Get better connected

July 20, 2017

As the owner or manager of a residential home or care home, there’s huge pressure on you to manage several aspects of healthcare all at once. Your number one priority has to be the safety and effective care of residents and patients, but also at stake is managing staff workflow and productivity, maintaining medical records and keeping them secure, controlling inventory of drugs and other necessary supplies. Oh, and you’ve got to keep costs low!

“Healthcare providers are faced with challenges and expectations in equal measures,” says Peter Laplanche, managing director of Datatrade, a leading enterprise print and mobile solutions provider. “But by giving their assets and also their residents and patients a digital footprint, care homes could view their resources and assess their options in real time, enabling them to make better informed decisions and improve both care and outcomes.”stayingconnected

Peter says that solutions harnessing Cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), together with technology from companies like Zebra, mean that the healthcare sector is really starting to see a difference. “Zebra is the only vendor that has it all: the printers, the scanners, motion and sensing technologies, IoT platform – there is no other vendor positioned like Zebra in stayingconnected1healthcare,” claims Central Manchester NHS Trust.

Zebra-based solutions give care homes greater visibility and communications across their estates allowing them to better understand and manage their operation.

It’s not uncommon for complex workflows, administrative demands and inaccurate information to create barriers between caregivers and patients. And dealing with such problems can lower standards of care. The Joint Commission reported that 70% of medical errors could be traced to communication breakdowns. Connecting the right patient, to the right care, at the right time is critical. But so are connecting providers to patient records, caregivers to colleagues, and patients to providers.

“It goes without saying that better connections lead to a better patient to caregiver experience,” says Peter Laplanche. He sees that there are three distinct areas where Zebra-based solutions can provide these connections:stayingconnected3

  • Accurate identification: positive patient ID helps prevent medical errors through all steps of the patient or resident’s journey
  • Advanced mobility: mobile devices enable care collaboration, increase clinical integration and optimise work streams
  • Informed intelligence: critical data captured in real-time across your healthcare enterprise provides insight and contextual awareness for making better, more confident decisions

“If we just look at the area of identity, it involves a number of aspects affecting care,” suggests Peter.  “Positively identifying patients, their specimens, medications and even the assets involved in their care is critical to delivering positive outcomes.”

stayingconnected2He says that again this is where connecting all the identities is so important.  “Just consider the five rights of medication administration, how do you ensure it’s the right patient, drug, dose, time and route?  How do you capture and store this information, how do you connect a patient to their medication and to the EMR?”

He says that one of the key connection points are data capture devices, scanning thermal barcodes, and processing the data in a mobile computer. He claims that only with this combination of devices, supplies, software, and underlying services are all the critical aspects of care connected. 

The prospect of deploying mobile technology in your enterprise may be daunting and it’s vital to have a carefully planned strategy that requires strong leadership, commitment, funding and resources. Irrespective of what stage of the journey your care home is at, Datatrade in conjunction with Zebra could help you develop and deliver a vision for a common technology infrastructure that supports staff across your organisation. For more information call 01604 666666 or email


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