Telerounding with an iPad at Henry Ford Hospital


The surgeon and his patient are actually 25 miles apart in two different hospitals, each armed with an iPad equipped with the live video chat software FaceTime.

Through face-to-face video calls on iPads and other tablets, Henry Ford is initiating the next wave of high-tech communication at hospitals called “telerounding.”

“Patients are looking for us to use current technology in a way that improves their care, and ‘telerounding’ with the iPad really fits that need in enhancing the communication and care following surgery.”

The iPad fills a critical need for Henry Ford surgeons like Dr. Rogers – who perform operations each week at both Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital – to communicate with their patients in the clinic or inpatient setting, even when they’re not in the same city.

Previously, the surgeon would call the patient on the phone if he wasn’t on site. By replacing a phone call with a video-chat on the iPad, patients are able to have a personal and confidential conversation with their surgeon.

I love this concept. I talked to a pharmacy director at the end of last year that was doing something similar with the iPad for patient medication consultation at the time of discharge. Discharge medications were filled by the pharmacy and delivered to the patient’s bedside by a pharmacy technician toting an iPad. If the patient desired consultation with a pharmacist the technician fired up FaceTime. Cool use of technology.

3 thoughts on “Telerounding with an iPad at Henry Ford Hospital”

  1. Hey Jerry,
    any chance you could post some more info (link, web address?) to the description of the ipad dc med rec process you referenced?


  2. Hi Aaron,

    I don’t have much information. I heard this during a presentation by Scott Knoer, Pharm.D., Chief Pharmy Officer at the Cleveland Clinic.
    during the ASHP Leaders Conference in Chicago in October 2011. The presentation was titled “Innovative Roles for Technicians to Advance the Pharmacy Practice Model”. The presentation slides can be found here.

    Look on page #51, actually about the 5th page in, and you’ll see a slide talking about “Novel Use of Technicians“. One of the bullet points is “Facilitating bedside delivery of meds“. That’s where Scott spoke about Cleveland Clinic using pharmacy technicians to deliver discharge prescriptions to patients while still in the hospital. The discharge medications were being filled and packaged in the pharmacy where the technician would takes the meds and a tablet computer to the patient bedside. Once at the bedside the tech contacts a pharmacist on the tablet and they deliver the med consultation via telepharmacy. The patient has the ability to interact with the pharmacist, ask questions, etc. When finished the tech hands the meds over to the patient and they’re done.

    Hope that helps you out.

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