Northwestern Hospital Embraces Mobile Computing
Focused bedside ultrasound scanning, performed by a physician, is quickly becoming an essential tool for the efficient diagnosis and treatment of patients within leading-edge hospitals. But it first takes formal training to become certified to perform a scan. To assist in this rigorous process, the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis turned to the FileMaker Platform and FileMaker Go for iPhone.
Dr. David Tierney, director of the Internal Medicine Bedside Ultrasound (IMBUS) program at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, and assistant program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program explains, “Portable ultrasound is an exciting diagnostic tool for our healthcare team that provides an instant understanding of the patient’s anatomy, physiology, and the issues at hand. To help rigorously track physicians as they become proficient and credentialed in using portable ultrasound, we employ an innovative solution built with help from FileMaker Developer Tim Cimbura using the FileMaker Platform.”
We considered Microsoft Access and a set of Excel spreadsheets, but that approach was not nearly as intuitive or scalable,” says Tierney. “FileMaker offered very easy integration with iPhone. Also, we previously had good experience with FileMaker for our physical exam database in the residency program. Based on that success, we felt FileMaker was the best choice for IMBUS.
— Dr. David Tierney, director of IMBUS Program, Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Internal Medicine Residency Program
Portable ultrasound devices are increasingly used to examine patients, diagnose problems and guide invasive procedures. FileMaker and a FileMaker Go solution for iPhone help ensure that as the hospital embarks on the leading edge of this movement, it is training, evaluating and credentialing physicians in the most rigorous fashion possible.
Unlike earlier machines, which are the size of an ATM on wheels, today’s ultrasound devices are a portable tool that can easily be carried over the shoulder or even in a shirt pocket. The technology improves bedside diagnostic accuracy and efficiency. And, in contrast to the CT scan, x-ray or other imaging tests that expose patients to radiation, portable ultrasound does not have any harmful bio-effects.