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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Oct 23 2012   6:25AM GMT

Five important areas for EHR success in the tablet world



Posted by: RedaChouffani
EHR, iPad, mHealth apps, surface, tablets

Tablets are continuing to significantly impact the sales of traditional PCs. There are several needs that must be fulfilled on the application side before there will be a wider adoption of tablets by health care professionals. Software vendors will need to ensure that their products are capable of attracting users on different platforms in the health care BYOD environment. Tablets are being used by a patient’s bedside to review their chart, view medical imaging, make clinical orders, and fill medical prescriptions.

Now more EHR shoppers are asking questions to establish what criteria should be used to select and score products based on their mobility or tablet-based functionality.

The following are the five most important questions to ask when evaluating mHealth App for a specific EHR vendor:

Data Security: Data security is a critical area to review when discussing health data that is accessible via a tablet. A mobile EHR App must have the appropriate safeguards to protect the data and deactivate the device if lost or stolen.

Accessibility online/offline: There are cases where clinicians still need to capture information electronically while working offline, though most apps require constant connectivity. This will help decrease the likelihood of losing data that was never entered into the data repository, which may be an important feature for some.

Platforms supported: Android, iOS, Windows 8, and Chrome OS are some of the platforms available in today’s marketplace. A mobile EHR App must be able to support and work on any of the top platforms since each health care professional has a preferred operating system.

Functionality limitations: It is important to review application functionality on the chosen platform when evaluating mhealth Apps as part of the EHR selection. This will help ensure that all the required functionality is available and user friendly.

Productivity: Capturing and retrieving health information using a tablet is a difference experience than using PCs with a keyboard and mouse. It’s very important to gauge the overall experience of using the system while seeing patients, and ensuring that the tablet is helping the clinician increase productivity and improve their workflow.

Tablets have proven, more than ever, that they are a viable alternative to the traditional PCs. Many tablets provide fast processing, long battery life, low maintenance costs, and low total cost of ownership. IT executives are focusing their attention on picking the appropriate EHR solution for their organization that will meet all the outlined criteria and ensure that these applications have the ability to work effectively on a tablet or smart device.

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