As a nurse, I spend a lot of time with other nurses. When they ask me to explain why I think the iPad is great, I respond with the following metaphor: imagine that you are a nurse who has been asked to design a new hospital from scratch. You are free to question every prior assumption, to throw out old ideas that no longer fit, to redesign everything according ...

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Felasfa Wodajo, MD has written a post for iMedicalApps on the iPad’s future role in healthcare institutions. The title says it all: Why Locked Android Tablets Will Beat the iPad for Hospital Use. The gist of his argument is that Android’s "openness" and hardware-agnosticism will make it more ubiiquitous in the market in general, and a more robust and affordable ...

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iMedicalApps reviewed some recent news articles regarding business/enterprise adoption of the iPad as a legitimate alternative to Windows machines in the workplace, taking it as a sign that healthcare IT is poised to adopt it, too: "All in all, these developments bode well for the adoption of the iPhone and iPad as a mainstream, IT-blessed mobile ...

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While on my way back to the unit after transferring a patient to a medical/surgical floor, I was stopped in the hallway by another patient’s wife. I could hear an IV pump beeping from her husband’s room. “Are you a doctor?” she asked. “No, ma’am,” I replied, “I’m a nurse. Can I help you?” She asked me to come see why the IV pump was beeping. This wasn’t my floor. I ...

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Among the litany of complaints about the (un)usability of EMRs, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. More than the poor design choices and overall ugliness of existing software, by far the single biggest failure of HIT companies is that none of them has yet to produce an EMR that nurses actually need. There is a huge opportunity being wasted here. Other industries have been able to incorporate computers ...

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Dr. Wes, a blogging cardiologist, posted a follow-up to his recent post on e-mail correspondence between physicians and patients. The majority of emails he receives tend to be for very simple things like checking a lab result. Current EMRs don’t make reviewing and sharing lab values efficient. Dr. Wes writes:

[O]ur current model of the electronic medical record sending every single result to our inbasket, even though it contains ...

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There’s always a lot of stink from physicians over usability problems with EHRs: too many clicks, too many contextual menus, etc. The gist of these complaints is, “Physicians aren’t data entry clerks!” The computer is getting in the way of their interactions with their patients.

Everybody has a finite amount of mental space available at any given moment. Imagine having to transcribe a conversation in real-time. If half of your mental ...

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