Wireless technology in healthcare informatics may not be quite ready for prime time, but it is getting close.
"It's one of the biggest changes to come in the next couple of years," says Peter Waegemann, CEO of the Newton, Mass.-based Medical Records Institute.
"Physicians will not have to go back to the office after seeing patients," Waegemann predicts. "That's a major revolution."
That is the premise behind the Mobile Healthcare Alliance, or MoHCA, a 2-year-old spin-off of the MRI, which runs the annual TEPR (Toward an Electronic Patient Record) conference. MoHCA itself is preparing for its second annual conference on mobile healthcare implementation, Oct. 16-18 in Las Vegas.
The event will focus on developing standards for wireless transmission of healthcare data, connectivity issues, clinical applications of the technology and preventing interference with other medical equipment.
According to an MRI study, 31.7% of physicians with access to computerized physician order entry systems already use personal digital assistants or other handheld devices.