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  1.    #1  
    Greetings everyone! I am looking for some feedback on using Treo's in a clinical setting such as a Hospital, Medical Office, Etc.

    Treo's are catching on quickly by our Hospital Administrators and various Senior Level Staff. I currently support 45 Treo's (both 600 and 650's). We currently do not use the device in the clinical setting or to document any type of PHI. They are strictly used for Email, Calendar, Phone and the occasional Epocrates.

    We have started to get requests to allow the Residents and other Members of our Medical Staff to use their personal PDA's to document patient info and notes so it can be transferred to the resident on the next shift. I'm not sure of the whole process yet, but they would hotsync to several PCs set up on the patient care wings.

    Here is my dilemma,

    We have no policy regarding PHI on a mobile device such as PDA, Treo or Blackberry. Has anyone out there come across a Policy to cover the HIPAA issues that surround this type of use. Our HIPAA compliance officer nearly had a stroke when I talked to her about it.

    Are there any good journal articles regarding the use of PDAs in a clinical setting.

    Any good 3rd party applications that you may be using to do this?

    I am told that with in the next 12-18 months they want to give each one of our residents and attending physicians a PDA or Treo. I really need to get my arms around this so I have a better idea on how best to support our medical staff.

    Thanks in advance for your help.


    Rob Graves
    Catholic Health System
    Buffalo, New York
  2. #2  
    I think a starting point would be to look at the Healthcare Solutions section at palm.com.
  3. #3  
    Me = Nokia 5170/Palm III > Kyocera 6035 > Treo 600 > Treo 650 > Treo 700p > Treo 755p > Treo Pro > Palm Pre

    Wife = Treo 600 > Treo 650 > Treo 755p > Palm Centro > Palm Pixi
  4. #4  
    I'd also check if there's anything in HIPPA that would affect your decision.
    Brent
    T650 on Sprint's Wireless Wonder
  5. #5  
    Rob,

    The hospitals and practices I support all forbid patient data on pda's (also thumbdrives and other removable, non secure devices). Some do however allow tablet pc's (acting as dumb terminals using TS or Citrix) to be used since no data resides on the devices.
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by alex_mathews
    I think a starting point would be to look at the Healthcare Solutions section at palm.com.

    This actually had a great white paper on achieving HIPAA Compliance with Palm handhelds. Thanks for the tip!
  7. e2chris's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by RobGraves
    Greetings everyone! I am looking for some feedback on using Treo's in a clinical setting such as a Hospital, Medical Office, Etc.

    Treo's are catching on quickly by our Hospital Administrators and various Senior Level Staff. I currently support 45 Treo's (both 600 and 650's). We currently do not use the device in the clinical setting or to document any type of PHI. They are strictly used for Email, Calendar, Phone and the occasional Epocrates.

    We have started to get requests to allow the Residents and other Members of our Medical Staff to use their personal PDA's to document patient info and notes so it can be transferred to the resident on the next shift. I'm not sure of the whole process yet, but they would hotsync to several PCs set up on the patient care wings.

    Here is my dilemma,

    We have no policy regarding PHI on a mobile device such as PDA, Treo or Blackberry. Has anyone out there come across a Policy to cover the HIPAA issues that surround this type of use. Our HIPAA compliance officer nearly had a stroke when I talked to her about it.

    Are there any good journal articles regarding the use of PDAs in a clinical setting.

    Any good 3rd party applications that you may be using to do this?

    I am told that with in the next 12-18 months they want to give each one of our residents and attending physicians a PDA or Treo. I really need to get my arms around this so I have a better idea on how best to support our medical staff.

    Thanks in advance for your help.


    Rob Graves
    Catholic Health System
    Buffalo, New York

    Rob,

    I actually work at BWH in Boston, and they are currently in the process of moving away from the Blackberry to the Treo. I am not sure about the MD's but the staff are using them. You might able to get more info by emailing partners.org. I hate to say to much only because I honestly do not know what I can and cant say.

    I personally feel the Treo would be a better fit with customized apps. Oh and I see they are using the GOOD Technology suite as well.

    Good Luck!
  8. cardio's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by RobGraves
    This actually had a great white paper on achieving HIPAA Compliance with Palm handhelds. Thanks for the tip!
    It is going to be a tough sell to the HIPPA compliance officer even with the white paper. If you get approval, let us know how you are doing it. Good luck.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  9. #9  
    Another good place to start would be the HIPAA site itself: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/

    Type "PDA" in the search field and you'll find lots of resources. In my experience, it largely depends on the policies of the hospital and the capabilities of certain systems EMR systems to support PDA size formatting. There are lots of smaller third party apps for physician practices but when you get to the EMR level its going to depend on the abilities of the particular EMR system. Some systems allow snapshots, a few might allow hot syncing information. But as far as I know, none of the big players are doing real-time wireless bidirectional communications with PDAs.
  10. #10  
    Not a doctor... and I don't play one on TV.... but if I have to turn my Treo's phone & data functions off in an ER, and staff there can only use special approved cordless/cell phones... how can staff use treos wirelessly... if my treo can mess with someone's heart monitor or whatever, so can Dr. Marcus Wellby's- can't it?

    (run-on sentense finalist)

    or... is the cell phone ban a scam... like using them on airplanes might be??
    "Everybody Palm!"

    Palm III/IIIC, Palm Vx, Verizon: Treo 650, Centro, Pre+.
    Leo killed my future Pre 3 & Opal, dagnabitt!
    Should I buy a Handspring Visor instead?
    Got a Pre2! "It eats iPhones for Breakfast"!
  11.    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by duanedude1
    Not a doctor... and I don't play one on TV.... but if I have to turn my Treo's phone & data functions off in an ER, and staff there can only use special approved cordless/cell phones... how can staff use treos wirelessly... if my treo can mess with someone's heart monitor or whatever, so can Dr. Marcus Wellby's- can't it?

    (run-on sentense finalist)

    or... is the cell phone ban a scam... like using them on airplanes might be??

    Dont go there, we have been trying to change our policy banning cell phone use in our hospitals for almost two years now. No one will take ownership of this issue as no one was to be the one who changed the policy!
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by RobGraves
    Dont go there, we have been trying to change our policy banning cell phone use in our hospitals for almost two years now. No one will take ownership of this issue as no one was to be the one who changed the policy!
    This issue was extensively studied at our hospital. I believe there are some good articles on it as well. All research points to there being no evidence of interference of cell phones/pdas with any hospital equipment. We abandoned the archaic no-cell policy some time ago.

    I haven't looked into the HIPAA issue in awhile, but as a recall, PDAs with protected information would require some type of encryption/password entry system. Maintaining data on a PDA, afterall, is not so different from carrying around data on a clipboard. In fact, if the PDA is password protected, then the data would be considered more secure than paper.

    Another source to look for information would be companies that offer patient data software such as PatientKeeper.
  13. cardio's Avatar
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    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by duanedude1
    Not a doctor... and I don't play one on TV.... but if I have to turn my Treo's phone & data functions off in an ER, and staff there can only use special approved cordless/cell phones... how can staff use treos wirelessly... if my treo can mess with someone's heart monitor or whatever, so can Dr. Marcus Wellby's- can't it?

    (run-on sentense finalist)

    or... is the cell phone ban a scam... like using them on airplanes might be??
    Depending on the facility, the cell phone ban is slowly going away. We have not had any incidents with cell phone use and monitoring eqipment. The problem is no one wants to be the one to sign off on a policy allowing cell phones and then have an incident occur.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  14. #14  
    Don't have time to search the "push" threads ATM but I had posted a link to an article from newsday where a doc was doing a study on this.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Depending on the facility, the cell phone ban is slowly going away. We have not had any incidents with cell phone use and monitoring eqipment. The problem is no one wants to be the one to sign off on a policy allowing cell phones and then have an incident occur.
    Maybe they need to just change the nature of the ban. Instead of "no cell phones on in the hospital", how about "no talking on cell phones while changing a patient's IV". Or "no talking on cell phones allowed while performing surgical procedures"?

    "Hi honey, can you hold on a minute, I'm just sewing this guy up."
  16. cardio's Avatar
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    Maybe they need to just change the nature of the ban. Instead of "no cell phones on in the hospital", how about "no talking on cell phones while changing a patient's IV". Or "no talking on cell phones allowed while performing surgical procedures"?

    "Hi honey, can you hold on a minute, I'm just sewing this guy up."
    Why do you think I bought a bluetooth? Sheesh, you think I want to take a chance on my phone getting blood stains on it while I am ordering chinese take out for lunch?
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  17.    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Why do you think I bought a bluetooth? Sheesh, you think I want to take a chance on my phone getting blood stains on it while I am ordering chinese take out for lunch?

    Joke now... but when you on the table, I dont think you want your doc taking calls from his stock broker!
  18. #19  
    Cardio- Don't let your bluetooth earpiece fall off into someone's open abdomen. I can see you getting them all sewn up, only to see a blue flashing glow from inside their body when the lights are out!
    "Everybody Palm!"

    Palm III/IIIC, Palm Vx, Verizon: Treo 650, Centro, Pre+.
    Leo killed my future Pre 3 & Opal, dagnabitt!
    Should I buy a Handspring Visor instead?
    Got a Pre2! "It eats iPhones for Breakfast"!
  19. #20  
    Cardio,

    Your comment is so close to the truth, it is scary.
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