Vendors have built it

But will providers take advantage of iPhone and iPad functionality?
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Friday, July 20, 2012

YARMOUTH, Maine – These days, if HME providers aren’t sending their delivery technicians and respiratory therapists out the door with smart phones and/or tablets, it’s not because their software systems don’t support the technology.

Fastrack Healthcare Systems, Computers Unlimited (CU) and Bonafide, among others, all allow providers to use iPhones, iPads and other devices to access all or parts of their software systems.

“This is all part of the wave of consumerization of IT,” said David Schaer, president of CU. “Individuals have these devices for personal use and it’s now becoming part of the productivity equation at work. We’re embracing that. The key is doing it in a secure manner so their security isn’t jeopardized.”

Two of the most frequently cited uses for smart phones and tablets in the HME industry are delivery techs collecting signatures and payment information from patients; and RTs capturing clinical information, and completing and sending assessments.

See all the opportunities

Schaer also says providers can use smart phones and tablets to revamp their customer service.

“In a retail environment, as your reps are walking around the showroom floor, they could be creating orders and adding items to tickets using the devices, instead of having traditional front-counter areas,” he said.

Find the right device

Bonafide says the majority of its customers use iPhones over Android phones (because there are fewer software issues) and iPhones over tablets (employees, especially delivery technicians, often have to have work phones, anyway).

“We do almost everything on the iPhone,” said Wayne Bailey, director of marketing and sales.

Get more comfortable

Fastrack estimates that 75% of all its new customers choose its hosted software platform—a good sign that providers are getting more comfortable with technology.

“It’s all about getting rid of expenses,” said Spencer Kay, president. “By using iPads, they’re making people more productive and accurate.”