By FHP on Apr 24, 2018 10:02:39 AM
While it's true that the field of healthcare technology is highly specialized, it also has a tendency to adapt to general industry trends as well. In an age where everything is becoming mobile device-friendly, it should come as no surprise that medical carts have long ago made a push of this nature forward.
Caregivers, physicians, nurses, and practitioners alike are perhaps the least surprised out of anyone by this; they themselves were the ones who drove mobile device/tablet integration in the first place. According to a study done by Manhattan Research, "54% of doctors in the United States use a tablet in their practice". ¹ This statistic—which comes from 2012—is extremely telling, because it comes from a time when:
a). iPads and tablets were not nearly as technologically efficient as they are now and
b). EMR/EHR record taking was not mandatory by law. It's now 2018, and these factors exist as concrete realities within the healthcare field.
iPad use in healthcare is growing faster than ever, and it begs the question: how are iPads currently being integrated into EMR/EHR solutions, and what sort of new IT equipment is needed to support these integrations?
What you'll also learn reading this article:
- Why iPads are being used more and more in healthcare facilities
- What types of mounting solutions are needed/available
- The unique benefits of mobile iPad Carts in healthcare
- What departments are using them and how
BEHIND THE APPEAL
Interestingly enough, there exists some theoretical background behind why iPad carts are loved so much by caregivers, especially as EMR/EHR tools. According to Anderson (1997), "physicians will oppose any systems that impose major limitation on how clinical data are recorded and how the medical record is organized". ² Mandatory electronic record taking was (and in some ways still is) a system that "limits" the workflow of caregivers. While overall satisfaction with EMR/EHR has improved since its introduction, there remain many facilities that refuse to make the switch over based on functionality issues alone.
The truth is a good deal of frustration with EMR/EHR lies within the hardware that is supposed to support it. Hardware like workstations, carts, and mounts can make or break a practitioner's experience with EMR/EHR. It's therefore worth approaching EMR-related hardware purchases in the same manner as one would EMR software. EMR software and hardware inherently rely on each other to provide an efficient, ergonomic, and user-friendly experience for both caregiver and patient.
Take a look at this data presented by Murdoch University to get a deeper, more personal understanding of the interrelationship between EMR software & hardware:
"In addition, there is a concern with the hardware and configuration area...These concerns lessen the availability of the EHR and the access of the system affects patient care as well as productivity...The data indicate physicians want to utilize various hardware devices, such as tablet PCs, and they voice dissatisfaction with the present interface. Hence, the frustration amongst physicians and their loss of productivity because of EHR persists". ²
This is not an isolated occurrence by any means—there are many physicians out there who remain dissatisfied with EMR hardware. And as demonstrated by the data above, EMR hardware affects not only the caregiver's experience with the EMR software it houses, but also overall productivity levels. Caregivers have enough on their plate as it is; there's no time for decreased productivity or inefficiency due to hardware inadequacy. A reactionary call for alternative hardware is taking place among caregivers—and iPad/tablet-related hardware seems to be a viable answer to this call.
WHAT A CAREGIVER GETS WITH AN iPAD CART
So what exactly does an iPad cart bring to the table in terms of an alternate EMR hardware solution? Let's break down some advantages and overall perks of utilizing an iPad cart—using the Mov-it Magneflex iPad Cart as a model.
Reliability, Comfortability, Intuitiveness
Apple has behind it a loyal and dedicated following for a reason. The products they create tend to be reliable, intuitive, and user-friendly—especially their line of iPad products. Purchasing hardware from one of the biggest companies in the world means not having to worry about lack of technical support or steep learning curves.
Tablet Deployment (en masse)
Upgrading and reequipping a facilities' EMR hardware is no simple task—in fact, it can be an incredibly taxing ordeal. Deploying EMR-equipped iPad carts/mounts is an efficient and ergonomic strategy to replace/supplement traditional mounted solutions. To view a real world example of how iPad deployment has the potential to completely revamp a facility, see our case study with Northwestern Medicine.
Among the Cheapest Out There
Sadly, there's no such thing as inexpensive EMR hardware. Our Mov-it Magneflex iPad Cart, however, comes about as close to inexpensive as a solution can get. Why waste your time buying an expensive cart to only have to buy even more expensive technology to use it? Save your budget (and assembly woes) with a cart housing technology that everyone loves.
Tiny Tiny Footprint
Would you rather be stuck doing your work at a clunky desk station, or be able to wheel around your work wherever you need to go? If you choose the latter you're not alone—it simply makes sense to utilize solutions that are as mobile and nimble as you are. The Magneflex (and other iPad carts) owes this speediness to its tiny overall footprint and weight.
Practitioner & Patient Familiarity
As mentioned above, people love Apple products, especially iPads. And alongside that love comes something really important to consider—a strong sense of familiarity. This familiarity is important because it actually helps bring together practitioners and patients. Scott Paul, Founder of ArmorActive, had this to say about the link:
“Physicians are finding it easier to communicate with patients with an iPad. Teaching using the iPad helps patients understand the terms and diagnoses that often go over the head of the average Joe. Current iPad technology is transforming physician to patient interaction and increasing patient satisfaction". ³
Mobile Sync & Future iOS EMR
Being a cart that houses Apple devices means that the Magneflex also comes stacked with Apple-exclusive functionalities. For example, syncing an iPhone to a designated iPad for additional connectivity and efficiency is always a possibility with the Magneflex and other iPad carts. And with the recent launch of Apple Health Records (Apple's very own EMR software), it might be worth checking out an iPad & cart combo as a fresh EMR solution. ⁴
MODELS, STYLES, AND TYPES OF iPAD CARTS
Thanks to our strong partnerships with other Medical IT Providers, we offer multiple different iPad carting options besides our signature Mov-it Cart. These carts come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own special functionalities, features, and use types.
For example, Ergotron—one of our most well-established partners—offers a unique line of carts with a few of their own eye-catching iPad models. The StyleView Patient eTable (pictured in the middle column) is an iPad cart designed with a more traditional bedside table aesthetic in mind. With the overbed table being such an important staple in hospitals, it makes sense to incorporate an iPad (attached to an articulating arm) onto a table for practitioner/patient use. The StyleView Tablet Cart, SV10 (pictured in the right column) is an iPad cart with a relatively similar makeup to our Magneflex cart, minus an articulating arm. What the SV10 excels at is demonstrating just how versatile and feature-rich an iPad cart has the potential to be. Accessories like Sani wipe holders, external batteries, wire baskets, scanner holders, etc. are readily available for the SV10—and, by extension, our Magneflex iPad Cart. iPad carts are, at their core, one of the more customizable EMR hardware solutions out there (given just how stripped-down and uncluttered they tend to be). There's therefore plenty of opportunity for practitioners and producers alike to utilize this space by implementing their own unique, ergonomic additions to their carts. If you're curious on how your facility can pair up with industry experts to craft an iPad Cart that fits your specific needs, check out our work with Northwestern Medicine.
THE WHERES AND HOWS
Because of this inherent versatility and flexibility, iPad Carts are used by caregivers of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. There isn't one particular healthcare field that the iPad Cart primarily operates under, so perhaps it'd be best to identify some places in the healthcare world that the iPad Cart has already found its home within.
Hospitals & Clinics: The iPad cart is used in hospitals and clinics as a point-of-care solution, a station for patient registration, and also as a device to record patient surveys. Due to its overall mobility, the iPad carts can be used by multiple staff members for multiple different purposes if need be.
Emergency Departments: The iPad cart is popular in Emergency Departments because it typically allows faster patient intake than other solutions. Taking in large amounts of data & info within a short period of time is the name of the game on the ED floor, and the iPad Cart excels at this type of procedure. ED staff can simply wheel up the cart to those being admitted, collect any primary/essential information, and transport it to where it's needed; thereby effectively speeding up the entire admissions process.
Dialysis Centers: iPad carts also make handy tools within Dialysis Centers, especially as means to document the clinical status of patients receiving dialysis. Similar to use within Hospital and Clinical settings, iPad carts within Dialysis Centers can help speed up tasks and improve the overall practitioner efficiency.
Rehabilitation Centers, Alternative Care, Pediatric Care, etc.: Plenty of other facilities use iPad carts for their own unique reasons or purposes. Imagination is essentially the only limitation when dealing with an iPad cart—we've even helped a Pediatrics facility transform one into a fully-functional Interpretation cart.
Over the past few years, iPad carts have played an active role in revolutionizing the industry of healthcare. You'd be hard pressed to walk into a care facility and not see an iPad somewhere in use (this being a strong testament to the power of the iPad itself). With this power comes an equally important question to consider: what type of hardware will best support the iPad to do what it does best? The obvious answer is the iPad cart! Deploying an iPad cart(s) in a facility is an inexpensive, highly personalized, user-friendly way to make sure you're getting the most out of your EMR/EHR experience.
If you want to see for yourself what all the hype over the iPad Cart is about, click the Demo Any of Our Product Solutions banner below to arrange for a free demo of our iPad Cart.
1) Mobile Devices and Apps For Healthcare Professionals: Uses and Benefits. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6758683
2) Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records for Physician Collaboration. https://mafiadoc.com/meaningful-use-of-electronic-health-records-for-physician-collaboration_59f614331723dd0e23286e97.html
3) ArmorActive Launches Medical iPad Cart to Help Physicians Increase Communication with Patients. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/5/prweb10783128.htm
4) Apple Health Records launches out of beta with 39 health systems. http://www.mobihealthnews.com/content/apple-health-records-launches-out-beta-39-health-systems
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