As it pertains to the discussion of mobile technology and the evolution of consumer needs, there is an unspoken reality that lingers in the middle. On the one hand there is the idea, a perception, of what it means to be mobile, and, on the contrary, there is the reality of what it actually 'is' to be mobile. There are some of us out there who buy large screen phones and pair them with smart watches and parrot the marketing speak about how this combination offers us the mobility we think we need. Meanwhile, we sit in front of dual monitors at work or use proprietary software and hardware that provide no integration or interaction with our mobile products, on a daily basis.
Take, for instance, the tablet. More often than not, most devices stay by the bedside, nightstand, or coffee table. Then there are some who have been able to make use out of the mobility promise the device offers, like Molly K. McCarthy RN, MBA. Molly recently tweeted out across North America, to her nursing colleagues, #Tablets for #RNS. She did this in order to find out what tablet features resonate with most nurses. She discovered that most nurses are looking for:
- Must be wipeable/cleanable and consider infection control
- Enable the nurse to be more productive in his/her workflow
- Allow the nurse to engage with the patient and provide education
- Be resilient and be able to endure drops and spills
- Designed to be lightweight and easy to carry
- Able to write with a stylus/pen
Along with the above list, Mary also notes that nurses wanted tablets and subsequent software providers to consider the care area of hospitals, outpatient, home health and other aspects that affect workflow. Finally, she points how security was essential for nurses during tablet discussions. Molly and her fellow nurses, highlight use cases for tablets in their fields:
- Nursing rounds for supervisors and patient care directors
- Bedside hourly rounds for nurses
- Image capture (wounds, patient picture/id, other clinical indications)
- EMR documentation at the point-of-care
- Critical reminders and tasks
- Patient education and engagement to enhance patient's hospital experience
- Home health visits into the community
Fortunately for Molly, Microsoft is making a concerted effort to push clinical-grade mobile devices catering to many of the needs listed by nurses. In particular, Mary discusses her interest in the HP Elite Pad Healthcare Tablet with Office and how it addresses most of the concerns held by nurses who tweeted back.
Aside from the ergonomics, optional shoulder/shoulder strap, and lightweight dimensions, the tablet also has an antimicrobial coating layer. This coating layer helps protect products, and the tablet can be cleaned with a variety of sanitizing products. Another couple of aspects of the tablet combo nurses gravitated towards were its rugged durability and the pen. Signatures and initials on the go will hopefully translate into less time spent waiting for both patients and nurses.
Beyond the many physical features of the tablet, Molly points out once again, how security is vital to her industry. “I see headlines weekly about patient data breaches and medical identity theft. Secure and ready-access is essential, and luckily the HP ElitePad Healthcare Tablet is top-of-the-line with multiple industry-leading security features such as a certified smart card reader, HP Client Security, HP BIOS Protection, and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2 and full disk encryption,” she says.
Every day it seems like tablets are getting thinner and streamlined for the masses. At large, most people use them as consumption devices. However, the HP ElitePad Healthcare tablet is set to carve out another section for tablets. The HP ElitePad Healthcare tablets are for people who view mobility as a requirement rather than an item on a checklist of phrases used for marketing.