Ottawa Hospital owns 3,000 iPad tablets and might even buy “a few thousand more” in the next year, further confirmation of the hold that the Apple tablet has established in some institutions in the North American healthcare sector. The hospital has also developed a version of its own electronic health record (EHR) software to run on the iPad, according to an article in TabTimes. The hospital has four campuses, 1,300 beds and employs close to 12,000 employees. It had previously tried tablets but they did not meet with much enthusiasm from the hospital’s physicians because of their boot-up times and battery life. Instead physicians carried physical printouts of patient records on their rounds of the hospital.
Initially the hospital approached Telus Health Solutions about partnering on the EHR software but the Canadian mobile operator’s health unit declined the offer because it was engaged in its own three-year roadmap of product development with existing clients, according to comments by Dale Potter, the hospital’s CIO. Instead the hospital hired its own software development team comprising 70 internal employees and contractors. In the long term a team of such size is not sustainable, says Potter, but in the meantime he has set them the task of producing one new app per month.