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iPhones for efficiency – Using smart phones to improve clinical documentation

Male nurse and female nursing assistant stand side by side smiling and holding iPhones.

Effective January 30, 2024, the inpatient nurses and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in the Orthopedic and Surgical Care (OSC) unit at Skagit Valley Hospital began using iPhone devices for clinical documentation. This is done through the Epic Rover mobile app, which connects to the Epic system’s central data, including patient lists and charts, in real time.

The use of iPhones and Epic Rover allows nurses and CNAs to efficiently perform reviews, complete documentation and carry out workflows on the go. In addition, this technology enables the following enhancements to patient care:

  • Improved patient safety with positive patient identification and efficient document medication administration.
  • Increased mobility by providing an alternative to desktop workstations.  
  • Improved communication by allowing staff to see messages in real time without having to find and log in to a workstation.
  • Device consolidation by completing multiple workflows without the need to carry multiple devices.
  • Maintaining single patient record by having access to up-to-date patient information in real time, whether they’re at a workstation or working from a mobile device.

The iPhones are provided by Skagit Regional Health and are kept and stored in a secure location in the OSC unit at all times when not in use. The data documented on these devices is confidential and HIPAA-compliant.

This rollout of Epic Rover on iPhone devices is part of the first phase of this project for Skagit Regional Health. Currently, Epic Rover is also being used by Laboratory and Wound Care staff. The next step is to implement Epic Rover to the remaining Acute Units at Skagit Valley Hospital.