Tag Archives: EMR

patient engagement technology and medical tablets

EHR and it’s evolvement into CHR: A Critical Look at Cutting-Edge Technology in Healthcare

Epic CEO, Judy Faulker, recently expressed her view how Electronic Health Records are evolving into Comprehensive Health Records—a term that evaluates more than just a specific window of sampling an individual’s health from doctor visits. CHR is a term that may be invented as the new EHR, incorporating more data and analysis of a patient that stems from their in-clinic or hospital visits and their time outside of a medical facility too. Foraging into a new technology frontier that implies a near-constant evaluation of a person’s well-being may sound like an answer that physicians have been looking for, but anyone who is ever a patient (all of us) could be under the scrutiny of patient tracking technology that could be always on, always tracking. Yes, the benefit is physicians can understand the entire gamut of a patient’s health by seeing comprehensive snapshots of activity from day to day, but do the costs outweigh the benefits? Are we already in the pathway of the “Big Data” steamroller? Let’s take a critical look.

Are We Already Headed Down this Path?

Many individuals are already familiar with utilizing in-home tracking devices and food intake monitoring, so the “at home” concept of tracking health isn’t new. Wearable fitness trackers coupled with diet and exercise apps are near ubiquitous in society today. There are also several medical grade devices like blood sampling devices or blood pressure monitors to see how trackable vitals are measured outside of the doctor’s office and clinics. But now that CHR is becoming a reality for EHR corporations, there are implications to consider about how this data would be collected into a central repository. If CHR will incorporate the data from consumer-grade devices into an EMR system, how will this data transfer occur? Would EHR software developers have to build integrations for the hundreds of various fitness apps and wearables that are available on the consumer market.  Would we need to entrust app developers and wearable manufacturers with the responsibility of building those integrations? We could see EHR software developers create their own consumer apps and wearables, but that raises even more questions. Would software developers even want to enter the arena of app development and medical device manufacturing? And if they did, how do get a patient to willingly utilize something they may not want to?

CHR and Big Data: How Accurate is the Information?

A patient may be under the scrutiny of a doctor for monitoring their food intake for diabetes, and it’s likely a common thing some individuals may “cheat” on their diet—maybe someone once logged a dinner of chicken and vegetables when instead they indulged a large burger and fries. That second iced mocha of the day might get “forgotten” when it comes time to update their food log. The same propensity to “cheat” when recording time spent at the gym lifting weights, or doing yoga can creep in if we are entrusting the patient to log their own activity. So manual input data needs to be examined and taken lightly if it’s to be wrapped into CHR. Plus, there’s the question of accuracy of wearable devices—many aren’t as devices used in hospitals, clinics and doctors offices. How accurate is a pedometer? How accurate is a sleep tracking device you can purchase off the shelf? Can that be incorporated into a medical health profile? And furthermore, even if the comprehensive data is used for analysis for health, can that be considered an invasion of privacy?

Is the CHR Data Secure Enough?

With potentially thousands of different devices tracking different variables such as food intake, steps taken, heart rate, and other measurable factors, there’s a concern of how all that data might be transferred to EMR systems. Since hospitals have begun implementing BYOD practices among their staff, securing has become a massive point of concern. Medical grade computers are specifically designed with a number of privacy safeguards built into them to protect patient data. Now imagine the security risks if data is being transferred from millions of unsecured consumer devices. We’ve discussed at length in the past that patient medical records are even more valuable on the black market than an individual’s financial data. Now you have to consider millions of new vulnerabilities for hackers to try and exploit. So how would a transfer happen? Wireless transfer? Patient web portals? If CHR is to incorporate an unknown breadth of data, will HIPAA laws need to be rewritten to account for vulnerabilities that can’t be controlled by a healthcare facility or a doctor’s office?

CHR Data and the Implications of Insurance

Insurance companies evaluate a patient’s medical history gauge what their premiums should be. It’s a given that if someone smokes, healthcare is more expensive for them. If we are to enter a new era of healthcare data, can insurance companies utilize more comprehensive methods of evaluating someone’s health? If a patient claims that they run three times a week, and yet their pedometer shows no activity outside of walking, will that reflect on their bill? How far does the willingness go to track aspects of someone’s life? CHR is prepped to track not only how we treat ourselves, but our social lives too. Will all these medical and social effects on our well-being be reflected in insurance companies and their premiums? While the intent of CHR would be to compile the most comprehensive view of an individuals health, the information could very easily be used to create more “high risk” pools by insurance companies, and could even price some users out of the market completely.

These are just a handful of questions to ask as the encroaching concept of CHR starts to hit EMR companies. They’re evolving, perhaps for the better of our lives and health, but there are strong implications of privacy, accuracy, security, and unfortunately impact on wallets too. For now, EMR systems have not yet seen that evolution, and quite frankly they shouldn’t until these questions are answered. We’d love to hear your thoughts as well. Please comment below and let us know what you think about CHR.


 

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Tablet PCs

Physicians are very busy in any healthcare setting. They go from room to room without a moment to spare. Patients can end up waiting for hours. How much of a relief would it be if they had a piece of technology that could save one hour per day amidst the chaos? Tablet PCs do that and so much more!

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) can be easily and quickly accessed with Tablet PCs. An electronic solution for physicians’ patient charts is now right at their fingertips, and the palm of their hands. Best of all, the benefits far outweigh the costs of using Tablet PCs for EMR.

Read on to find out the functions and benefits of using medical-grade Tablets PCs for EMR:

Tablet PCs are Small and Portable

Tablet PCs are light and easy to carry around. When physicians are on the run, they can simply grab the tablet and get going. Some will fit perfectly into the pocket of a lab coat. Tablet PCs come equipped with built-in wireless networking. A Tablet PC that is connected to a wireless network can send or receive date from the EMR software in real time.  In a physician office setting, the wireless network is heavily used so it is very important to pick a Tablet PC with good wireless capabilities.

Tablet PCs Have a Stylus Digitizer Pen

Tablet PCs are an all-in-one solution. They even provide a way to write your signature! Signatures that are as detailed as handwritten text are captured digitally with a special pen. Physicians can quickly and easily sign for prescriptions and other important documents on the go. In addition, handwriting can be converted into text to make documentation and note taking easy and very convenient.

Tablet PCs Provide Barcode Scanning

In hospitals, the safest way to administer medication to a patient is with barcode scanning. Ensuring the right medication is being given to the right patient and at the right time should be the goal of any hospital. One medical error could result in significant cost so even one error will easily pay for the barcode scanning solution. If a medical error is severe, a hospital stay could be necessary and cost thousands of dollars. And there’s no price tag if an error leads to the loss of someone’s life.

Tablet PCs that have barcode scanning allow physicians to quickly access medical records to find out history, allergic reactions and drug interactions. They can then scan barcodes on medications and the wristbands of patients, providing convenient and error-free care.

Tablet PCs are Hygienic

A Tablet PC that is coated with a medical-grade antimicrobial substance will minimize the spread of pathogens and make it possible to use liquid disinfectants. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that medical facilities disinfect medical equipment, including PCs, with liquid cleaners. A medical-grade Tablet PC follows CDC guidelines, ensuring a more hygienic environment.

Tablet PCs Help Streamline Workflow

With a Tablet PC, medical professionals don’t have to switch from a Tablet to a PC to finish projects. Its docking station provides a power supply and extra ports to attach a mouse and keyboard. There may even be a mount that turns the tablet into a display for presentations or easy viewing of EMR. These functions make transitioning to the next step in care very easy and help streamline the workflow of the healthcare setting.

Tablet PCs Lead to Better Patient Care

Tablet PCs provide physicians with an endless amount of information right at their fingertips. This translates into better patient care because the physician can access a more complete patient record immediately. They can access the latest up-to-date research, medication databases to aid in prescribing medications, and send prescriptions or lab requests electronically using an error-free and more secure method of transmission.  Additionally, documenting can be done at the point of encounter, saving the time of going back and forth to another room in which EMR is stored.

Above all, patient safety and health is always the priority and can be achieved more efficiently with the use of a Tablet PC.

A recent study shows tablet PCs with EMR enhance clinical routine and promote bedside time. Results indicated increased productivity, enhanced data access, improved patient–physician interaction and workflow, and optimized patient outcome. With all the benefits of Tablet PCs, it’s apparent they are the premier choice for EMR.

Information on medical-grade Tablet PCs for EMR:

https://www.cybernetman.com/en/medical-tablet