BlackBerry devices speed up paperwork for nurses

Healthcare forms

A group of nurses have begun using BlackBerry products to help speed up the way they work.

Medicals Direct has provided a network of nurses working in the UK with BlackBerry smartphones and Anoto digital pens which digitise the paperwork part of their job.

Jonathan Benton, managing director of Medicals Direct, said in a statement: "Having reviewed various options, such as a tablet PC, we felt that a BlackBerry solution was the best way to meet our usability and security requirements."

He added: "The process has speeded up by eliminating the postal delays and has enabled us to reduce the average turnaround time by around four days. We have even been know to turn some cases around from start to finish in under an hour."

When seeing a patient, a nurse can use the Anoto pen to fill out a paper form. The pen logs the information and sends it to the BlackBerry device via Bluetooth. The form details are then encrypted before being sent off to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server at the Medicals Direct headquarters.

It can check whether the form has been filled out correctly and send an email alert to the nurse if anything is missing. This is much better than the historic way of doing things, which involved relying on the post.

In addition to this specific task, having the smartphone enables the nurses to access Medicals Direct's caseload management website so they can update records or view case-related information in a secure way.

Daniel Morrison-Gardiner, senior Public Sector sales manager at RIM, told IT PRO in an interview: "Nurses need to stay connected to the information needed to give the right care. Being able to access patient records and information on route is really useful."

He added: "It still feels like a very traditional consultation, with pen and paper, but it speeds up the process."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.