By Katie Wike, contributing writer
Mobile carts are now being combined with tablet technology for computer access on the go
Matt Rossini of JACO, Inc. asks, “How does an organization provide a patient computer access when a health system has so many unique departments with complex workflows, never mind the constraints of staff resources and physical floor space?” His answer: “Rather than designing fixed computer terminals to provide patient access, Healthcare IT professionals and clinician teams have started to implement tablet computers into their EHR workflow.”
Health IT Outcomes reported earlier on the same subject writing, “Tablets give everyone in the hospital the opportunity to have technology in their pocket, rather than scrambling for limited workstations that can’t support an ever-growing staff.” A HealthLeaders Media article quotes Mark Laret of UCSF Medical Center as saying his facility plans to expand the use of tablets to, “patient self-registration, MyChart sign-ups, providing educational content in waiting rooms and patient rooms, patient questionnaires, etc.”
Rossini further explains the value of combining carts and tablets, suggesting tablet cradles to hold the tablets on mobile workstations or wall mounts. “Nurses can easily remove the tablet from its dock, so they can access their medical records during their appointments or hospital stays. With some EHR patient portals available on smartphones, healthcare professionals are also able to demonstrate access on a tablet while patient use their smartphones to access their personal records and view information such as lab results, view upcoming appointments, schedule new appointments, refill prescriptions and message securely with providers.”
The always present concern is security, and providers may want to use secure locking features for tablets in wall mounted devices to avoid theft and security breaches.
It’s not surprising that adding tablets to mobile workstations is the next logical step as studies show physician adoption of tablets for professional purposes almost doubled from 2011 to 2012. This sudden increase is due in part to MU requirements for engagement. “Utilizing tablet computers to engage patients with managing their own care is only one way in which healthcare providers will see tremendous value in tablet EHR adoption,” concluded Rossini.
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