As first responder agencies become excited about the prospect of a lower cost device for managing patient care records, there are a number of things to consider prior to making the leap. While excellent in many fire and EMS technology uses, the iPad is not an appropriate device for ePCR at this time. Why?
There are several critical issues to be concerned with. The first is HIPAA. Apple’s iCloud and most other SaaS services are not HIPAA or EHR compliant, and this can create a significant problem if a department makes a purchase without resolving this issue. HIPAA requires encrypted transfer and storage of patient records, and there are additional requirements for users, reporting of accidental release or access to data, and overall security.
The next issue is speed and performance. The iPad is actually fast – and it is nearly “instant on,” so why is this a problem? The bottom line is that software that takes advantage of both the iOS capabilities and the needs of first responders hasn’t been (to our knowledge) been completed yet. There are ePCR solutions being offered for the iPad, but generally speaking, they’re more of a distraction than a solution for medics working in the field – putting patient care at risk.
To learn more about this important issue, read Jonathon Feit’s excellent article in The Health Care Blog: Read the article.