Electronic health records (EHR), also known as electronic medical records (EMR), have had a major impact on the healthcare system. You and your healthcare IT department (HIT) know how it allows your providers to create, update, and share patients’ health records quickly. This helps immensely with diagnosis and treatment, and in other functions like billing. 

But what about the hardware housing EHR systems? Will off-the-shelf computer brands be enough? Or are there reasons why many healthcare groups are turning to medical computers to utilize EHR programs like Epic? If so, what are those reasons? Today, we give answer to four reasons why healthcare uses medical computer systems: medical grade, screen resolution, workspace solution, and failure rate.  

EHR Computers Should Be Medical Grade

Healthcare providers from physicians to nurse practitioners need to be able to pull up patient EHR almost anywhere in a medical setting. Whether it’s a hospital or medical clinic, many of these places are filled with medical devices which could be negatively affected by off-the-shelf computers. In fact, they may not only damage them, but affect nearby patients. The intensive care unit and the operating room are just a couple of examples of such locations. 

Computers certified as medical grade can operate safely in such environments. They have been built with industrial-grade hardware and tested by an accredited lab for safety (Safety 60601-1) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC 60601-1-2) in medical settings. This means they won’t interfere with potentially life-sustaining devices like an anesthesia machine, and have been tested for hazards like fire, ignition from flammable anesthetics, electrical shock, mechanical impact, excessive electrical energy output, and radiation. 

Why Right Screen Resolution is Important for EHR

Clinicians rely on information, and lots of it, for accurate patient diagnosis, analysis, and treatment. EMRs can provide such data. 

Unfortunately, accessing the data can also be overwhelming. Depending on the EMR software, providers may find themselves dealing with multiple windows, tabs, files, menus, and scroll bars. This is made worse as the EMR software adjusts to a display size. New scroll bars may appear or lengthened, and once familiar buttons may be shifted to new locations. 

A screen resolution optimized to the EMR system can help. EMR software companies like Epic provide display information to best use their programs. The Epic EMR computer is optimized on a 24-inch All-in-One or monitor at 1920 x 1080 resolution in the Anesthesia department, for example. This way, physicians and other end users will be able to access patient records with as few steps as possible. 

There’s another benefit. Physician burnout and nurse burnout are growing concerns in healthcare. Many providers point to EMR as one source as they spend on average 16 minutes of a patient’s appointment time updating their medical records. This is a substantial figure since an average patient appointment is slightly longer at 18 minutes. A medical computer that’s optimized to display an EMR can help providers spend less time on the PC and more time with their patients.

Citrix Compatibility and EHR 

One of the beauties of EHR is the ability to access patient information on any computer within the healthcare group. These can range from a desktop medical PC, a medical tablet, to an All-in-One on a workstation on wheels (WoW). 

To work with so many devices requires a robust network system. In healthcare, Citrix is considered a leader. The Citrix Workspace platform makes it easy for HIT to connect the above-mentioned computers to patient records wherever they may reside from on-site servers to the cloud via Software as a Service (SaaS). 

Cybersecurity experts within HIT will also note Citrix is compatible with Imprivata, the standard in digital identification in healthcare. This helps in the protection of patient records with single sign-on solutions.

The IGEL OS provides similar functionality as a digital workspace solution for healthcare especially overseas. 

Low Failure Rate with Computers

Medical facilities can be punishing to computers. Hospitals, especially, with many in operation all year long at 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. While a down computer may be a headache for a technician, they can be critical to a patient’s survival as providers scramble for a computer to access their specific EHR.

Computers running EHR programs need to withstand such constant use. HIT, in researching medical computer vendors, should vet computer reliability of their products. Specifically, they should be looking for a low fail rate whether it’s a PC or tablet. A low rate means greater confidence from providers which means greater focus on patient care. Costs for HIT are also reduced in computer maintenance and repair.  

Closing Comment 

Electronic health records (EHR) are an important in modern healthcare, giving clinicians and other healthcare providers quick access to patient health information like vitals, medical history, and lab results. It’s important then that computers running EHR programs like Epic be certified medical-grade PCs to deal with the unique usage and demand of the healthcare industry. 

If your healthcare group is interested in a medical computer for your EMR system, contact a representative from Cybernet. Learn why we have tens of thousands of units deployed that are running the EHR and why 80 percent (and higher!) of our healthcare product volumes are going to be used with an EHR.

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