Tech managers responsible for equipping medical personnel with equipment and applications see a big future for the use of computer tablets. According to a survey conducted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), 69% of individuals who are responsible for developing mobile technology policy said that tablet computers are part of their organizations' mobile technology strategy and 81% said that their proposed mobile technology policy would include tablets. Among the organizations that already provide mobile devices to clinicians to perform their day-to-day activities, tablets were used 57% of the time.
The stats make it clear that tablets have revolutionized the way data is captured and retrieved at the point-of-care, replacing bulky clipboards and paper-based files. They provide physicians, pharmacists, and nurses with mobility, up-to-date patient information at their fingertips, and can also help reduce errors. Equally important, they make it easier for clinicians to review patient records, lab results, and prescription drug information.
One option, the Motion C5v tablet from Motion Computing has been specifically designed for the healthcare market. It is lightweight (3 pounds) and rugged, fully sealed, and compliant with infection control protocols. Marketed as a Mobile Clinical Assistant, the C5v uses one of a number of advanced Intel chips, up to the Intel Core i7 vPro processor. The tablet also offers extended battery life and advanced remote management capabilities.
A hot swap battery feature allows users to easily replace an existing battery with a charged battery while the tablet is operating, with no need to shut down or standby. Users can get up to four hours of work from one charged battery. The advanced remote management capabilities are linked to the Intel vPro processor. Its three remote management functions are anti-theft, which allows users to wipe a machine clean and/or encrypt it; remote management, which allows the end user to connect to the tablet without accessing the operating system, turns the device on remotely even though the actual unit is off, pushes updates through, and provides a communication channel to the server; and performance management, which can reduce the load on the battery and provide better performance.
Among its other features: optional barcode scanner and integrated RFID reader for patient ID, order entry, and medication administration. The tablet can be used at the patient bedside where physicians can review treatment options with patients. It can also be used for computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and electronic medication administration records.
Designed specifically for healthcare marketplace in conjunction with IntelHealth, the Motion C5v has a docking station, an optional front-facing digital camera for photographic or video documentation, handwriting recognition capabilities, and mobile broadband with enhanced GPS functionality. It is now available with a 30-GB solid state drive. The company touts its durability, integrated features, and ergonomic design. It comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and an optional mobile broadband with Gobi connectivity.