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Miami VA Healthcare System

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Mobile devices reduce waste, increase productivity

Ruth Studstill, a staff assistant to the Associate Director of Patient Care Services, right, demonstrates to Crystal Spann, program support assistant, how apps on her VA mobile device save her time and increase productivity.

Ruth Studstill, a staff assistant to the Associate Director of Patient Care Services, right, demonstrates to Crystal Spann, program support assistant, how apps on her VA mobile device save her time and increase productivity.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

In 1980, President Carter signed into public law the original Paperwork Reduction Act, which was later amended by Congress in 1995 and became the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This law requires, “federal agencies to become more responsible and publicly accountable for reducing the burden of Federal paperwork on the public, and for other purposes.”

VA health care team members at the Miami VA Healthcare System are finding ways to comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act by using VA-issued mobile devices (tablets) to cut printing costs, save time and increase their productivity for a number for tasks that were previously paper-based. Since February 2014, VA has deployed more than 12,000 tablets at more than 30 VA medical facilities as part of the Mobile Health Provider Program.

Ruth Studstill, a staff assistant to the Associate Director of Patient Care Services, was one of 450+ VA care team members at Miami VA to receive a VA-issued mobile device in May 2014. In a typical day, she supports the chief nursing officer, administrative officer and chief nurses with a number of administrative needs, including budgeting, staffing requests and daily operations for units. Studstill’ s duties include a number of complicated tasks, such as running many types of financial and status reports to present at meetings.

“I can now bring my device with me to meetings and have it handy to pull and update reports during meetings, instead of waiting until later,” Studstill said.

Mobile access saves her time and increases her productivity by allowing her to make update references in real-time during meetings, and ultimately alleviate paper trails to create a more efficient communication in the process.

“Mobile devices reduce the need for paper, which saves both time and printing costs,” she said. “The way of the future is to have immediate access directly at your fingertips. We are evolving and moving towards a more technological society, and I’m glad VA is enabling instant access through mobile technology.”

As the program evolves over the course of the next year, so will opportunities to use mobile technology to improve Veterans’ health care. VA will be developing and releasing a series of mobile apps that will allow for mobile-optimized access to real-time VistA Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS) information to inform clinical decisions. These apps will enable providers to write progress notes, enter a subset of orders, and complete other clinical tasks, as well as support specific common workflows.

Curious about what VA health care teams are saying about their new VA-issued tablets? Check out a new Mobile Health Provider Program infographic to learn how they are already incorporating this technology into their clinical workflow. To read more about the program and what care teams are saying about their devices, check out the program’s success stories page.

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