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iPad for Business Use? (Charting in the Field?)

Discussion in 'Electronic Devices' started by lowes48, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. lowes48

    lowes48 Loaded Pockets

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    Hey Guys,

    I’ve got a question about the performance capabilities of the iPad for use in the field… My wife works in home health care and travels to client homes, rest homes, etc. to check on patients and do assessments. Part of the assessment process is getting data from the client or the client’s family – filling out a standard form and noting anything out of the norm or special needs. She currently uses her work-issue laptop for this duty but it has crappy battery life and is heavy, and she sometimes has to revert to pen and paper to get the info which means she has to enter the info again once she’s back in the office!

    We have an iPad at home, which she loves, so she wants to be able to use an iPad at work as well to aid in the charting duties, etc. With all that being stated, what type of app or functionality is available for the iPad for her business to be able to use it for this function? Her boss said he would make the purchase and also buy a small printer that she could take along as well, so any suggestions for what she needs (printer suggestions are welcomed as well!) will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance for the help!
     
  2. Rabidfox

    Rabidfox Loaded Pockets

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    If they're PDF you're golden. Stupid easy and should support signatures with a stylus. From what I've heard a lot of health are facilities are building apps for stuff like charts so check around for those. I don't see it being an issue but Im not familiar with her environment.
     
  3. Fabregas485
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    Fabregas485 Loaded Pockets

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    The iPad would be great for that use. As for app's I am sure there is an app suitable, or if not an app could be designed for the use. I will keep my eye out for apps.
     
  4. Blitzwing
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    Blitzwing Loaded Pockets

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    I work for a health care comp.. My company ditched laptops for all but service for ipads.. Any stuff the do in accounts is done on the ipad.. And for my company to do that is astonishing
     
  5. Gnarly
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    Gnarly Loaded Pockets

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    Be sure she checks this out with her Risk Management people.
    And insist they clear it with the corporate shark lawyer.

    Because of HIPPA, if she were to lose it or have it stolen, she could be held liable....moreso than the 'crappy laptop' they furnish her, which would be covered for liability under THEIR insurance(s).

    Also: if she's not the only humanoid who uses that iPad, EVER, there is another separate HIPPA / liability issue.

    Nice idea, but from one RN to another RN: it's a dog-eat-dog world....et we're wearing Milk-Bone underwear!

    CYA!
     
  6. Rabidfox

    Rabidfox Loaded Pockets

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    If their IT dept is half competent it'll be compliant with HIPPA
     
  7. Dr Jekell
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    Dr Jekell I had fun once, It was awful.
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    From what I read your wife's boss/company will be purchasing the unit for her to use in the field.

    If so they are obligation to ensure that it meats any applicable laws & policies for patient confidentiality & Security.

    Another couple of things to think of:

    - Decontamination, if this unit is to used by a clinician then it must be capable of being cleaned by medical grade disinfectants on a regular basis, two waterproof cases could cover this (one on the device & one being cleaned/drying)

    - Compatibility with her employers record system, any apps/software/cloud system must be able to talk to their records systems other wise she is back to square one.

    For this one they could set up a web portal so the records are accessed via the internet.
     
  8. CatherineM
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    CatherineM Loaded Pockets

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    A year ago April, I had one of those flesh eating things on the back of my leg. They sent nurses over when I got out of the hospital to clean and repack. I've blocked out most of the unpleasantness, but I got a different nurse each time, and it really helped that they had these computer things to access my file. They took pictures so that nurse to nurse could figure out how it was healing. While I don't like the idea of a big hole in my backside being photographed, it did help with my care.
     
  9. gw812

    gw812 Loaded Pockets

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    To answer a few concerns above:

    1. iPad in healthcare - AB-SO-FREAKIN-LUTELY! They are easier and faster to use and they are less obtrusive in general, leaving you more ability to focus on the patient and not the tools.
    2. Forms - PDF's are easy to work with and you can sign electronically. Apple's office apps help with other forms. If it's a normal PCR that she uses, there are already apps for them. Zoll's ePCR is my current fave and it's free.
    3. Who owns it - the business MUST purchase it. Don't even think of using a personal one. Technically, once the device has patient data it becomes part of the patient's chart. That means the device can be subpoenaed in court and can be commandeered by those that have rightful access to the info. Means it stops being yours! HIPAA happens...
    4. Security - it can be done. I wish I could remember where I saw an article about it recently. Explain and demonstrate the features to an exec who has the clout to order around the IT guys.
    5. Cleaning - This should do nicely - http://store.griffintechnology.com/ipad/airstrap-med-case
     
    MedicInTraining likes this.
  10. tobrien

    tobrien Loaded Pockets

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    I never thought about using an iPad in the field.

    gw812 makes some good points above
     
  11. ThreeWulfMoon

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    I'm not a nurse, but I am a gadget geek and I have used tablets (iPad, acer a100, and now a WIndows 7 tablet) in the field for the past couple of years. They work great, but you may have a few drawbacks or limitations if you use a mobile OS tablet. Unless you can find purpose built apps, which for something like healthcare are likely plentiful--you'll be stuck using either Word documents (most of the office apps fail to support some more advanced features of Word) or fillable PDFs. I tried using an Android tablet to do preliminary damage assessment using fillable PDFs back in March and it was a pain. The app had a bug where when I would save my file, it would erase random data. I'd have to save, exit the current document, and reload the saved file to recover the deleted entries. Annoying. I tried using the Word version of the forms, but Documents to Go fails to support features like drop down lists and check marks. I ended up using paper copies and transferring them to Excel-based copies of the forms, which was annoying because I had to handle the data twice. That's why I ended up going with a Windows 7 tablet because it supports all of the features I need, but the trade off is somewhat slugglish performance and reduced battery life versus a mobile OS tablet.

    The best bet might be a web-based tool where the data is collected on the iPad and then transmitted securely back to a server somewhere. There are several solutions that use HTML-based forms. However, then she will either need a mobile data-capable iPad or a mobile hotspot (or smartphone with a tethering app...).
     
  12. Jason Jamieson

    Jason Jamieson Loaded Pockets

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    I use my iPad in the field for standard business use. I'm not in the medical field, but my wife is an ICU nurse. I use mine for all kinds of forms and PDF docs, I've even built a couple forms in an app called FormConnect. There are so many great apps out there it's pretty crazy! If you want to fill out PDF forms, I've found HandySign is simple and easy to use.
     
  13. amacman
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    A little note about printing. The iPad only prints to a select list of printers that support AirPrint here's the list http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4356?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

    It also only works over a wifi network and NOT peer to peer (straight from the iPad to the printer) so she will want to carry a small wifi router with her. The Airport Express would be a nice choice for the features.
     
  14. Jason Jamieson

    Jason Jamieson Loaded Pockets

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    This is true, wifi only is an issue. I use an app on mine from Brother that allows me to print & scan from our office machine. Works super well! I will buy a Brother for home when mine dies off.