4 Reasons Your Medical Facility Should Upgrade to Tablets

ipad 3

Most medical facilities have a “system” in place. For example, when a patient comes in for an appointment, she sees a medical assistant, followed by a nurse, then a doctor and finally, a specialist. The “system” — whatever it is — is probably decades old, and it probably worked relatively well until recently. The way of doing things in the past looks decidedly different from the way things are in the present, and that old “system” is no longer the most efficient way to communicate information about a patient to everyone on her health care team.

As anyone currently enrolled in medical school, nursing school or trying to discover more about a master’s degree in nutrition and wellness can tell you, technology is taking over. If your “system” still requires the use of paper charts, laptops or stationary computers to record patient data, the time has come to jump to the front of the line in health care technology and upgrade to tablets. This technology is so smart that it lets doctors go retro and “write” notes again, communication errors are lessened, and time and money are saved. Tablets truly can help make good health care even better.

Penmanship Applies, Again

Tablet technology allows for doctors and care providers to literally write (with their fingers) once again. For many care providers, writing notes was a way to ensure that the narrative of patient care didn’t get lost in the collection of patient data. For many doctors and nurses, a patient’s story of illness is as important as the data that surrounds that story. Tablets can allow for aspects of a patient’s information to be gathered — the who, what, when, where and how that data supplies — and the story of that data in the patient’s words and their care provider’s words. Information like age, race, prescriptions and dosage and the specifics of a diagnosis can all be recorded in a way that makes data usable and interpretable — not just for the patient to whom it directly applies, but also for researchers. The information is valuable to public health and for determining the treatment of different pathologies. With tablets, this technology-driven aspect of patient care can still accommodate the old-school style of recording so that the arc of a story of pathology and health doesn’t get sidelined or overlooked.

Porta-Mobility Is Total

It’s undeniable that the mobility and portability of tablets make their use an asset in health care settings. Unlike paper charts that stay in the patient’s room, charts and data put into tablets can be accessed anywhere and at any time by the entire team that is attending. And being able to chart and record data from anywhere is an added benefit that saves a lot of time. Whereas a desktop- or laptop-centered charting environment often requires double duty — after writing in a patient’s paper chart, a nurse or doctor still has to record the information again (or get someone else to do it) on the computer — tablet recordkeeping is a one-time deal that stays with the record maker and the patient, while updating the rest of team at the same time.

Apps Abound

From simple data recordkeeping to the collaboration and communication they help facilitate, the applications used by doctors and nurses on tablets are transforming how information is gathered, interpreted and applied in patient care. From apps on interactive anatomy for the budding med student to peruse to Drchrono, the application that allows doctors to dictate notes, write prescriptions and manage patient files with an app that stores high-resolution X-rays in the cloud, so that a doctor and team can always have access to them, the application world of tablets is rich, useful and available at almost all times.

Time Is Money. Money Is Time.

As health care costs continue to grow, anything that can save a provider and patient money is going to be valuable. Tablet portability and mobility already save time in data collection and interpretation, and as with most industries: The more time that gets saved in providing health care, the less money gets spent. This, in addition to the capability of a team of professionals how have better communications and less errors as a result of being a tablet-friendly culture, means that upgrading to a “system” of tablet-driven recordkeeping will not just make good financial sense, it makes good patient care sense as well.

About the Author: Candace Jones is a contributing writer and iPad owner who recently completed a master’s in nutrition and wellness.

Choosing the right tablet when doing your holiday shopping

Ever since Steve Jobs introduced the iPad to much fanfare and the product took off and started a whole new product category, the market has been flooded with competing products as the country has basically gone tablet crazy. Even young kids basically expect some sort of tablet these days, making things very tough on parents trying to monitor what they do online. People of all ages enjoy these devices as they can be used for so many different purposes, and computer companies like HP that didn’t come up with a good competing product are getting crushed as PC and laptop sales have struggled.

With all of this in mind, here’s a great article from the NY Times that lays out many of the different options. For starters, you should simply avoid the ultra-cheap knockoff options. It’s tempting to go that way, but in many ways you’ll be wasting money.

After that you really need to consider who will be using the tablet. Kids are obsessed with games and texting. Many women and adults like to read books. Others like to surf the web for funny videos, interact with others in social media, play casino games at sites like partycasino.com, or just read the sports page. Some on your gift list may not use computers much, so you sometimes need to think about how they would love to use these devices once you point out uses for them.

E-readers have become more popular and frankly more articles, so the article linked about deals with those options as well. Consider traditional e-readers versus the new color options. Then you have the most basic choice between Apple and Android. Microsoft has also entered the debate though it remains to be seen if they can get beyond a sliver of the market.

There are tons of choices, so do your research online before you hit the stores.

The best gadget gifts for Christmas 2012

If you’re choosing a last minute Christmas gift for your gadget enthusiast (or a present for yourself) then you could well be weighing up the options. Whatever kind of gadget they’re into from consoles to tablets here’s the rundown of our favorite gadget gifts of the year, but you better get your order in quickly!

Tablets

There are tons of tablets on the market, but how do you choose the right one for you? This year it’s all about the mini tablet. Our favorite of the moment is the iPad Mini. It gives you access to all the apps available on iTunes for a fraction of the price of a full size iPad. It has the same feel previous incarnation, with the same smooth interface. What’s more it’s more practical as its smaller, but still big enough to run apps, watch videos and listen to music. It’s definitely on our list!

Smartphones

When it comes to smartphones there’s just too much choice available at the minute. After a lot of road testing we’ve finally picked the Nexus 4 as one of our favorites. The new smartphone from Google packs a serious punch with all the features you’d expect from a top of the range smartphone and more. Even better it comes with all Google’s apps preloaded, so it’s ready to go when you are! Add to that the amazing photo sphere camera (capable of taking 360° panoramic shots) and you’re on to a winner! Especially when you consider that it also offers wireless charging. The Nexus 4 is an insight into the future of smartphones.

Games consoles

If the person you’re shopping for is into gaming (or even is they’re not) the new Wii U console would be a sure fire hit this Christmas. The innovative tab game-pad is an entirely new way to play and adds a whole new dimension to the gaming experience. Coupled with HD graphics we think the Nintendo Wii U is the console to have this festive season! Plus you can get it in either the standard edition, or premium that offers 32gb of memory.

So, those are our top tips for gadget gifts this Christmas. Whichever one you choose it’s sure to be their favorite Christmas gift. Now you just need to figure out which you’re buying for them, and which you want yourself. For even more gadget gift ideas have a browse at Misco.