Healthcare is often at the forefront of emerging technologies, and its use of the tablet computers is no different. From physicians to radiologists, healthcare professionals are utilizing tablet technology at a rapidly increasing rate. According to a recent survey by Manhattan Research of more than 3,000 physicians across 25 specialties titled “Taking the Pulse® U.S. 2012,” which focused on how U.S. physicians use the Internet, digital media, mobile devices and other technologies for professional purposes and patient interaction, more than 60 percent of physicians currently own an iPad, a number that has almost doubled since 2011. A similar survey completed by QuantiaMed found that 65 percent of approximately 3,700 physician respondents say they are likely to use a tablet computer in the next few years. In the QuantiaMed survey, of the 30 percent of physicians who already use a tablet, two-thirds of those doctors use their tablet in a clinical setting.
Physicians use tablet computers in professional settings in a variety of ways. From accessing drug and treatment reference to obtaining new information about treatments and research and accessing patient records and data, they allow doctors to perform a variety of tasks quickly and efficiently. Some physicians use tablets to place and upload orders for laboratory work, and others event use them to make decisions on patient treatment and diagnosis.
Clinicians enjoy increased mobility and accessibility through the use of tablet computers, especially because the devices ensure that the most up-to-date information is at a clinician’s fingertips throughout the care delivery process. Tablets provide clinicians with user-friendly, mobile access to electronic records, even when at the point of service. Also, by providing real-time tracking of patient information, tablet computers offer increased productivity, thereby enhanced patient satisfaction. Similarly, radiologist enjoy that tablets give them access to medical images from anywhere, even allowing for bedside viewing of radiology studies.
Following are 8 reasons to use tablets in healthcare industry:
- Mobility – Tablet computers allow physicians and other healthcare professionals to look up patient information from anywhere, and the devices’ portability makes it also easier to take the information to the patient instead of the patient to the information.
- Convenience – Tablets allow healthcare workers to capture activities as they happen, eliminating the need to remember and document activities after they happen. The devices are also convenient for the healthcare setting because they are lightweight, have a long battery life and utilize easy-to-use touch screens.
- Automation – Through the automation of key forms, processes and workflows on a tablet computer, the devices can help physicians and clinicians collect and transmit patient data to meet meaningful use guidelines and improve patient care.
- Reduced costs – The use of tablets in healthcare offers better access to patient information, thereby resulting in a reduction of diagnostic and treatment errors and saving money for healthcare facilities. The devices also ensure that all billable charges are captured in real-time.
- Rapid innovation – There is an increasing number of applications for healthcare professionals to use on tablet computers, allowing those professionals to look up drug interactions, view ICD-10 codes, check out medical images and connect to voice dictation software.
- User-friendliness – Tablet computers offer easy-to-learn applications that fit into the workflow of various healthcare workers.
- New tablet-specific software – Healthcare technology vendors are beginning to design software specifically for tablet computers, software that is customized for the healthcare industry.
- Video communication – Many physicians use tablets to view video that helps them learn and keep up-to-date with clinical information. Video communication through tablets also can be used in telemedicine.
Tablets bring up-to-the-minute patient information to the point of care and provide healthcare professionals with real-time access to data.