5 Ways Tablets Are Being Put to Use in Medical Facilities
A number of medical facilities have begun using tablets as alternatives to more expensive and less-portable computers. In fact, the medical tablet sector is approaching $2 billion worldwide, and there are now nearly 100,000 healthcare apps available across major mobile operating systems like iOS and Android.
Tablets provide an ideal computing solution in many healthcare scenarios because they’re lightweight, mobile, relatively inexpensive, and have longer battery lives than laptops and smartphones. Touchscreens are also easier to clean and less likely to harbour bacteria than conventional input peripherals like keyboards and mice which have cracks and crevices that are difficult to clean between.
With those basic advantages laid out, here are five ways medical facilities are putting tablets to good use:
1. Assessing Medical Imaging
Previously, medical professionals would either gather around a central display or print a copy to assess an image or show it to the patient. Now, tablets let you easily bring a copy of the imagery anywhere in the facility, so you can quickly show it to colleagues and patients without wasting time or resources unnecessarily.
2. Documenting Clinical Records
Instead of having to walk over to a computer station to input medical records, healthcare providers can now input the information into a convenient tablet interface while the patient is present. This is obviously superior to conventional note-taking methods for a number of reasons including increased accuracy and direct importation into the facility’s software system.
3. Scheduling and Resource Planning
Many facilities have moved away from using printed schedules and other old-school techniques to plan appointments and allocate employee work hours. Healthcare providers can now make quick adjustments to schedules on-the-fly without having to synchronize with a regional database in the facility’s computer lab. In addition, imageHOLDERS (tablet mounts) make it easy to enclose the display in ergonomic and easily accessible position when the device is not mobile.
4. Ordering Prescription Medications
Physicians can use tablets to access the Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPEO) system, which lets the healthcare provider order prescription medications for their patients directly. This approach is being adopted by many facilities because it doesn’t come with the potential inaccuracies of handwritten prescriptions. Physicians can also access important information about drug interactions and contraindications within the system.
5. Educating Patients
Providing on-site patient education is another excellent use for tablets. Providers can bring the device into the room during a visit and use it to explain and illustrate information about the patient’s condition and/or treatment regimen.
Tablets are not just a more convenient computing platform than conventional computers, they also have access to mobile app markets, which seem to be expanding at a faster rate than the PC software market. These apps are also compatible with patients’ mobile devices, so they can access the front-end interfaces of the same apps their healthcare providers are using. Thus, as more apps are developed for mobile devices, we’re going to continue to see tablets become even more useful in medical facilities.