Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust has deployed a set of mobile tablet devices to help it get the best out of its Cerner Millennium electronic health record.
The 26 Motion Computing tablet PCs, which are deployed across four wards, will replace the traditional ‘computers on wheels’ used by nurses when conducting ward rounds.
Will Smart, director of IM&T, told eHealth Insider that the tablet roll-out strategy would be conducted with caution.
“If experience has taught us anything, it is that Cerner big bang deployments are a way of failing slowly, spectacularly and publically.
“But as a Cerner site, the challenge we now face - and we have several in our IM&T strategy - is how we leverage the benefits of our EHR.
"We need to improve how systems and devices are used within real clinical areas.”
The Microsoft Windows-based tablets are being used to input patient information into the EHR at the bedside.
They are also being used to provide a more accurate insight into bed use, highlighting both available beds and the location of patients to nurses.
According to Smart, the devices were chosen because of their ability to be “dropped on the floor and bounce back up” - and because they are not “attractive” to thieves.
The trust is also exploring a “bring your own device” scheme for clinicians, a process that is likely to be finalised shortly.
“We have found the tablet devices have increased the accessibility of Cerner as they are easier to use,” he said.
“We initially piloted the system in January and we have found them to be very popular with staff, as the nurses are now spending more time with patients and subsequently their care is being improved.”
An integrated smart card reader is included for security, and the device has a sealed design that is easily cleansed and disinfected, so it complies with infection control measures.
Smart said: “We have spent a lot of time with staff and in ward areas to ensure that these devices work properly to the needs of staff.
“We have seen some very strong return on our investment with the Motion Tablet PCs and Cerner’s EHR application, most critically in terms of patient care.”
The tablet PCs have been deployed at Royal Free by Motion Computing’s partner Tracline.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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