" for families and babies, and Skype is used to allow servicemen in Iraq to virtually participate in the birth of their babies in SJHS hospitals.