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Helping doctors adapt to EMRs

Posted on May 8, 2011 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

Much ink has been spilled discussing why physicians are resistant to adopting EMRs.

The thing is, it’s really no mystery.  Researchers have arrived at what seem like sensible answers to the question, including a) problems changing their work habits, b) fear of the unknown and c) struggles with kludgy interfaces.

So, why not take these problems on directly? While we can’t get inside clinicians’ heads and tell them how to think, we can address their issues concretely.

If the anecdotes I hear are accurate, many are pushed into EMR use and forced to do all the adapting, rather than getting the help they need.

So how can we help?

Obviously, physicians and other clinical staffers need access to accessible, intelligent training — ideally, both Web-based and live — as well as easy-to-use documentation that’s written in very simple language.

But that’s not all. While many institutions breeze by this step, IT departments (or consultants) should do everything they can to customize the EMR experience for individual clinicians. (If your EMR is too rigid to allow for this, that’s another story, but let’s pray you have one with some flexibility built in.)

It’s also important to pinpoint what other frustrations clinicians may have. For example, some doctors who type poorly are immensely frustrated by using EMRs, something keyboard-savvy techs might never consider.  A good old-fashioned typing course might work wonders in those cases.

In the rush to deal with the complex technical issues involved in EMR integration, it’s easy to blow by the needs of individual users.  It’s even easier to throw some fragmentary training at clinicians and assume they have a bad attitude if it doesn’t “take.”

The truth is, though, that nobody can afford to be short-sighted about getting users connected to EMRs.  Let’s hope everyone bears this in mind as the main wave of rollouts begins.

New Verizon Casio Android Smartphone Ruggedized for Hospital Use

Posted on I Written By

Most people are probably a lot like me in that they are pretty rough on their cell phones.  If you are looking for a phone that can handle the abuse that you generally give your phone, Casio has come out with a new phone in conjuction with Verizon Wireless that completely blows my mind.

The G’zOne Commando conforms to the rugged MIL-STD-810G military standard for durability as it was designed for people who work in hospitals, construction, and other more trying environments, but that is just the start.

It has 1mm-thick tough glass and bumper edges allowing the unit to withstand some drops.  It can also survive temperature extremes ranging from 185 degrees to -13 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 96 hours.  Obviously a little more extreme than what most people have to endure on a regular basis, but it is nice to know you will never even get close to hurting it.

The device can also handle environmental conditions such as heavy dust, salt fog, solar radiation, shock, humidity, vibrations, and liquid immersion.  So essentially what they are saying is it can handle just about anything you could even think to throw at it.

Just in case you actually intend to use your phone and not just abuse it, there are a ton of great features it has in terms of operability.

Security features provided through Microsoft’s EAS (Exchange ActiveSync) allow users to encrypt data in transit, remotely wipe information, enable device inactivity timeout and set password complexity.  It also allows workers to access inventories and capture signatures.

The device runs the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system and operates on Verizon’s 3G/EV-DO network. Much like other new smart phones, it serves as a WiFi hotspot for other devices, but it does not function on the 4G network at this point.

It has eight different operating modes, including Earth Compass and Walking Counter, which tracks steps, distance and energy consumption.  Trip Memory allows users to keep track of outdoor activities and share the information with contacts on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The unit weighs 5.4 ounces, measures 5.1 by 2.6 by 0.6 inches and features a 3.6-inch WVGA display. It also features XT9 and T9 trace input for efficient typing.  If you have never used it before it does take a little time to get used to it, but is pretty cool once you do.

In addition, G’zGear software allows users to navigate outdoor environments, while using Triple Sensor technology to keep track of direction, acceleration and temperature.

The G’zOne also incorporates a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus, LED flash and video capture. Plus, it comes with 1GB of flash memory and 512MB of RAM.

The G’zOne Commando retails at about the same price as other comparable smart phones, and it is available for purchase as of last week.

Other leaders in rugged mobile devices for harsh environments include Motorola, Motion Computing, and Samsung.

If you are looking for a tablet that can take a little more of a beating than the iPad, Motion Computing has announced its rugged CL900 tablet for verticals such as health care and retail, and T-Mobile carries the rugged Motorola Defy Android smartphone on its network. The Defy’s 3.7-inch touch screen is resistant to water and scratches.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s line of rugged Rugby phones on AT&T are also marketed to verticals in tough working environments. The Rugby II is a 3G two-way push-to-talk device suitable for extreme temperatures, shock and vibration.

Obviously this phone, if you are okay with only calling it a phone, is a lot more than most people need, but if you have ever had to deal with a shattered screen, water damage, or any of the other damage we do to our phones, it may be worth it to buy something that can handle a little more than most phones.

PIMSY EMR Overview

Posted on I Written By

This is a brief overview of the PIMSY EMR software by SMIS Inc.



Watch the video here.