Computer monitors have become an integral part of our lives, not only at home and work, but in every facet of society today. You see them at the grocery store checkout line when the clerks scan your food, at the gas station pumps when you fill your tank, and even at parking kiosks to scan your ticket when you go out for the evening. We’re surrounded by screens and monitors, and that saturation extends into the medical field as well.
Hospitals and similar care providers use computers as a matter of course, and that means medical-grade monitors to provide display screens for PCs. They’re ubiquitous in most healthcare facilities — one to a bed in many cases, plus additional units in operating rooms, nurse’s stations, and the like — and with the advent of electronic medical records (EMR) and similar software, they’re becoming more important than ever. Modern facilities absolutely depend on them for relaying important information to healthcare providers and coordinating efforts throughout often complex organizations.
Yet medical facilities have different needs than commercial endeavors, and a simple out-of-the box monitor won’t be able to meet them properly. There are some distinct differences that medical LCD monitors offer that set them apart, and help ensure that a given hospital or similar facility operates at maximum efficiency.
Specific Imaging Needs for a Medical Environment
Imaging information is vital to medical care. Common procedures often require detailed imaging for things like X-rays and endoscopies, allowing doctors to make an accurate assessment of the patient’s condition and offer an informed diagnosis. A commercial-grade 4K monitor can usually provide such accuracy, but hospitals and medical facilities often require more than just sharp images, and a commercial monitor simply can’t account for such needs.
For instance, operating rooms have overhead lights that can create severe glare and limit a physicians’ ability to see the information they need on the screen. That can be devastating in circumstances where time is a factor or where hands might not be free to make the needed adjustments to the screen position. A medical-grade monitor can correct that issue with anti-glare and anti-reflective properties, which allow you to perceive the screen accurately without having to deal with glare from nearby lights.
Furthermore, medical staff don’t always have the luxury of privacy when viewing on-screen records. Information and diagnoses sometimes need to be made in places where sensitive information can easily be viewed by people without the proper credentials, such as when a doctor or nurse accesses a monitor mounted near a patient’s bed. The patient — or even visiting friends and relatives — can inadvertently get a look at private files in such circumstances. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) can levy large fines for breaches in privacy, even when they are inadvertent.
Here, too, a good medical monitor can provide vital assistance. A privacy filter can be embedded directly into the device, which effectively “blacks out” the information for those looking at the screen from an angle (in other words, anyone expect the person directly using the medical computer). That allows doctors and nurses to examine whatever records they need wherever they need them, without worrying about the wrong set of eyes gaining a side glance.
Medical Monitors are Safe and Hygienic
The number-one concern for any piece of hardware in a hospital setting is whether it’s safe for use around patients. That means that it doesn’t emit radiation or similarly harmful energy, which can affect not only the patient’s health but the operation of other key pieces of equipment too. For example, X-ray machines need to be certified so that they don’t emit harmful radiation that could harm patients or staff members. Medical monitors need to be subject to the same standards. UL/IEC 60601-1 certification (or the European equivalent, EN 60601-1) means that the monitor is safe for near-patient use and won’t disrupt other medical equipment while it works.
Furthermore, germs and bacteria can spread as staff members handle the screen and adjust the controls. Nosocomial infections — those created in and spreading through medical facilities — are an important concern for any healthcare organizations. Yet cleaning monitors of any sort can be tricky, since liquid can quickly turn the unit into a large paperweight. That causes problems if you need to use a liquid cleanser to disinfect the surface. Ideally, any monitor you use will be IP65 certified, which means it’s protected against liquids and can be properly cleaned without damaging it. In addition, look for units with an anti-microbial housing, which repels germs and keeps the hardware clean in a hospital setting.
Touchscreen Technology Make LCD Monitors Easy to Use
The growing use of EMRs and similar software means that more and more more data can be summoned and cross-referenced directly on the screen. Medical professionals need to be able to access such information quickly, and touchscreen technology allows users to control the data simply by swiping their fingers across it.
More specifically, touchscreens can eliminate the need for keyboards and mouse controls, which means a less cluttered work space and a reduction in cumbersome (and sometimes even dangerous) cables. It also means fewer devices for IT to maintain as well as fewer devices that can spread germs. That can be invaluable in busy hospital settings, especially with medical cart computers and workstations on wheels, which benefit from a reduction in cable clutter. In addition, screens that use PCAP (projected capacitive) technology can be used with surgical gloves without issue. PCAP technology also allows for pinch-zooming and two-finger swiping, letting you access the information you need without a lot of awkward fumbling.
Cybernet Manufacturing offers dedicated medical-grade monitors to go along with their line of hospital computers. If you’re in the market, contact us today for more information!