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Hospital sees return on Apple iPad investment in 9 days - report

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Recent studies have demonstrated the popularity of the iPad among physicians, and now a new report describes how one hospital found that Apple's tablet can pay for itself in just nine days of use.

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At a healthcare information technology event last year, one unnamed hospital's Chief Information Officer revealed that his organization saw a return on investment (ROI) on its iPad purchases in less than a week and a half, according to Forbes' Dan Munro. Munro, founder of iPatient and a frequent commentator on healthcare IT, reports 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.

The CIO relating the story did so as part of a larger healthcare IT panel and wished to remain anonymous, according to Munro. 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. These results were then 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.

The figure, according to the report, was so low that it would have been compelling to the hospital's board even were it two or three times higher. The hospital has since rolled out iPads for staff use throughout the organization.

Apple devices are remarkably popular among physicians and hospitals, 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 describes. 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, the physicians complained that the electronic medical record systems simply weren't configured to work smoothly on a touchscreen interface.

The year prior, though, a number of Chicago-area hospitals reported that they had seen tremendous success integrating the iPad into their workflows.

Apple has continually touted 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.
post #2 of 34
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
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.

 

Oh boy… I have a… political question. Would it have paid for itself this quickly were this not the case? Or was the potential loss of funding not taken into account?

 

Either way, a nine day investment return is absolutely insane. This really ought to spur every hospital in the country into buying iPads.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #3 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

..... revealed that his organization saw a return on investment (ROI) on its iPad purchases in less than a week and a half, according to Forbes' Dan Munro. Munro, founder of iPatient and a frequent commentator on healthcare IT, reports that the ROI was so low that the CIO initially believed the hospital's board might not believe the figure.

Uh... AI, you (and/or Munro) mean to either say that "payback period is so low..." or "ROI is so high....".

post #4 of 34
Given that I work in several states, sometimes in the same month, I'm very interested in this EHR requirement and how systems are being built that will potentially allow a doctor to see right in his hand what my current and recent medical (and I presume perhaps also dental) issues are, meds I'm on or allergic to, even if I'm not conscious to tell them. Regardless of who and where I was treated

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #5 of 34
To be released in 12 days: Microsoft Surface commercial showing a doctor in need of PowerPoint on his iPad, throwing it in a can, then grabbing a Surface to show patient, "10 Things You Need To Do To Get Your Cholesterol in Check" slideshow, all while also checking his e-mail!

A doctor can't do THAT on an iPad!
post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

To be released in 12 days: Microsoft Surface commercial showing a doctor in need of PowerPoint on his iPad, throwing it in a can, then grabbing a Surface to show patient, "10 Things You Need To Do To Get Your Cholesterol in Check" slideshow, all while also checking his e-mail!

A doctor can't do THAT on an iPad!

Um you could easily open the PowerPoint file in Keynote...
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

To be released in 12 days: Microsoft Surface commercial showing a doctor in need of PowerPoint on his iPad, throwing it in a can, then grabbing a Surface to show patient, "10 Things You Need To Do To Get Your Cholesterol in Check" slideshow, all while also checking his e-mail!

A doctor can't do THAT on an iPad!

But iPads have not been Beta Tested Blue Shirt Approved! Clearly they are not fit for use.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post


Um you could easily open the PowerPoint file in Keynote...

Or you could fix your sarcasm detector.

post #8 of 34
Man...you Apple haters are pathetic! Lol
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

To be released in 12 days: Microsoft Surface commercial showing a doctor in need of PowerPoint on his iPad, throwing it in a can, then grabbing a Surface to show patient, "10 Things You Need To Do To Get Your Cholesterol in Check" slideshow, all while also checking his e-mail!

A doctor can't do THAT on an iPad!

Correct but when PowerPoint crashes on the first slide they'll throw their surface into the trash, go get their iPad and use keynote instead.
post #10 of 34
They must be playing doctor because everyone knows iPads are just toys. /s
post #11 of 34

In related news, hospitals that have opted for Android tablets reports that after a full two years, they have still not recouped their investment on the Android tablets, and news has recently leaked that each Android tablet has actually cost each hospital $394,255, due to lawsuits stemming from various patient deaths, caused by malware and viruses, in which patient records became randomly shuffled and mixed up on the Android tablets. There was a rogue ER nurse that was rooting the tablets and downloading new OS builds each night, until that fateful night when everything went wrong.

 

A patient who was admitted for a left broken ankle ended up getting open heart surgery, which ended up being fatal and another patient who was suffering from a case of the flu ended up with a missing penis after mistakingly undergoing a sex change operation. The patient with the missing penis, once an avid Fandroid, has now completely seen the error and folly of their cheapskate ways, and is an avid and happy Apple user today. 

post #12 of 34
When are EHRs going to get to the consumer level, or at least widely adopted there? The fact that I have to fill out the same clipboard-mounted medical history every time I visit a new doctor (or often the same doctor) is ridiculous.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

They must be playing doctor because everyone knows iPads are just toys. /s

I would love to have had an iPad when I was playing doctors and nurses as a kid... or was that mummies and daddies? What the heck, not sure that even an iPad would have added to the moment.

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #14 of 34
My experience matches Seattle Childrens (who I think use the same EMR we do). Trying to target on-screen elements designed for mice pointing with your finger is a real drag on utility. Typing is a drawback since EMR's force physicians to spend more time typing and less time speaking with patients. The glass screen is just not efficient for long stretches of text and dictation on iOS is not really ready for prime time. BUT, it could be a lot better if EMR vendors redesigned their software for touch interfaces and there were custom dictation solutions for medicine.
I am not holding my breath, however. The state of EMR software is an embarrassment for this great country. When Jobs was still alive (and fighting for his life in the hospital), I kept hoping he would look over at the EMR solutions in use and find he was naturally offended by the horrible state of things. Then, my fantasy went, he would call up Larry Ellison and swear they were going to use industrial strength Oracle backend databases merged with an Apple designed interface to put all these lousy EMR solutions out of business. A pathetic fantasy I admit, but people in Hell do dream of ice water.
post #15 of 34

I'm sure all the hospitals will reduce their costs instead of pocketing the extra savings......................................................................

Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

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Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

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post #16 of 34

If this really is right I'd call the iPad investment the no-brainer business decision of the year.

post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

I'm sure all the hospitals will reduce their costs instead of pocketing the extra savings......................................................................

85% of hospitals in the US are non-profit or government-owned. So, no, most of them wouldn't be "pocketing" anything. It's far more likely that the amount saved will be reinvested back into the hospital itself.

post #18 of 34
And that 9 days included the productivity loss caused by the learning curve and changing habits! Savings could well be even greater moving forward.

Of course, the productivity isn't about the device alone, but the software on it. Give people iPads with pad software and you won't see success.
post #19 of 34
The only way this 9 days is even remotely true is if the hospital already had a fully online system, wireless infrastructure, etc, and people simply weren't using it for one reason or another (ie, they didn't have terminals in each exam room or some other critical flaw that prevented use of the system). In other words, they already spent a ton of money on a system that wasn't properly deployed in the first place and the iPad was the missing piece that made it work. I have no doubt that tablets are the future of electronic healthcare, but I'm calling BS on the 9-days.
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

The only way this 9 days is even remotely true is if the hospital already had a fully online system, wireless infrastructure, etc, and people simply weren't using it for one reason or another (ie, they didn't have terminals in each exam room or some other critical flaw that prevented use of the system). In other words, they already spent a ton of money on a system that wasn't properly deployed in the first place and the iPad was the missing piece that made it work. I have no doubt that tablets are the future of electronic healthcare, but I'm calling BS on the 9-days.

And what exactly would this anonymous person gain by lying about it? It's not as if themselves or their hospital are going to gain fame and fortune over this since their identity was kept anonymous. So unless you're positing some sort of Apple shilling conspiracy, I don't see why we should believe what this person is saying isn't true.


Edited by Applelunatic - 6/4/13 at 11:32am
post #21 of 34

You're Wrong.  Of course they would have to convert it to keynote first (simply opening it on a Mac with Keynote and then saving it will do that).  But then it can easily be accessed on the iPad.

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by VirgaHyatt View Post

You're Wrong.  Of course they would have to convert it to keynote first (simply opening it on a Mac with Keynote and then saving it will do that).  But then it can easily be accessed on the iPad.

Who's wrong? If you were responding to macinthe408 you need to realize that their post was being sarcastic...

post #23 of 34
In related news 2 bogus post in AI's comments were found to be made up stories about the iPad in hospitals. One About Androids and the other about a Microsoft commercial.
No links to the stories make them suspect.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Applelunatic View Post

And what exactly would this anonymous person gain by lying about it? It's not as if themselves or their hospital are going to gain fame and fortune over this since their identity was kept anonymous. So unless you're positing some sort of Apple shilling conspiracy, I don't see why we should believe what this person is saying isn't true.

 

My post was in no way meant as a suggestion of Apple influencing the trial or even for/against iPads or any other particular technology. It was more a commentary on how cost/benefit for IT projects are often determined. Many times there is more fantasy than reality (I speak from experience)

It goes something like this... You spend $2 million on a project to deploy electronic data system, fully supported by a detailed cost/benefit analysis. There is almost never a post-deployment analysis to verify the accuracy of that initial cost/benefit argument. If for some reason the project never realizes the benefit projected, it's either never known or chaulked up as a less-than-successful project.

Along comes project #2. I can buy a bunch of iPads for $500 each which can access the system I already have in place and actually make it useful. If that saves my staff 10 hours in the first two weeks the iPad has just paid for itself, and project #2 is wildly succesful.

Even if project #1 did meet it's cost/benefit goals, the point is that the iPad project, by itself, probably wouldn't have solved anything. You had to first spend that $2 million, and that probably wasn't considered when the cost/benefit of project #2 was determined. And who's to say that a $200/PC in each exam room wouldn't have accomplished the same result and paid for itself in 4 days! (Just making up an example because, since this guy chose to remain anonymous, we don't know the details behind this particular trial.)

Right now there is a bit of controversy amongst members of the Air Force which basically boils down to, "why do the pilots get iPads and we doctors don't?". Some of that is simply jealously, everyone wants an iPad thinking it will solve all their problems. But it boils down to the cost/benefit analysis. Weight can be translated into fuel savings which can translate into hard dollars saved. But in the medical environment, unless you've first invested millions in the back-end systems, an iPad or any other other client device by itself will solve nothing.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowhide View Post

In related news 2 bogus post in AI's comments were found to be made up stories about the iPad in hospitals. One About Androids and the other about a Microsoft commercial.
No links to the stories make them suspect.

Neither of those two posts were being serious. Seriously, you people need to fix your sarcasm detectors.

post #26 of 34
So bascally a fraction of their costs are high enough to offset the cost of an iPad in 9 days. Seems like their 'cost of doing business' is *way* out of control.
post #27 of 34
We use the iPad in our medical practice, especially during house calls to patients. As long as the EHR app runs native on the iPad, then performance is very good even on a 3G cellular link.

A couple of vendors tried to talk us into EHR apps that used Citrix emulation -- those were utter failures out at the patient locations. Ones that used emulation were barely usable even with a 40mb/sec FiOS connection from our main location.

All in all we are very happy with the native EHR app after about 2 years. The practice moved over 100% to that solution a year and a half ago. We also ONLY allow the staff to access the EHR from iPad or iPhone devices. They either have iOS devices when hired or we will help fund that purchase.

We do eRx, eLabs, and all charting in the native app. It includes custom medical speech-to-text for dictation directly on the iPad.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

When are EHRs going to get to the consumer level, or at least widely adopted there? The fact that I have to fill out the same clipboard-mounted medical history every time I visit a new doctor (or often the same doctor) is ridiculous.

This is why i LOVE Kaiser. Everything is on EHR! And I can access it from home.  They also provide my records on a USB thumb drive that's on my key chain.

post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Either way, a nine day investment return is absolutely insane. This really ought to spur every hospital in the country into buying iPads.

 

Actually, if you think about it, nine days is a pretty slow return for a $400 investment at a hospital, a place where they charge patients $10 for each styrofoam cup and ice bucket. 

 

Nine days is only a savings of $1.85 an hour.  Barely a blip on overall hourly user cost.  Wonder if they're factoring in hiring someone to maintain hospital apps, too.  Or are they just using it as a web tablet? 

 

Still, saving a little here, saving a little there, never hurts.  

 

Next up: removing free coffee from the nurse's station!  Now THAT will save TONS  :)

post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Oh boy… I have a… political question. Would it have paid for itself this quickly were this not the case? Or was the potential loss of funding not taken into account?

 

Either way, a nine day investment return is absolutely insane. This really ought to spur every hospital in the country into buying iPads.

Kdarling sort of mentioned what I was going to say. If the initial implementation doesn't provide a good day to day workflow, they may have to account for some amount of custom software development and maintenance costs in addition to what was mentioned or at the very least licensing of third party software that meets the desired requirements. It doesn't mean the use of ipads couldn't still be a net benefit. It's just a different set of numbers.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

In related news, hospitals that have opted for Android tablets reports that after a full two years, they have still not recouped their investment on the Android tablets, and news has recently leaked that each Android tablet has actually cost each hospital $394,255, due to lawsuits stemming from various patient deaths, caused by malware and viruses, in which patient records became randomly shuffled and mixed up on the Android tablets. There was a rogue ER nurse that was rooting the tablets and downloading new OS builds each night, until that fateful night when everything went wrong.

 

A patient who was admitted for a left broken ankle ended up getting open heart surgery, which ended up being fatal and another patient who was suffering from a case of the flu ended up with a missing penis after mistakingly undergoing a sex change operation. The patient with the missing penis, once an avid Fandroid, has now completely seen the error and folly of their cheapskate ways, and is an avid and happy Apple user today. 

Any company deploying either iPads or Android tablets is going to stick to stable builds that are well tested prior to deployment. That is just normal IT behavior. You don't have to turn it into Apple fan fiction to make your point.

post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Actually, if you think about it, nine days is a pretty slow return for a $400 investment at a hospital, a place where they charge patients $10 for each styrofoam cup and ice bucket.

Here's one with Android tablets:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:4vtQYECUyrwJ:https://www.vodafone.co.uk/cs/groups/public/documents/webcontent/vftst162939.pdf

"Using secure Android tablet devices, workers are now able to access schedules, confirm appointments and conduct patient assessments remotely.

The roll out of 400 Samsung Galaxy Tab 7-Plus tablets has already begun with another 500 planned in the second phase.

Morris says tablets will help the Trust meet its business and healthcare objectives, and expects a Return on Investment within 12-18 months"

Pffft, 12-18 months, that's a slow return on investment. Must be factoring in the effects of losing patient data due to malware and being sued. Of course unless we actually see a cost breakdown, we just have to assume they know their costs better than people who prefer one brand of tablet over another.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Here's one with Android tablets:

 

Hey, thanks.  Pretty cool article.  Of course, it's a different situation:

 

That Android tablet project is about cellular enabled tablets given to mobile community health workers to use outside of a hospital.

 

It also points out how ROI can have different contexts.

 

In the Android article, they talk about being able to save 10 minutes for each home visit by not having to boot a laptop.  They additionally save another hour a day by not having to come into an office to check emails, which means they can visit another couple of people each day.  

 

Those are huge time savings in comparison to the couple of minutes per hour that the iPad case was about, and yet they still came out with a year for ROI.   Clearly they're including the entire infrastructure of the project, not just the price of the tablets.

post #33 of 34
Nothing to do with the iPad or android. Poor software and incompatibility with workflow either supports the business or doesn't.
post #34 of 34
Having worked in a hospital, I can easily imagine how, with a well-designed UI and the right apps, a tunic-pocket sized iPad mini could be a marvelous work organizer and time saver. For remembering to-dos back in that technological stone age, I had to depend on a wind-up pocket alarm.

Linked to equipment, an iPad could be even better. The nurses I worked with depended on their IV pumps to beep when they ran out of fluid. A well-designed system could link to those pumps and display the time left on each infusion, as well as beeping a nurse a couple of minutes before one runs out.

--Michael W. Perry, author of Hospital Gowns and Other Embarrassments
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