Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tablet Computing in Health Care

The iPad created a tremendous stir when it hit the market just over a year ago. The media blitz that followed the launch of the iPad was overwhelming as some reacted to the new technology with enthusiasm and others voiced skepticism that it would provide real value to any of its customers. One area where that value stands out is the health care industry. While Apple may not have created the tablet computing design with health care in mind, other companies like Motion Computing have taken the tablet concept and adapted it specifically to the medical community.

Because the tablet design can be used anywhere, doctors can access patient records instantly from their tablet PC and no longer have to depend on paper filing to keep records up to date. The paperwork reduction alone makes switching to a tablet based records management system a boon to any health care facility. Patient records can be accessed dynamically and they also can be updated directly during treatment and that ability to keep records up to date reduces mistakes and makes it possible for anyone needing that information to access it and know that it has up to the minute information about the progress of the patient.

Medication management is also enhanced tremendously by the use of tablet computing in health care.  Doctors can enter prescription and treatment details into a patient record and it can be accessed easily from any tablet unit that is in the network. Because medication information is recorded in detail and legibly, that reduces the chances that the wrong medication will be given or that a prescription will not be kept up because the scheduling was lost in the transition of medical records.  Because patient medication management can be a crucial part of treatment, tablet units have made it possible to provide better care and to avert medical emergences that are drug related because of the increased efficiency in medication management.

The use of the tablet device in the health care setting also makes it much easier for doctors to find research information instantly. The kind of vital information that a physician could tap easily with a tablet device would include data on drug interactions so that a prescription can be designed that fits with the patient’s other treatments perfectly.  And while this may be something that traditional computers can take care of, the portability of a tablet makes it easier for a healthcare professional to access. 

Doctors will be able to get to lab results quickly, review treatment plans, examine the results of imaging work that has been done on the patient or review medical case studies that will help him make a correct diagnosis and design the best possible treatment for the patient. Because the tablet device can be right there in the middle of the treatment situation, the phenomenal access dramatically improves the ability of doctors and all other medical professionals to provide fast, accurate and correct medical treatment for patients anywhere the treatment is being given.

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