Tag Archives: medical computer

How Inefficient Communication Hampers Healthcare Quality… and What To Do About It

In the health care setting, success requires coordination and efficient communication across multiple disciplines and specialties. Issues can occur at any stage of communication  – in the management of urgent issues, or in situations when multiple members of the care team contribute to treating a patient. The value of efficient communication in healthcare can not be underestimated – it is critical in delivering patient care, especially under the Accountable Care Act.

Poor or inefficient communication contributes to the rising costs of care. A 2010 study estimated that communication inefficiencies among care providers cost the taxpayers $12 billion per year. A 2014 Ponemon study of the economic impact of inefficient communication in healthcare estimates that number to be $11 billion per year.

Roadblocks

What are the main roadblocks that prevent organizations from addressing the communication challenges effectively? We can categorize these roadblocks as people-, organization- and IT-related.

People:

  • The way medical teams and the workflow are organized does not foster close coordination. The teams often consist of transient members providing care to numerous patients on a number of teams. The transient nature of teams hampers inter-professional relationships, camaraderie and, thus, communication.
  • A patient can go through multiple clinicians in one day. It increases the likelihood of errors, and omission of key information, which makes it difficult to align care activities and forge an overall care plan so that each clinician understands it.
  • The overwhelming workload hampers innovation. For example, EHR notifications alone take at least one hour a day from the primary care doctors’ workday. On average, doctors have to process 77 EHR notifications a day, which makes their work harder to endure because that time is not compensated in an environment of reduced reimbursements for office-based care.

Organization:

  • Organizations mostly focus on order entry, EHR, and documentation rather than efficient communication.
  • Compliance needs outweigh efficiency needs.
  • The implementation of systems that help measure performance is difficult and costly, given the complexity of the workflow.
  • Organizations often struggle to ensure shared commitment from all stakeholders to enhance communication.
  • Insufficient awareness of the decision-makers about the affordable IT solutions that solve many of the current and future communication issues.

IT:

  • Increasingly complex processes are managed with outdated technology.
  • Many IT systems work in silos, which hampers interoperability, communication, and coordination.
  • Many IT solutions lack usability, and are difficult and time-consuming to use.
  • Compatibility of new IT solutions with the legacy systems, or the lack of thereof.
  • Management of a large fleet of different devices, BYOD, and stemming security and compliance concerns.
  • Budget constraints, lack of IT staff.

Economic Impact

The Ponemon survey respondents agree that significant time goes to waste at each stage of care. The estimated economic impact of those inefficiencies amounts to $1.75 million per hospital/year, and more than $11 billion per industry a year.

  • Admitting one patient on averages takes about 51 minutes, 33 minutes of which (65%) is wasted due to communication inefficiencies. The report estimates each U.S. hospital loses about $728,000 annually due to patient admission-related communication issues.
  • Coordinating an emergency response team takes on average 93 minutes, 40 minutes of which (43%) goes to waste, accounting for more than $265,000 loss per hospital annually.
  • Transferring a patient to another healthcare facility takes about 56 minutes, 35 minutes of which (63%) is wasted, amounting to $754,000 per hospital per year.

Among the main factors hampering communication are:

  • Inefficient, outdated technology.
  • Text messaging is not allowed.
  • Wi-Fi is either not available or not allowed.
  • E-mail is inefficient.

The lack of immediate, live connectivity between team members working on the same patient/assignment/team is the problem that hampers the communication in healthcare in the first place. The availability of compliant, secure technology is another problem.

Solution

Assuming that healthcare organizations do not have sufficient funds to implement complex and risky IT innovations, the solution must provide the highest impact at the lowest cost possible. It also must be scalable, sustainable and cost-efficient in the long term perspective. Medical grade all-in-one computers and medical grade tablets possess the necessary features.

Mobility: Telehealth and mobile technology are pushing the innovation in healthcare. When your teams are empowered with medical tablets that ensure live connectivity on the go, the total time spent per patient decreases significantly. The Houston Fire Department launched a program ETHAN that has outstanding results in improving communication via video conferences, instant messaging and mobile access to EHR. We strongly suggest that you read our coverage of the HIMSS17 session featuring the ETHAN project.

EHR support: it is mission-critical that the computers and mobile devices used in hospitals are EHR-enabled. This way, physicians can update the data on the go instead of spending 2-3 hours of uncompensated time each day to catch up with the electronic “paperwork.” EHR support requires robust hardware found in medical grade tablets and medical computers, but not in consumer grade electronics.

Compatibility with legacy systems: Your IT solutions must interface easily with your legacy systems, future-proofing your new acquisition for your interoperability strategy. RS ports, HDMI, mini and standard USB, and ample capability to run the hardware with minimum wires possible – only medical grade all-in-one computers allow such flexibility.

Advanced connectivity: 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, support for any GSM or CDMA operator of your choice – look for no less than a medical tablet or medical grade computer that ships with all these connectivity options. Only that way you can ensure the communication in your organization is ongoing and efficient through secure and compliant devices.

Full-shift uptime and energy efficiency: your medical computers and medical grade tablets must be Energy Star certified. To ensure full-shift uptime, your mobile solutions must come with powerful batteries and an option of hot-swapping them for a set of spare batteries so that your teams are continuously connected. Check out our infographic on hot swappable batteries in medical PCs.

Security: RFID Imprivata Single Sign-On, biometric reader/fingerprint scanner, CAC Smart Card reader, or Kensington lock, coupled with full disk encryption, and Windows authentication ensure your medical staff does not waste time on logins. Security must be user-friendly, and medical computers or medical grade tablets that integrate these peripherals in their build make security simple to implement and use, and compliant with HIPAA.

Safety: sustainable and cost-efficient IT solutions address multiple issues at once. So, your mobile or all-in-one PC solutions must come with an antimicrobial coating. To prevent the spread of nosocomial infections, make sure you opt for builds with sealed bezels and sturdy casing that withstands disinfection with chemical solutions.

IT management, administration: to ensure hassle-free administration, updates, maintenance and troubleshooting, your medical computers and tablets must be Windows or Linux-based for ample remote management options.

Ease of use: to alleviate technology fatigue, look for solutions that make usability one of their focal concepts. Windows-based medical tablets and all-in-one PCs provide the familiarity of interfaces and ample compatibility with productivity software used by your employees.

Device consolidation: this point is critical as it helps organizations invest less but gain more. When the same medical computer or medical grade tablet is used by doctors, nurses and patients at the bedside, organizations have fewer devices to buy, manage, and maintain: EHR for the doctors, drug dispensing for the nurse, infotainment for the patients combined with instant chat options or video calls. That way, patients stay connected with the medical staff, know who their clinician is, what their care plan is, and can learn the detailed information about their condition with the help of the educational apps and slides. Likewise, clinicians and nurses have an instant access to the patient’s ePHI from a secure device and can update the EHR data on the go, or communicate with team members.

When physicians use one device, such as medical tablet, instead of a wealth of devices (desktop PC, medical cart mounted laptop, pager, personal smartphone – all with disparate operating systems and app suites) it effectively minimizes the IT and notification fatigue, reducing physician burnout.

Cybernet takes all these factors into account when designing our medical grade tablets and computers so that our solutions not only boost the communication and coordination but are cost-efficient and durable.

Integrating Computers That Serve Dual Purposes Into The Medical Space

Health IT is improving patient health, data collection and safety, care quality and efficiency, but most importantly it is helping providers restrain rising costs. Through the implementation of technology that serves dual, or often times multiple, purposes, healthcare providers are introducing new IT solutions and cutting unnecessary spending. With the advent of specialized, medical grade computers, hospitals are finding ways to address both the doctors and nurses’ efficiency and productivity issues and patient satisfaction, which is directly tied into the provider’s rewards under the Affordable Care Act.

Hospitals recognize the value of a dual purpose computer integrated into the hospital rooms. Health IT, according to a RAND research, could account for $77 billion efficiency savings per year, when implemented fully.

Doctors and Nurses

Medical computers at the patient bedside are used by doctors, nurses and patients alike, and provide an unprecedented level of connectivity and efficiency to all.

EHR implementation is urged by the government, and providers adopting it seek ways to make their EHR systems mobile and accessible in real time. When doctors are able to submit the details of admission and all episodes of care at the patient bedside, no details are left behind or forgotten.

Fully-functional EHRs supply care providers with patient data, enable physicians to enter patient care orders and help make evidence-based clinical decisions. With a medical computer running an EHR system installed in near-patient environments, doctors and nurses no longer have to rush back to the office to enter the details of care, or seek a shared computer in the hallway. The immediate availability of EHR helps medical professionals reduce duplicate entries and test orders.

Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and HELP systems enable physicians to order laboratory tests and prescription drugs digitally, without leaving a patient room. CPOE eliminates errors associated with handwritten prescriptions that are often illegible. The system checks prescription orders for accuracy and flags any that appear inadequate, effectively reducing preventable medication errors by 55%, according to a study.

HIT, EMR, image viewing, intranet communication and physician-provider order system – useful bedside applications are numerous. They store and transfers patient information, give timely recommendations on clinical problems, alleviate staff’s workload and reduce errors.

Patient Infotainment

Infotainment systems now have hospitals’ full attention since the Affordable Care Act makes their budgets dependent on patient satisfaction. Affordable and easy-to-deploy infotainment systems integrated into the existing hospital infrastructure without compromising hospitals’ legacy equipment make their way to patient rooms. They bridge the IoT devices, vitals monitoring systems, communication and doctors’ back-end programs.

Infotainment terminals enable patients to access entertainment and productivity apps and maintain a certain degree of productivity even during their hospital stay. Communication is vital in patient satisfaction. Not only can patients keep in touch with their family, but first and foremost they can reach the nurses and doctors in real time. This often allows nurses to provide necessary recommendations and help without having to be physically present in the room. Patients benefit from such interactions by maintaining a high level of independence, self-sufficiency, and improved awareness through timely communication with their caregivers.

Self-service attributes to patient satisfaction when patients can order meals after consulting the physician’s dietary recommendations, access online shopping, or control connected curtains, beds, and lighting.

Providers reduce preventable readmissions with the help of educational videos and slide shows that explain the necessary details a patient should be aware of after discharge. Such easily accessible, personalized educational videos and interactive programs help patients understand their conditions and alarming symptoms. Patients can revisit the information, conduct online research, and ask their physicians timely questions on side effects, allergies, etc.

Combined, these capabilities create an all-new patient experience, with an aware and engaged patient sure to give their hospital stay a high rating.

Integration

For the bedside computers to deliver their promise and serve multiple purposes, several obstacles must be overcome.

Interoperability. First, the computers must be able to speak the legacy language and be compatible with the older equipment. Many systems must be linked at the bedside to serve the doctors, so the support for legacy equipment is critical.

Connectivity. Health information exchange (HIE) allows the healthcare providers exchange clinical information across a region, community or country. Besides the HIEs, connectivity is also the wired and wireless connection options. In a perfect scenario, a medical computer installed at bedside should contain as little wiring as possible, to ensure safety and protection from electrical hazards. From this perspective, computers that come with Power-over-Ethernet capability are ergonomic and cost-effective solutions.

Hardware. Computers that serve a dual purpose at patient bedside must be powerful enough to run the resource-hungry EHR programs, yet easy-to-use for the patients. Hence, such technology calls for high-quality components, long product lifecycle, low maintenance costs and low fail rate to prove their value to healthcare facilities that can not afford to replace computers too often.

Safety. Safety certifications such as ingress protection, CDC guidelines and other must be in place for a multipurpose computer installed at the patient bedside. Moreover, with the hospital acquired infections being a serious liability and readmission risk, computers must be easy to disinfect, or better yet, antimicrobial. Plastic casing and touchscreen in regular touch devices are infested with pathogens. Consumer grade touchscreens can not withstand proper disinfection, so an antimicrobial coating on touch screens and a sturdy casing that withstands disinfection with chemical solutions are a must for bedside terminals.

Security. Since dual-purpose computers are used by multiple users, the adequate data protection is necessary. Patients are becoming increasingly cautious about data privacy while doctors and nurses can’t spend too much time on complex password-reliant authorization procedures every time they need to access patient records from a bedside computer. Yet, a data breach is a serious liability under HIPAA. Therefore, medical computers must provide solid data protection mechanisms – encryption, secure user authentication with biometric readers, RFID readers, or Smart Card readers, access restriction to sensitive data, remote location and disk wiping in case of a theft. Such stringent data protection requirements call for the integration of the advanced authentication mechanisms into the build of the computer (integrated smart card or RFID reader and biometric reader).

Such computers can not be consumer versions of mobile devices running Android or iOS. Only Windows or Linux are capable of providing the complete compatibility with the security software and remote access solutions used in healthcare. Patients must feel assured that their records are accessed only by the personnel with a legitimate need to know.

Cost. The affordability of dual-purpose health IT systems is often a deal breaker, where the cost of ownership, maintenance, and fail rate must meet the industry expectations. Medical equipment is more durable than consumer electronics. Therefore, medical computers must be at par with the other equipment to provide the durability and 24/7 uptime for years to come.

When the above requirements are met, integration of dual-purpose All-in-One computers in hospital rooms is cost-effective, while its benefits are generous. Cybernet tracks the vital needs of the healthcare industry in real time, so we build our medical computers aiming to exceed our clients’ expectations.

How Hackers Can Infiltrate Networked Medical Devices

Until fairly recently the medical community was not aware of the fact that there are hackers out there who have the ability to infiltrate a hospital’s medical devices and exploit the data contained in them for profit or for other purposes. Even though these devices tend to be protected using a firewall, they are still highly vulnerable to potential hacker attacks.

What’s more, the number of devices used in hospitals has been growing for decades. Roughly 20 years ago, there was just one medical device for a single patient, on average. Today, there are approximately 10 to 15 devices per bed. In total, in the United States alone, the estimates total number of such devices is between 10 and 15 million. When a hacker is capable of infiltrating one such a device or hospital, that person has the ability to do the same with other hospitals, too, as they often use the same type of equipment.

So the first thing to ask is: what kind of data could be stolen?

The computers at hospitals often store personal information about the patients, including their Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, relationships within the family, and emergency contact information.  This data can easily be used for blackmailing. On top of that, many hackers do not hesitate to assume the identity of the person whose data has been stolen, thereby engaging in insurance fraud and other types of fraudulent behavior. It’s also not uncommon for hospital PCs to also contain credit card information of the patients. This information has value to the hacker, as it can be used to make purchases online and in certain cases, is re-sold.

Devices That May Be Targeted

The list of devices certainly does not end with computers, however. There are also ventilators, CT and MRI scanners, infusion pumps and other types of medical equipment that can be accessed externally and controlled from a far distance.  This is because most, if not all of these devices, are connected to the Internet. They also tend to be inter-connected so once one of them is infiltrated, the others are usually affected as well.

Consider an infusion pump as an example. These can be found in virtually every hospital room, attached to a stand right next to the patient’s bed. What’s scary is that these pumps are usually controllable from a distant location. A capable hacker could find a way to push these buttons without a remote control and pour an overdose of a drug into the patient’s body, which could prove to be fatal. Even a slightly higher dose can be lethal in some cases.

Hackers use various tactics to get into the system. They can take advantage of email phishing and send deceptive emails to the staff of the hospital, making them believe the email is coming from an acquaintance, a colleague, or a friend. These emails often contain malware, which once installed, gives a hacker to the device. In many cases, once one device is infected with malware, a hacker can then infect other devices as well, thus gaining full control of the networked medical device system.

How to Protect Yourself

Fortunately, since there have been many attacks on hospitals in the past, hospitals can now learn from how these events took place in order to be able to anticipate such an attack and take measures to prevent it from happening. It is advisable to use up-to-date antivirus software on the computers used within the hospital and perform regular scans to decrease the likeliness of having some sort of malware on the computers. Often times, the malware is kept hidden from you and, just like viruses that attack living cells, may remain dormant for many months until a hacker realizes your computer is infected and exploits it.

If a member of the hospital staff finds out one of the devices is under a cyberattack, one thing to consider is to disconnect all of the devices from the internet. As the saying goes, anything that is connected to the internet can be hacked in one way or another. Until recently, medical devices, such as infusion pumps, were not online and so hospitals still need to get accustomed to the idea that their equipment could be attacked. Many of them simply do not consider this to be an option due to a lack of imagination. They do not see why a hacker would be motivated to choose a hospital as the target. However, there is a motivation behind such actions, as the hacker is trying to get the patients’ bank account information and other pieces of highly confidential data. Therefore, it is a bad idea to under-estimate this menace.

One thing a hospital can do to be prepared is to use medical devices created with security as the primary goal. A tablet with an added layer of ID verification can be the way to go. Such a tablet may include a fingerprint reader, so that only authorized personnel may access the data on the tablet. Furthermore, it can feature a smart card reader to allow only people with the card to access the device.

Conclusion

Cybersecurity in hospitals is a growing concern not only in health care but in defense and other areas, too. As an example, a metallurgical furnace located in Germany was cyberattacked and the iron contained in the furnace was cooled and solidified in the process. The incentive for hackers is mostly financial, but sometimes they pick an institution just because they want to do harm, just like in the case of the furnace. The most effective ways to tackle this problem and prevent security breaches within your organization are to:

  • Use modern, secured devices
  • Continuously stress the importance of security to your employees

How to Develop a Workflow for New Medical Technology

When your healthcare setting is used to working in its old ways, it can be a daunting experience trying to plan out a new addition to the workflow. New technological advances and improvements have brought out new medical equipment that can help save you space, time and money; and, most importantly, improve care practices.

Adding a new medical computer or tablet to your system doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re considering implementing a piece of medical technology, there are ways you can put together a workflow to accommodate it.

The key to whether it is successful, or not, is pre-planning and mapping out the specific role the new device will have in terms of day to day activities. Since the device will be attached to a cart, the flexibility it offers is vast, providing more opportunities to ensure accurate and efficient patient care.

Learn How to Use It

The most important step is to learn how to use the new tablet or computer on the medical cart. You should plan a staff meeting or workshop prior to implementing it. Have all personnel that will be using it attend this meeting. Discuss the way the equipment will impact the day-to-day activities and provide educational instructions on proper usage.

Windows Tablet – These are small and portable. They may have additional functions like scanning barcodes on wristbands or prescriptions. It may come with a stylus pen that could take getting used to. You may even want to use a front or rear-facing camera. Tablets are used on the go and may require practice for those that have never used them before. When mounted to a cart they offer ultimate flexibility and versatility for a medical practice.

All-in-One PC + Medical Cart – These are used as medication carts, part of a nurse’s station or for administration to get information, like health insurance, from the patient. These carts allow the computer and keyboard to attach and move around with ease. If your healthcare setting has never used a medical cart before, this would be one to bring up and introduce as a new addition.

Once staff members are comfortable with the new addition, it is crucial to explain the role it will play in day-to-day activities.

The Role of the Device

The most important question to ask is how the new computer will be used. Implement a strategy of how the new device will impact each activity by each staff member. For example:

  • Check-in: Use device for registering patient, verifying information, alerting nurse/doctor of arrival.
  • Triage: Update specific issue or reason for the visit. Alert doctor to the patient’s presence.
  • Consultation: Doctor can use device for ordering tests or labs, prescribing medication, taking notes of the evaluation of the patient.
  • Follow-Up: Select options for front desk staff to know if new appointment is needed, what patient needs to pay and any other pertinent information.

The modern devices provide the custom setup necessary for all types of medical devices. This allows medical practices to have the devices pre-loaded and ready to go for their specific practice.

Ease It into the Workflow

After educating staff on the new piece of medical equipment it is essential to introduce its purpose and benefit to every department or staffer. It is crucial to make sure each person knows the role of the tablet or computer in their specific position. This will make the transition of not using the machine, to using it, worry and trouble free.

Administration – A medical computer in administrative and financial settings provides accounting systems like patient billing, payroll and materials management. These are typically located on desks in the office. Administration will need to back up data and ensure that no important information is lost during the transition.

Healthcare Professionals – A medical computer, cart or tablet may be introduced to a healthcare professional. Nurses who have never used a tablet before may need to learn how to use one for the first time. Nurses are very busy and you will want to make sure there’s a good plan set up before tweaking their routines. Same goes with physicians. If they are used to writing with pen on paper, a tablet with a stylus pen could be quite a change. They may be older and uneducated in computer technology. Even those who grew up when computers were coming out may have trouble learning how these new systems work.

Summary

Learning how to implement the new computer or tablet for a medical practice can take time, but when a plan is in place, it will minimize the confusion or issues that result. There are far too many medical practices attempting to introduce new technology, such as the tablet or computer cart without letting staffers know its purpose and how it will impact efficiency, patient care and productivity. Making a specific plan for workflow integration will make the entire process seamless and provide a significant ROI for the new technology.

 

How Medical Computers Are Revolutionizing the Healthcare Industry

Medical computers manage patients’ information and allow functions like writing & tracking prescriptions, managing patient billing and tracking all aspects of a patient’s medical care.  Medical computers are improving the lives of many, and in this article we discuss in depth how they are revolutionizing the healthcare industry.

Save Space, Time and Money

Before medical computers and information technology, all files were kept on paper and filed in folders. This old way of storing information resulted in disorganization as well as duplication of efforts among physicians and even problems with mixing medications. With medical computers, medical staff in administration departments can quickly and easily access information for many purposes. So much information and usage is simplified by this technology, eliminating the need for additional support and by allowing more work to be done by fewer people.

A medical computer in administrative and financial settings of healthcare facilities provides accounting systems, such as patient billing, personnel and payroll, and materials management. Administration can easily keep track of the payroll system and other financial accounts.

Computers have a large capacity of memory. Not only do doctors and employees need information about patients, but also information required to treat patients. Computers keep records of all this important information.

With so many patients and their information, records and files would occupy too much space. Computers allow people in the medical field to store information without using a lot of area. Medical history, family history, current health status, and more can be easily accessed and looked up within minutes.

Patients’ prescribed medications can also be stored in a computer system in a hospital. This makes it much easier to transfer any prescriptions and data that a patient needs to local hospitals or pharmacies. Past hospital visits and billing information can be stored and kept for further use or future hospital experience. For example, doctors track the medications they prescribe. They can use the computer to find out what medications the patient may be allergic to. Doctors can also quickly check which medications interfere with another. Important information is all in a compact form and quickly accessed.

Perform Better Care

Computers connect people in the medical field and permit them to share findings that may be useful. Extensive research has been done and it is important that medical professionals have easy access to this research so they are up-to-date on the latest and best care. Medical computers allow connection to all research and data available.

A medical computer provides easy ordering of drugs, lab tests, and procedures. It can also serve many other purposes, such as obtaining electronic health records. It is very important for healthcare providers to have access to patient records and past treatments in order to make accurate diagnoses. Doctors can quickly sign prescriptions and other important documents. The patient can go up to the pharmacy and the prescription is ready to go.

A medical computer can also provide diagnostic image archiving and lab results. A doctor can easily access photos from x-rays to make a swift and accurate diagnosis.  A medical computer is also very useful when it comes to prescription drug fulfillment, transcriptions, and alerts that help in error avoidance. Medical computers also help in the monitoring of patients in intensive care units. Providing immediate care in critical moments can make a difference between life and death.

There are now medical computers that have medical grade antimicrobial coating to minimize the spread of pathogens. Designs are coming that allow thorough cleaning to avoid contamination due to dust, dirt, blood and body fluids. Medical computers can be certified for near-patient use to ensure safety. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises healthcare facilities to use liquid cleaners to disinfect sensitive medical equipment. Companies have created special computers and tablets that can withstand the use of cleaning products, thus providing equipment that won’t fail and a healthier environment that abides by CDC guidelines.

Summary

Medical computers save a lot of space, time and money. The ability to access drug-related information and patients’ allergy information at the same time helps doctors and pharmacists to avoid prescribing and issuing medicine to patients that may cause them harm, thus saving costly healthcare expenditures in treating unwanted drug interactions. Instant availability on patient and drug, disease and treatment information results in fewer cases of misdiagnosis, quicker and safer drug prescriptions and a reduction in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Medical computers help the healthcare professionals to perform better care, enabling them to share data and streamline processes. Digital charts are displayed with up-to-date patient information in real time, complete with decision-support tools. Doctors can quickly look up patients’ medical history and access the most up-to-date research, making the most accurate diagnosis possible. The valuable tools of a medical computer make all these processes much more effective, thus revolutionizing the healthcare industry in many spectrums.

Best Hospital Settings for a Medical Computer

The importance of using medical computers stems back to when former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt, noted the importance of effective information technology in hospitals. Levitt, who served in the Bush administration, said it is “necessary to improve healthcare quality”. Information technology in hospitals includes electronic prescribing, electronic medical records, and other systems that help coordinate patient care between healthcare providers.

The need for better integration in these electronic services has resulted in the development of better equipment, such as the medical computer. The proponents of health information are vitally stored in this piece of equipment and have many different uses, depending on the settings. Some of these settings are better than others, and in this article, we go over the best hospital settings for a medical computer.

Clinical

A medical computer in clinical settings of a hospital provides order entry for drugs, lab tests, and procedures. This is helpful for medical secretaries to key in tests ordered by doctors. It can also serve many other purposes, such as obtaining electronic health records. It is very important for healthcare providers to have access to patient records and past treatments in order to make accurate diagnoses.

A medical computer can also provide diagnostic image archiving and lab results. A doctor can easily access photos from x-rays to find the source of problems.  A medical computer is also very useful when it comes to prescription drug fulfillment, transcriptions, and error alerts. The clinical setting in a hospital is also the best for a medical computer because it allows monitoring of patients in intensive care units. Ensuring safety and the best care is vital to a hospital setting and should always be priority.

Administrative and Financial

A medical computer in administrative and financial settings of a hospital provides accounting systems, such as patient billing, personnel and payroll, and materials management. Administrative Assistants and HR personnel can easily keep track of payments for hospital bills. It is also used in a hospital payroll system and other financial accounts. Inventory control and accurate ordering is also an important aspect in the administrative setting of a hospital.

Before medical computers and information technology, all files were kept in physical folders and on paper. Losing important papers, disorganization, and forgetting vital information were all issues that came about the old way. With medical computers, hospital staff in the administration departments can quickly and easily access information for financial purposes.

Infrastructure

A medical computer in infrastructure settings of a hospital provides servers and wireless network routers to make accessing information easy. There are also voice recognition systems for transcription, physician orders, and medical records. Barcoding for drugs can also be done with a medical computer.

Medical device inventory control is another improvement with information technology, making it a quick process for healthcare professionals to provide what the patient needs. The most valuable part of the infrastructure setting of a hospital is the information security system. Keeping all of the above information safe and secure can all be done by the use of a medical computer.

Summary

A medical computer enables physicians, nurses and other authorized users to share data and streamline processes in clinical settings. An online “digital chart” displays up-to-date patient information in real time, complete with decision-support tools for physicians and nurses. Easy prompts allow swift and accurate ordering, documentation, and billing in administrative and financial settings. And the infrastructure settings of a hospital benefit from wireless networking, barcoding for drugs, and providing easy and safe access through information technology.

Clinical, administrative, and infrastructure settings are the best for medical computer usage in hospitals. A medical computer provides valuable tools to ensure these departments, and their processes, run more smoothly and effectively.

How Medical Grade Computers Improve the Standard of Care in the Medical Profession

The face of the healthcare industry has changed drastically in the past decade. Now, the use of devices like medical grade computers in patient rooms, emergency rooms, and operating rooms have allowed healthcare service providers and administrators to respond to each patient’s case in a more immediate and efficient manner. Over time, hospital IT administrators have adopted the use of medical grade computers as the standard of care for medical facilities. While the choice to adopt these devices as the standard in the healthcare industry has increased, not everyone has made the decision to switch to the use of medical grade computers. There are a number of reasons why medical grade computers should be the standard within the clinical setting. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Medical Certification

An important reason why medical grade computers need to be adopted for widespread use in the clinical setting is to meet the exacting demands of medical certification standards. Before a device can be used within the healthcare environment, they need to be able to meet if not exceed the standards that have been established to protect patients and healthcare professionals who interact with electrical systems. Depending on the needs of your working environment, the medical computer that your administrators purchase should be able to adapt to the varying requirements. Before a purchase can be made, it is necessary for everyone involved to ensure that the device meets the medical certification standards of IEC 60601.

IEC 60601 sets standards that addresses the risks involved in using electrical medical devices to the patient and the healthcare professional. Medical devices should meet the 60601 standards so hospital administrators can properly address patient and healthcare worker safety when electronic medical equipment is being used.

In the industry, the term “Medical Grade Computer” is not defined and is often used loosely. It does not always mean 60601 certified so it is important to be sure that the medical device has been 60601 certified.

Touch Screen Interface

The touch screen interface provides medical professionals with a tactile mechanism to find and review important files and patient health records in a rapid manner. Medical grade computers possess an ease of use due to the responsive nature of its touch screen interface. Hospital administrators need to look for devices that allow the healthcare professional to interact with the touch screen while their hands are gloved. Look for devices that allow for multi-touch software applications as well. Medical grade computers come in a variety of screen sizes so depending on your preferences, you’re sure to find a device that responds to your specific set of requirements.

The Demands of a Sterile Environment

The demands of a sterile environment require the use of devices that can keep up with frequent washes and disinfection procedures. Medical grade computers come with an antimicrobial coating that prevent the spread of diseases from occurring and their ergonomic design ensures that there aren’t any spaces where germs could be left to grow and proliferate. Medical computers with waterproof features can easily withstand periodic exposure to moisture in environments like operating rooms.

Industrial Grade Components

The demanding nature of the healthcare environment means that the healthcare industry cannot afford the use of devices that could break down at any given moment. Some manufacturers now use industrial strength internal computer components. This ensures that the device operates with increased reliability over the course of a lengthy work period. Fanless devices are also a consideration when evaluating medical computers as they are more durable because of the lack of moving parts. Moving parts need to be replaced more often than static parts.

Ergonomic Design

The ergonomic design of medical grade computers makes them highly adaptable as far as installation is concerned. Depending on your needs, you can easily mount the medical computer on wall or arm mounts for easy accessibility. To address mobility needs, installing medical grade computers on medical carts is easier than ever. This quality of adaptability ensures that your installation needs are met when installing a medical grade computer.

The Cybernet Advantage

Cybernet manufactures medical grade computers that are found in a variety of working environments such as operating rooms, nursing stations, pharmaceutical laboratories, and patient facilities. Cybernet’s medical grade computers meet the stringent safety guidelines imposed by IEC 60601-1 for healthcare devices. This ensures that healthcare professional’s time and resources can be focused on elevating the quality of patient healthcare practices throughout the organization.

How Medical Grade Computers Can Stop the Spread of Germs in a Clinical Setting

The demands inherent in the hospital environment require healthcare professionals to use specialized tools like medical grade computers. The pervasive use of these devices has proven to be beneficial for the healthcare industry as a whole. Traditional administrative and surgical tasks within the healthcare industry now enjoy a heightened quality of efficiency that was previously absent before these electronic tools came into the picture. While the importance of these devices is unquestionable, healthcare administrators cannot afford to purchase a computer for professional use without taking a closer look at specific features. The main thing that medical professionals need to look for is a medical grade computer with features that can prevent the spread of germs within the professional setting.

The Consequences of Infection

The use of devices that do not possess features that are responsive to infection control could prove to be catastrophic for healthcare professionals. One of the biggest concerns that hospital administrators need to address is the potential of their patients to fall prey to hospital-acquired infections.  When left unchecked, patient contact with bacteria-infested hospital equipment increases the risk of patient infection. There have been reports in the past of at least 2 million incidents of hospital-acquired infections each year. The implications of this figure cause a ripple of panic for healthcare administrators who want to avoid legal action. Patients who have acquired infections due to a hospital stay can easily sue the hospital for damages. Pre-emptive infection control measures prevent healthcare professionals from sustaining punitive financial losses brought about by legal cases that patients can file.

Antimicrobial Features

Medical grade computers need to adhere to the demanding standards of a sterile environment. The best devices come with antimicrobial features that prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. When you look for medical computers and tablets, the first thing you should ask is whether the device in question has the required antimicrobial coating in place. Antimicrobial features really act as a preventive measure more than anything else. Given the fact that microbes thrive on surfaces like plastic, you cannot afford to purchase medical devices that do not have the necessary features that eradicate and contain the spread of bacteria.

Waterproof Features

Aside from the requisite antimicrobial properties, administrators also need to take a look at waterproof features for the equipment that they intend to purchase. An effective approach towards infection control requires hospital devices to have waterproof and antimicrobial features. The waterproof features that a medical computer is equipped with will allow hospital staff to take a more active approach when it comes to disinfecting the devices that are used in heavy rotation. Strict sanitary measures include periodic washes of the implements that are being used within the hospital setting, and electronic devices are not an exception to this rule. Waterproof computers readily respond to this requirement.

The Cybernet Advantage

The spread of germs and bacteria can be controlled when healthcare professionals use devices that possess antimicrobial and waterproof features. The chances of patients coming into contact with a medical tablet or computer are too considerable for administrators to take a careless approach when it comes to sterilizing electronic equipment. The technology that operates behind every Cybernet device makes them the superior choice for healthcare professionals who are intent on preserving both patient and clinical concerns.

What to Look For In an All-in-One Medical Computer

Medical computers lie at the heart of modern day healthcare facilities. From handling core administrative tasks including appointment setting, bill preparation, account verification and medical auditing to choreographing intricate medical operations such as in-lab diagnostic testing, patient vital monitoring, clinical imaging and medical surgeries – medical computers  are used everywhere.

So, in addition to core computing prowess, what else is it that IT professionals in hospitals and healthcare facilities should look for when procuring all-in-one, medical grade computers? Here’s a roundup of the top features to probe into while making a purchase:

Antimicrobial Coating

Global-antimicrobial-coatings-market-to-grow-by-2018Medical computers are meant to be deployed in near-patient environment. To maintain a certain acceptable level of ambient sterility in a medical setting, the deployed electronic devices including medical computers need to be fortified with antimicrobial coating. This feature preempts the spread of germs and bacteria, reducing the odds of contracting infectious diseases to a great extent. It is highly recommended that the all-in-one medical computers you purchase are reinforced with antibacterial coating – curbing germ spread is definitely worth it.

Fanless Design

Why_FanlessDoing away with the traditional fan-based cooling system in a medical computer eradicates dust particle circulation, by that keeping the sterility levels in a medical facility exceptionally high. This is particularly important for scenarios in which highest levels of cleanliness are to be guaranteed. Additionally, removing the fan-powered active cooling system leads to a significant reduction in electronic and auditory noise levels, ensuring a serene environment for the patient. Fanless design is the core feature to look for in medical computer systems when deployment in operation theaters, labor rooms, diagnostic laboratories, blood banks and other critical-care medical spaces is planned.

IP Ingress Marking

IP65-TESTED-LOGOThe durability and longevity of an electronic medical device are greatly dependent on the International Protection marking specification it conforms to. The IP certification results in a sufficient degree of protection against intrusion, dust, accidental contact and liquid spills, making it a highly desirable feature in medical computing systems. To ensure thorough device disinfection by standard liquid wiping, it is important that the medical computer you choose be IP65 certified. A related certification, IPX-1, takes care of accidental splashes and involuntary liquid spills. It is only logical that medical computers with IP marking be preferred when making a purchase decision.

Medical Device Safety Certification

med_logo_148102251_stdEN-60601 is the global device safety standard that applies to electronic medical equipment. Compliance with the EN-60601 standard protects the medical device in case of power surges, short circuits, and other electric power-related hiccups. For medical computers, compliance with a global safety standard such as EN-60101 ensures workplace safety – a must-have for a contemporary healthcare facility.

Internal Battery   

Status-battery-100-icon (1)To give extra mobility to the medics and caregivers during high-stake ER and OR environments, an internal lithium battery is added to the medical computer. Enabling uninterrupted operations for a few hours without the need of plugging into the mains, a battery equipped medical computer is ideal for mounting on a movable cart. It’s worth a double check that the all-in-one medical computer you purchase comes with an internal battery.

Medical computers crafted by Cybernet pack all of these amazing features blended with superior ergonomics and raw computing muscle. Cybernet’s medical computer system are built upon a unique interplay of mobility and power-efficiency delivering the very best in next-generation, sterile medical computing. Simplify your medical computer buying decision by learning more about Cybernet’s medical computers at www.cybernet.us.

How Medical Computers with CAC and MSR Can Help Avoid Costly Record Breaches

Smart_CardComputers form the backbone of modern day healthcare facilities. Had it not been for the consummate analytical supremacy and multitasking capability offered by computers, seamless execution of the otherwise complex underlying medical practices indispensable to holding the entire healthcare industry together would have been impossible.

The medical records are by far the most sensitive piece of information healthcare practitioners and hospitals are supposed to safeguard. Ironically, medical data breach incidents are increasing with every passing day. According to a recent report by US department of Health and Human Services, the cumulative impact of medical record security breaches from Sep 2009 to date involves personal data from around 19 million+ patients. That’s more than 6% of the total population of the US affected directly. Furthermore, the breaches have been reported across the entire healthcare landscape – from hospitals to diagnostic laboratories, encompassing almost all areas of medicine and healthcare.

Statistics depict that a staggering 22% of the breaching incidents have come into play owing to unauthorized access to the medical computer and associated information disclosure. Additionally, about 7% of the occurrences are an outcome of stolen passwords, Trojan horse attacks and related system exploitations that require access to the system. That adds up to a jaw-dropping 29% of the total compromises manifested as a product of a medical computer falling into the wrong hands, with no access control mechanism whatsoever on board the machine.

The statistics provide insights about the essential data security measures the medical industry is badly missing on – medical computers with secured access and secured login provisions. The best practice that eliminates the possibility of medical record breach is to deploy medical computers inherently designed to prevent information disclosure by restricting unauthorized access to the medical computers containing the valuable records.

Latest design innovation by Cybernet equips medical touch screen PC with CAC (Common Access Card) and MSR based authentication capabilities for curbing unapproved admittance to the sensitive medical records, thereby preventing compromise of data voluntarily or involuntarily.

Cybernet medical computers with secured access technology enable medical practitioners to secure for themselves peace of mind, enabling them to focus on what they do the best – curing patients and serving humanity. Read more about Cybernet’s game-changing medical computer products right here.