Recent Report Shows iPad's Return of Investment Being 9 Days for Hospitals
A recently released report describes how one hospital found that Apple’s tablet can pay for itself in just nine days of use. The information comes in after many recent studies have demonstrated the popularity of the iPad among physicians.
An unnamed hospital’s Chief Information Officer previously revealed that his organization saw a return on investment (ROI) on its iPad purchases in less than week and a half according to Dan Munro from Forbes
’. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Munro, he’s the founder of iPatient and a frequent commentator on healthcare IT. He reported that the time to full return on investment was so low that the CIO initially believed the hospital’s board might not believe the figure.
According to Munro, the CIO relating the story did so as part of the larger healthcare IT panel and wished to remain anonymous. Tasked with testing the effect of a pilot program in which iPads were deployed to a select group of healthcare workers, the CIO used time-motion analysis to track worker movements and clinical workflow. The results were taken and compared against the hospital’s known labor costs, showing that the time and effort saved in the pilot program paid for the cost of the iPads in nine days. According to the report, the figure was so low that it would have been compelling to the hospital’s board even if it had been two or three times higher. The hospital rolled out iPads for staff user throughout the organization since then.
Apple devices are remarkably popular among physicians and hospitals at the moment, with a recent survey finding more than two-thirds of physicians choosing the iPhone over Android smartphones. The iPad, according to the same survey, is the most popular tablet among healthcare professionals. Due to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, health organizations must soon integrate technologies like e-prescribing and electronic health records (EHRs) into their operations or risk losing access to certain funding. The popularity of the iPad is leading many EHR vendors to develop or consider iPad-native versions of their products in order to enable better mobile operation for their clients.
Not all test runs with Apple’s tablet have proved as successful as the one Munro described though. A 2011 pilot by Seattle Children’s Hospital found each of the clinicians involved returning the device, saying it wouldn’t fit into their everyday workflows. At the time, physicians were complaining that the electronic medical record systems weren’t configured to work smoothly enough on a touchscreen interface. The year before though, a number of Chicago-area hospitals reported that they had seen tremendous success integrating the iPad into their workflows.
Apple continues to tout the iPad’s usefulness in a healthcare setting, even writing up profiles of the device in use at Medtronic. The iTunes App Store currently has dozens of apps aimed at helping healthcare professionals with imaging, patient education, medical education, and reference. We’ll have to wait to see how much traction Apple’s iPad gains in the future.