Apple is very good about updating its iOS operating system, which powers iPhones and iPads. But busy healthcare providers often don’t have time to learn the details of the latest updates. This article will show you how to optimize iOS and improve your clinical workflow with the most useful iPhone features.
6 ways to optimize iOS for clinicians
Before you set up the time-saving features below, is your smartphone up to date? We know it can feel inconvenient to update your iPhone when that annoying notification appears. But updating your iOS is one of the simplest ways to ensure your device runs well. Every update includes bug fixes, security improvements, and occasionally new features.
It’s best to start the iOS update before bed since it can take 10-20 minutes. Just plug in your iPhone and go to Settings > General > Software Update. Tap Install Now and enter your passcode. If you need more help with updates, see Apple’s support page.
Now for the good stuff. With the latest iOS 15, you can implement these six iPhone tips for healthcare providers.
Keep your display unlocked for longer
The default setting will auto-lock your screen after 30 seconds when you get a new iPhone. This is a conservative security feature to reduce the risk of others seeing your screen.
However, you need to unlock your iPhone screen every time it locks. Even with Face ID, opening your screen takes a few seconds.
You can change the Auto-Lock time by going to Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-Lock. Select a time from 30 seconds to 5 minutes (or Never). If you choose a longer display Auto-Lock time, you’ll save a few seconds when using your device.
Move the cursor faster using the space bar
If you use your iPhone for healthcare work, you’ve probably noticed that editing text is annoying. Unless you have very dainty fingers, selecting text or placing your cursor in the right spot is challenging.
Apple solved this problem with updates contained in iOS 12. Grab your iPhone or iPad and try using the spacebar to move the cursor:
- Touch and hold the keyboard spacebar.
- Move your finger to drag the spacebar where you want it.
- Release and begin typing.
Moving the cursor with the space bar is an iPhone keyboard feature that works anywhere. Try it when sending a text, composing an email, or adding notes to your mobile EMR app.
Copy/paste between your mac and your iPhone
Did you know you can copy something on one Apple device and paste it on another? This feature is called Handoff and works on any new Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch.
To set up Handoff, ensure both devices are signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID. Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Next, go to Settings > General > AirPlay & Handoff and turn on Handoff (you’ll need to do this on both devices).
To use Handoff, copy something on one device and then paste it on the other. For example, you might start a note on your iPhone while commuting and feel like finishing it on your computer once you arrive.
You can also use Handoff to continue working in an app you have installed on both devices. For example, you might start reading an article in Safari on your Mac and want to continue reading on your iPad. Just look for the Handoff icon in the Dock of the device you want to start using and click the app icon. This works on any app that comes with iOS (Mail, Maps, Safari, Calendar, etc.) and many third-party apps.
Once you set up Handoff, it facilitates a seamless workflow that will help you optimize iOS for clinical work.
Save time with iPhone Widgets
Widgets give you quick access to your favorite apps from your iPhone Home Screen or Today View. Save time by adding Widgets for the apps you use most frequently.
All built-in Apple apps have helpful widgets, but so do third-party apps. For example, Mobius Conveyor is a leading medical dictation app that lets doctors use their iPhone as a microphone to dictate on any computer. Conveyor has a useful iPhone widget that gives providers one-tap access to mobile medical dictation on any device.
Healthcare providers can even create Widget Smart Stacks that display different widgets at different locations or times. For example, you could set up your Home Screen to automatically show widgets only for your mobile EMR app, dictation app, clinical messaging app, and scheduling app when you’re at work. Setting up work Widgets is a great way to save time and stay focused when seeing patients.
Set up Focus Mode
Sometimes optimizing iOS for work means using your iPhone less. Focus Mode is a new feature that allows you to eliminate distracting calls and notifications during certain times of the day.
Consider what notifications help you focus at the hospital or clinic. These might include messages from colleagues or apps you use for documentation. Go to Settings > Focus > Work and add only necessary apps and contacts under Allowed Notifications.
Adjust the settings under Turn On Automatically to make your Work focus the default on days and times you work, or set up your Work Focus to automatically activate at specific locations.
Unlock iPhone while wearing a mask
iOS 15 made it possible to use Face ID while wearing a mask. If you haven’t set this up already, do it now. It’s a massive time-saver for doctors or anyone working in a hospital or clinic.
Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and turn on Use Face ID with a Mask. You can also tap Add Glasses to help Face ID recognize your eyes if you wear glasses.