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TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA - The Cherokee Nation recently received an award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine South Central Region allowing them to buy 30 iPads for health care professionals at the tribe's hospital in Tahlequah. The smart tablets paired with the hospital's readily available wifi will improve the quality of care by allowing providers to deliver real-time information to patients.
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine created the award to enhance access to health information for health professionals and the public. Cherokee Nation was the only tribe in Oklahoma to receive the Outreach to Health Care Providers Award, which will provide the tribe's medical staff with the same tools that are routinely available to providers' at heath centers located in large urban areas.
“This project will provide our medical staff with cutting edge tools equipped with the latest health information,”
said Gloria Grim, Cherokee Nation medical director.
"As a tribe, we have always strived to provide the best health care possible to our citizens and with the new iPads we will be able to provide faster, more efficient information to our medical staff and patients, increasing the quality of patient care."
The new devices will be equipped with multiple health information databases providing information to health care professionals and patients at the touch of a finger. Physicians will be able to look up prescription drug interactions, view X-rays and provide 3D models for explanation without ever leaving the patients side.
Grim said the low profile design of iPad is also less intimidating than a mobile work station or a laptop and it allows providers to maintain eye contact with patients.
Cherokee Nation Health Services is the largest tribally-owned health care system in the nation, operating nine health centers and one hospital throughout the tribe's jurisdiction. Since 2002, the tribe has performed more than 4 million patient visits.
posted January 12, 2011 9:30 am est
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