Tag Archives: medical carts

medical computers and emr certification

How EMR Software Upgrades Can Drive Computer Hardware Updates

The demand for computer capability has increased because of encroaching software complexity; we can no longer use clunky, old hardware to help our doctors and nurses complete an entire hospital shift. It’s not just a matter of how slow a process might run on a medical computer, but rather if a computer is compatible with software in question and how physicians interact with the computers. One of the reasons aging computers put restraints on the workflow for a hospital is because of increasing software demands, so here are several ways that software may drive the necessary upgrade in hardware.

Medical Computers are Popular for Multitasking

Computers don’t always serve just one purpose—multitasking is a commonplace activity, so what’s required is enough memory in order to support the concurrent programs they run simultaneously. Not enough RAM will turn any computer sluggish—multitasking and load time will suffer. It isn’t always easy to install more after deployment depending on the system. Some are sealed shut to prevent ingress, and so installing RAM may damage the internal components. Or, if the person installing RAM isn’t careful, the entire computer could receive electrostatic discharge turning it into a nice paperweight. The best way to address this problem is ensuring each computer in a deployment has more RAM than the minimum to run a particular software product. It’s a good idea to install the recommended level of RAM or go beyond what’s recommended. Thankfully, a lot of medical computers have customization options to choose how much RAM should be installed into the system before deployment.

EMR Systems Need Processing Power

If your EMR system is running sluggish, it’s time to upgrade. Most likely it’s a problem of an aged processor that can’t handle the number of Floating Point Operations Per Second (FLOPS), one measurement among many to determine the speed of a processor. Imagine all the frustrated doctors and nurses waiting to open a patient’s chart  while the computer cycles for several minutes just to display information. With the wide processor availability on the market, it can be a little confusing on what to select for a processor. Computers with Epic certification often run 6th generation Intel Skylake processors, common CPUs for a lot of Epic’s more complex modules. Medical staff can rest assured that the processor can handle software modules with ease and won’t suffer from excessive load times or computer hang-ups.

EMR Software Modules Utilize Touch Screen

A computer’s internal components aren’t the only factor in running a software product optimally. The way a doctor, nurse, or staff member interfaces with the software is also important. Imagine installing a VESA mountable computer only to find there’s no surface for using a keyboard or mouse and the computer isn’t touch-screen enabled! Touch screen functionality is important because it frees up the hands and removes the need for a physical keyboard if there’s no space for one. Plus, some EMR software products are only compatible with screens that are 24 inches diagonally in order to display all patient information. Computers with Epic certification are typically 24 inches or wider because of the visual aspect ratio for Epic; anything smaller and the software won’t run optimally—or at all.

Dedicated Video is a Must for some EMR Software

Surgeons using EMR software to give them instant video feedback—take an endoscopy for example—can’t use unclear, low-definition, choppy video to perform successful operations on patients. Upgrading to a surgical display equipped with a dedicated NVIDIA card is best for surgeons so they’re able to see in real-time what they’re doing as they perform on patients. Integrated video cards don’t provide that level of sophistication, so they pale in comparison to what a surgical display might provide.

Increased Software Security Means Increased Hardware Security

HIPAA violations are no laughing matter, and EMR software is developed with security in mind to prevent those violations. However, the software here dictates the requirements for hardware. Without a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), patient data is at a greater risk. TPMs encrypt patient information so drives can’t be pulled out of a medical computer and installed into a different computer, adding a layer of protection to sensitive information.

At Cybernet, we work with our partners to understand the complex challenges that healthcare IT professionals face on a daily basis. Because of that, we have engineered a full line of medical grade computers specifically engineered for multiple hospital and healthcare applications. For more information you can check out our website or contact us here.

 

medical computers and their role with patient engagement in telehealth

Here’s How Telehealth is Revolutionizing the Way We Practice Healthcare

Telehealth is a topic under heavy study because it’s extremely effective at reducing time and streamlining processes for medical care. It’s a complex umbrella term that addresses physician to patient interaction, how medical records are viewed and delivered, physician care and outreach, patient infotainment systems, and other important factors. One key aspect of telehealth is patient engagement technology which we are seeing improve over time with the rise of smaller, faster medical computers. Here are some ways patient engagement technology is changing telehealth and making healthcare more convenient for everyone.

Virtual Appointments are a Reality with Medical Computers

Online videoconferencing is the first telehealth innovation that comes to mind. It’s still a common practice for people to schedule appointments months in advance for an initial diagnosis and then follow-up appointments to treat or cure an ailment. If a patient needs information from a nurse, it still requires an appointment, more waiting, travel, another waiting room, etc. With the rise of telehealth, patients are able to skip waiting rooms and connect with a doctor or nurse via videoconference with a computer in nursing. If live appointments aren’t available, patients can still leave video messages and possibly show progress of a medicine’s effect. Nurses can hold “question and answer” sessions to keep patients informed and use visual aids to help patients understand their health complications. Plus, medical records can be updated on-the-fly using EMR software, streamlining the process from patient feedback to updating medical records. Growing advancements in this field have strengthened the interconnectivity of rural areas with hospitals. According to an online source published in 2012 called The Role of Telehealth in an Evolving Health Care Environment, telehealth reduces cost and increases quality of care for patients that can’t easily access the nearest hospital. A recent dermatology study showed physicians were able to increase their patient head count by approximately 270 per month with virtual appointments. Virtual appointments are a growing trend and studies reflect it!

Online Patient Portals are More Common

Patients in rural areas don’t always have the luxury of stopping by a clinic to get medical record printouts, so now there are online patient portals dedicated to showing medical records. Patients can even take questionnaires to narrow down a medicinal recommendation from a physician, request prescription refills, look at bill and payment history, or communicate directly with nurses in an orderly system to relay information about healthcare developments. As reported from the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, over 60 percent of hospitals let their patients view, download, and transfer their health data in 2014. It’s a real growing trend now because of technological advancements with medical computers and web-based interfaces that take the waiting process out of healthcare.

Medical Computers Have Started Remote Patient Monitoring

Patients of all types struggle with time and keeping proper records for a doctor’s evaluation. Diabetics must watch their diet and monitor their blood glucose levels to track their health records. Clinically obese individuals transfer their caloric burn rate to doctors, necessitating another appointment, more travel, and more waiting rooms. It’s the same across the board for individuals with limited lung function, insomnia, heart palpitations, dementia, and other patients with measurable results of their health problems. With the advent of telehealth, remote patient monitoring can be automated and sent to a physician almost immediately. It’s all done within the medical computer, streamlining the process of getting information to the doctors without human error introduced.  The benefits have showed in research as well. As before, the key aspect to telehealth is patient engagement, and keeping patients informed through doctors’ notes and information about their illnesses has shown increased rates of consistent medicine ingestion and other metrics. There are interactive disease management programs in the field (BeWell Mobile for instance) that let patients send their vital signs to their providers electronically with quick recommendations from their providers on what to do if their symptoms flare up. Another excellent example is called the Virtual Dental Home, a telehealth program that lets dental health professionals transfer information between each other to assist patients in remote locations.

Patient Engagement Solutions are Integrated into Hospitals

One of the most desired aspects of telehealth is connecting inpatients to their families during their (hopefully short) hospital stay. Patient infotainment systems are a standard in hospitals because hospital guests can remotely connect with anyone they desire over the internet, along with ordering food, watching movies, or calling staff when necessary. It’s part of the entire patient engagement package, ensuring patients are well-educated on their ailments so they understand their role in self-care.

These are all results of advancement in medical computer technology pushing telehealth to expand healthcare reach, cut down on waiting time, streamline communication, provide remote monitoring, increase patient engagement, connect patients remotely with doctors and family, and deliver an overall better patient care experience.

 

 

medical computer systems

3 Ways Healthcare Usage Dramatically Impacts Hardware Longevity

It’s important for medical computers to operate 24/7 since healthcare is just as demanding. Internal components do not last forever, unfortunately, and demanding uptime for computers can seriously affect the longevity of hardware. According to an analysis by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, The FDA issued almost six thousand recalls to hardware between 2006 and 2011, with approximately 1,200 of the recalls from computer-related failures. A vast majority of those recalls affected patient health. This study alone outlines a problem that hospitals face with computer-related failures and how those have affected patients—injury or worse. The FDA monitors reports of malfunctions and other problems after their approved hardware goes into the field in order to make adjustments to their regulations, but it’s an ongoing, never-perfect process. The best that can be done with post-fielding is ensuring stricter regulations on hardware, but that doesn’t guarantee that a hospital will utilize an FDA-approved piece of hardware to monitor patient health or control a medical device. The best way to minimize adverse events and malfunctions from a computer hardware standpoint is to ensure all components in a hospital’s set of medical computer systems are used with healthcare in mind. Here’s what we mean in detail below.

Medical Computer Systems Benefit from Solid State Drives

The unseen infection is terrible for hospitals and can result in nosocomial infections, so hospitals must take all precautions possible to ward away those infections. One such precaution has to do with patient data storage. Standard platter hard drives cause problems in hospitals by circulating dust mites and airborne germs throughout the air with their moving parts. A lot of consumer-grade computers only come with one hard drive without a backup solution, so if hospitals store their patient data on a regular hard drive without redundancy or backup, that’s a risky situation from data loss and HIPAA violation standpoints. Standard platter hard drives last (according to some sources) four years on average, but that’s with standard use, not constant. A lot of medical computer systems use solid state drives that, on average, last several years longer than older hard drive technology. Why? Fewer moving parts and less dust. Typically in a sealed plastic enclosure, solid state drives in embedded PCs alleviate a hardware component’s greatest threat—dust—and don’t use moving parts to read data. Solid state drives are put to the test from manufacturing plants via rigorous read/write tests and hold up against older technology. That’s why it’s crucial to select the best components to ensure the longevity of life for a medical panel PC and to protect patient data. Plus, medical computer systems often use solid state drives in pairs for redundancy and backup, ensuring nothing is lost when a hard drive failure occurs. Use of paired solid state drives combat three problems in one—spreading of airborne illnesses and dust, better longevity because of no moving parts, and patient information backup with a second drive.

Heat in a Medical Computer System is a Terrible Component Killer

Since EMR systems receive constant software updates, it’s important to get powerful hardware (intel i7s) and strong video capability to run and view the demanding software. However, pulling a consumer-grade PC off the shelf to run as a mobile EMR system won’t operate well. Let’s say a new computer runs an intel Coffee Lake i7 8700k with 32 gigabytes of RAM and an NVIDIA GTX 1090. Great! This system is capable of running the latest software at blazing speeds. However, what’s not addressed is the power of the CPU and components. The CPU on a consumer-grade processor pulls more power, which means more heat. Without a way to dissipate heat, the processor and surrounding components can easily overheat and melt. Fans are necessary for running components at high wattage, but they are also thought of as points of failure. If a fan fails, the computer in question fails—that’s it. That’s specifically why many healthcare facilities choose to deploy fanless medical computers  which run components at much lower power ratings, usually 35 watts for the processor alone. Less power means less heat, which means higher longevity and no fans. No fans mean no dust, which means even higher longevity for computer components and less risk for patient health.

A Medical Computer System Uses Higher-Grade Components

The MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) is considered a defining standard for hardware reliability with two “branching” standards—the Department of Defense standard and the Bellcore/Telcordia Predictive Method, the former of the two being more recognized. Consumer-grade computers by some reports have a 2-year MTBF, and it’s likely that the lifespan of such a computer may be cut short if used in a demanding environment like a hospital. If a computer needs to operate 24/7, it’s far too demanding for a consumer-grade computer to handle. Constant heat, ceaseless running fans, and excessive power draw (adding expenses to an already skyrocketing energy bill for a hospital) will guarantee a shorter lifespan than a medical computer system which is built for 24/7 operation. This lower MTBF is also on a component-based level; consumer PC manufacturers don’t use high grade discrete components (diodes, resistors, transistors, etc.) that meet the reliability standard found in medical computer systems. The lifespans for medical computer systems on the market today span typically 3-5 years.

Heat, dust, power, lower-grade components with moving parts, and other factors clearly all point to less reliability and lower longevity when using a consumer grade computer as a medical computer system. Dust is a huge internal component hazard, so it’s best to have a sealed system that doesn’t ingest it. Heat is another gigantic factor in system longevity, so keeping components operating at lower wattage ratings will increase their longevity—also removing the need for fans. Medical computers with higher-quality, military-grade components will always outlast consumer-grade computers on average, ensuring medical professionals can get the job done while avoiding computer hazards to the patient.

What You Need to Look for in the Medical Cart You Purchase

SV42-42221[1]You’d be hard pressed to find a medical facility that doesn’t employ an extensive use of medical carts. When they were initially designed, medical carts were immediately recognized by healthcare administrators as a tool that could profoundly affect the management of the personnel workflow and record keeping practices. Now, medical carts have grown to be one the most used instruments in every reputable healthcare facility and hospital.

There are a number of things about medical carts that make them indispensable to the hospital environment:

  1. Medical carts allow hospital staff to document a patient’s medical history and other information from each patient’s bedside immediately after admission.
  2. Built-in barcode readers in medical carts allow hospital staff to dispense medication quickly without committing errors in oversight.
  3. The increased amount of efficiency improves overall safety levels and patient care practices in a healthcare facility.

Given the important role that these tools play, it becomes important for you to become aware of the features that a medical cart needs to possess. Let’s go through a few key characteristics that you should look for when you begin to purchase medical carts for your facility.

Ergonomics
The overall build quality and design of a medical cart must be scrutinized before you make a final purchasing decision. A single cart is bound to be used by different people over the course of a day. Given the fact that hospital staff members possess varying heights, you should purchase a cart that possesses height adjustment options. Look for carts that offer tilting keyboards as well. Optimal ergonomics will ensure that each hospital staff member gets to utilize the medical cart with a great deal of ease.

Reliable Power Source
Given the level of emergency that is present in a healthcare environment, you cannot afford to have a tool that fails in the middle of a crisis. Take a close look at the power source of the medical cart you’re interested in purchasing and make sure that it possesses enough power to operate computer equipment for a protracted duration of time. Versatile AC DC recharging options and automatic low power indicators are always features that you want the cart that you purchase to have.

Security Features
The considerable amount of foot traffic that hospitals deal with on a daily basis could lead to incidents of theft. Medical carts are usually used in conjunction with computing equipment like tablets and laptops turning them into ideal targets for thieves. Losing the equipment will be costly from a financial perspective and compromising for patients as well given the fact that confidential records related to medical cases are stored in these devices. You need to make sure that the cart that you buy has security measures in place that prevent the equipment from being stolen. If your medical cart houses a CPU, ensure that it is locked in place by security fasteners.

The Cybernet Advantage
Cybernet is the market leader in medical carts designed for EMR computing on the go. Our medical carts combine compact, light-weight design with unparalleled ergonomics, offering the ultimate in portability and ruggedness. To learn about Cybernet’s diverse range of medical and healthcare carts, visit us as at www.cybernet.us

How to Select the Right Medical Cart for Your Facility

SV31lcd-nurse_webMedical carts are the most frequently used equipment in hospitals and healthcare units. When purchasing medical carts for your facility, there are a number of things you’ll want to consider to ensure that the purchase is suitable for your medical staff, as well as patients.

Ergonomics
Clunky designs lead to awkward postures for both patients and staff members, which can cause uncomfortable, twisted, hyper-extended and flexed body positions. Look for carts that fit well into the workflow of your facility, and are free from ergonomics and design flaws. Functionality, usability, and ergonomics are equally important.

Mobility
One of the biggest challenges for medical clinics, healthcare centers, and hospitals is transporting medical supplies and sensitive equipment from one place to another. A mobile medical cart is a simple solution. From cardiac emergencies to remote anesthesia administration, carts designed with portability in mind provide medical personnel with the required tools and equipment necessary to respond to emergencies effectively.

Provisions for Adding Medical Computers
From routine check-ups to emergency heart procedures, it’s no secret that healthcare facilities are heavily dependent on medical grade computers. This dependence is only going to increase as technology advances. When purchasing the next generation of medical carts for your healthcare facility, ensure that they are designed with the flexibility to have medical computers mounted on them.

Rechargeable Batteries
Medical carts fitted with rechargeable batteries are ideal for use in demanding field operations and rescue situations. If your plan is to deploy your carts in both in-house and on-field medical settings, make sure the model you select comes fitted with rechargeable batteries so your staff members will have an uninterrupted power supply. After all, an hour of backup power might just be the key difference between precious human lives being saved or lost.

CareLink-cartPeripherals and Accessories
Most medical carts are accessorized with bins and shelves. Double check that the medical cart you purchase supports add-ons like document holders, keyboard light covers, and other items staff members regularly use.

Conformity to Medical Standards
Medical grade devices are expected to conform to certain operational and safety standards. Medical carts are no exception. For the deployment in near-patient and critical care settings, it is important that the medical cart you select conforms to international performance standards.

The Cybernet Advantage
Cybernet is the market leader in medical carts designed for EMR computing on the go. Our medical carts combine compact, light-weight design with unparalleled ergonomics, offering the ultimate in portability and ruggedness. To learn about Cybernet’s diverse range of medical and healthcare carts, visit us as at www.cybernet.us

Cybernet Fuels the Medical Computer Touch Screen Revolution

Why a number of health facilities chose a Cybernet solution

n2211111Obtaining and using computer equipment has always been a challenge for health care facilities, such as hospitals, laboratories and clinics. First, there’s the issue of limited space. These facilities simply do not have room for large and bulky monitors, tower computers and a dozen cables necessary to keep the computer running. Hygiene is another concern. Computers that are being used communally are prone to germs and can spread infections. Since computers also use fans to prevent overheating, dust, allergens and other impurities can also spread in the air.

Cybernet medical grade computers are a class apart from the competition and have single-handedly fueled the all-touch medical revolution. Read on to learn why a growing number of health facilities are opting for Cybernet solutions.

Complete EHR Solutions

Electronic health records (EHR) are no longer an option, but are now a must for every health facility. Paper-based medical records are not only space-consuming, but they are also difficult to organize. This is why medical service providers like Hacienda HealthCare wish to convert their paper records to EHR. Needless to say, this can be a major project that can take months or years to complete. Medical facilities typically need to go to separate vendors for their software and hardware needs, medical carts, wall mounts and other essentials.

Cybernet offers a complete host of EHR solutions—from all-in-one PCs to medical carts— making it unnecessary to approach several vendors for your different needs. Aside from a complete range of solutions, Cybernet also has a demo program that allows the hospital staff to test out the EHR system firsthand.

Functionality and Reliability Within a Budget

Computer equipment has become crucial to hospitals and other health facilities. A system that tends to lag or run slow can obviously affect the operations within the facility and put patients at risk. Thanks to Cybernet’s expertise, hospitals like the Millinocket Regional Hospital are able to deploy reliable devices that are able to provide staff the functionality the need. For instance, the touch screen technology makes navigation easier and faster and the large screen provides a better viewing experience. The powerful processors that Cybernet products are equipped with also ensure that devices do not bog down. Wireless capabilities also mean you don’t have to deal with clutter. Of course, these benefits are useless if the facilities are unable to afford them. This is why Cybernet aims to work within the budget of every client.

Less Clutter and More Space

As already mentioned, space is an important concern when it comes to health care facility computer equipment. Unfortunately, not only do regular desktop PCs consume a lot of space, but they also come with plenty of clutter due to the cables and wires. A Cybernet medical computer, for instance, is basically a touchscreen lightweight tablet that you can carry around by hand or attach to medical carts. Another Cybernet product, keyboard PC, only needs to be attached to a computer monitor. There is no need for a computer tower because everything is housed in the compact keyboard. To maximize workspace, Cybernet products can even be mounted on walls, and used with wireless accessories like a wireless keyboard and mouse.

Antimicrobial and Fanless Design

Germs are certainly an important concern in medical and health facilities. Cybernet understands that their medical computers should be designed in such a way that they are ideal for hygienic environments. This is why Cybernet medical computers boast antimicrobial coating. The fanless design also prevents germs and other airborne impurities from spreading.