UK health providers turning to tablets
Many healthcare professionals in the UK are changing up their note-taking and some administrative habits by adopting tablet computers in instances where they would have previously turned to paper notes or a bulky computer on wheels (CoW), ComputerWeekly reports.
Tablets provide several clear advantages in terms of organization, efficiency and access to important patient information. According to Will Smart, IT director at the National Health Service (NHS) Royal Free Trust, the tablet also allows clinicians to be more personable. Unlike the CoW system, which is large and difficult to fit next to a patient's bed, the tablet is light and can be taken virtually anywhere.
Smart says tablets are being used for more than just clinical services. Ward managers are using the devices to log repair calls that would otherwise be recorded on paper notes. According to the news provider, Smart says the tablet has impacted not only care providers' efficiency, but quality of care as well.
"And this is just the start, we have plans for dynamic, responsive operation scheduling, based on anesthetists being equipped with the tablets and deploying the technology in pre-operative assessments," Smart says, according to ComputerWeekly.
In May 2012, WinterGreen Research released a report on the tablet's effect on telemedicine, noting that the telemedicine hardware and software market would reach $2.5 billion by 2018, up from $736 million in 2011. This trend will affect the way healthcare providers carry out medical services. Patient care can be brought directly to the patient rather than requiring him or her to go in for an expensive hospital visit or trip to the emergency room.
As the tablet continues to thrive, its applications in the healthcare industry will expand greatly.