strengths and limitations in hospital computers

What are the strengths and limitations of computers in Medicine?

The National Library of Medicine, has a publication titled, “APPLICATION OF COMPUTER TECHNIQUES IN MEDICINE”. The article mentions the several applications and limitations of computers. 

Medical computers have become vital tools in the field of medicine, greatly impacting patient care, research, and healthcare administration. However, like any technology, they come with strengths and limitations.

Strengths:

  1. Efficiency and Accuracy: Medical computers can quickly process vast amounts of data and provide precise results. This is particularly beneficial in tasks like medical imaging, diagnostics, and treatment planning.
  1. Data Storage: Medical computers can store patient records, medical histories, and research data in electronic health records (EHRs). These records are easily accessible and can improve patient care by providing a complete medical history.
  1. Telemedicine: Medical computers enable telemedicine, allowing healthcare professionals to remotely diagnose and treat patients, increasing access to care, especially in remote or underserved areas.
  1. Research and Data Analysis: Medical computers help researchers analyze vast datasets, simulate medical conditions, and discover new treatments. They play a vital role in genomics, drug discovery, and epidemiological studies.
  1. Decision Support Systems: Medical computers assist healthcare professionals in making clinical decisions, providing recommendations based on medical knowledge and patient data.
  1. Medical Imaging: Medical computers are crucial in processing and interpreting medical images like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. They enhance the precision of diagnoses and assist in minimally invasive surgeries.
  1. Robot-Assisted Surgery: Medical computers enable robotic systems to assist surgeons in performing highly precise procedures, reducing invasiveness and recovery time.

To paraphrase the article regarding limitations:

Computers offer remarkable capabilities for data storage and complex analysis, but their limitations include the absence of decision-making abilities and human-like sensitivity, making data entry a challenge for medical professionals. Computer viruses, such as Joshi, Michael Angelo, DirII, and India, pose threats by multiplying through program usage and destroying files and data. Antivirus programs like Scan, CPAV, and Norton exist to combat these threats, though complete virus eradication remains challenging due to ongoing developments. Initiatives like the Faculty of Computers at the Military College of Telecommunications in Mhow provide computer courses to enhance computer literacy, but a noticeable gap persists in the adoption of clinical computing systems in the medical field. While these systems can address issues associated with traditional medical records, their implementation has been slow. There is an urgent need to raise computer awareness among medical professionals, encouraging them to familiarize themselves with computer applications in medicine and maximize their utility.

Here is a list of hospital computer limitations:

Limitations:

Data Security and Privacy Concerns: Storing sensitive patient information electronically on medical computers poses security risks, with the potential for data breaches and privacy violations.

Cost: Implementing and maintaining medical computer systems in healthcare can be expensive. Smaller medical facilities may struggle to invest in advanced technology.

Learning Curve: Healthcare professionals need to adapt to new medical computer technologies and software, which can be time-consuming and occasionally challenging.

Data Overload: The vast amount of medical information available can be overwhelming, leading to “alert fatigue” in clinical decision support systems, where healthcare providers may ignore important alerts.

Diagnostic Errors: While medical computers can enhance accuracy, they are not infallible. They may misinterpret data or images, leading to diagnostic errors if not used judiciously.

Reduced Patient Interaction: As medical computer technology advances, there’s a risk of reduced face-to-face patient interaction, which is an essential aspect of healthcare.

Uneven Access: Access to advanced medical computer-based healthcare services can be unequal, disadvantaging individuals in underserved or remote areas with limited connectivity.

Medical computers have revolutionized medicine, offering efficiency, data management, and diagnostic support. However, their use in healthcare also raises concerns about data security, cost, and the potential for reduced human interaction. Balancing these strengths and limitations is essential to ensure that medical computer technology in medicine serves the best interests of both healthcare providers and patients.

Tangent is the forefront pioneer of medical computers. Tangent carefully engineers computers while taking into consideration possible limitations. 

What Computers Do Hospitals Use?

What Computers Do Most Hospitals Use?

Most hospitals use a variety of computer systems and devices to support their operations and provide healthcare services. The specific types of computers and systems used can vary depending on the hospital’s size, budget, and specific needs. Here are some of the common types of computers and systems used in hospitals:

  • Electronic Health Record (EHR) Systems: EHR systems are the backbone of modern healthcare facilities. These systems are typically accessed through desktop computers or workstations, and they store patient medical records, including medical history, treatment plans, test results, and more. Common EHR software providers include Epic Systems, Cerner, and Allscripts.  Tangent computers are Epic and Cerner compliant. 
  • Workstations on Wheels (WOWs): These are mobile computer carts equipped with computers or tablets on wheels. They are used by healthcare professionals, such as nurses and doctors, for bedside patient charting, medication administration, and accessing EHRs.
  • Radiology Information Systems (RIS) and Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS): Radiology departments use specialized computer systems to manage and store medical images, including X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. RIS and PACS systems are often connected to workstations used by radiologists.
  • Administrative Computers: Hospitals use administrative computers for tasks such as billing, scheduling, and managing hospital operations. These computers are often standard desktop or laptop computers. Tangent offers medical grade options of these devices that offer many benefits including preventing the spread of virus. 
  • Clinical Decision Support Systems: These systems assist healthcare providers in making clinical decisions by providing access to evidence-based guidelines and medical literature. They are typically accessed through desktop computers.
  • Laboratory Information Systems (LIS): Laboratories in hospitals use LIS to manage test orders, sample tracking, and test results. Computers in the laboratory are often dedicated to these tasks.
  • Pharmacy Information Systems: Hospitals employ pharmacy information systems to manage medication orders, dispensing, and inventory. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians use computers for these purposes.
  • Mobile Devices: Healthcare professionals often use mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones to access patient records, reference materials, and communicate with colleagues. These devices may be integrated into the hospital’s network and security protocols.
  • Servers and Data Centers: Hospitals maintain servers and data centers to store and manage sensitive patient data, ensuring its security and accessibility.
  • Telemedicine and Telehealth Systems: With the growth of telehealth services, hospitals may use specialized video conferencing and telemedicine software, which can be accessed from a variety of devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

It’s important to note that the specific computer systems and devices used in hospitals can vary widely, and the choice of technology may depend on factors such as the hospital’s budget, infrastructure, and the availability of IT support. Additionally, hospitals must adhere to strict regulations and security standards to protect patient information, which can influence their choice of technology and software.

Why should hospitals use medical grade computers?

Hospitals should use medical-grade computers for several important reasons:

  1. Infection Control: Medical-grade computers are designed with infection control in mind. They often feature sealed, easy-to-clean surfaces that can withstand disinfection with harsh chemicals. This is critical in healthcare settings, where preventing the spread of infections is paramount.
  2. Durability: These computers are built to withstand the rigors of a hospital environment. They are often made with high-quality materials that can endure constant use, frequent cleaning, and exposure to a variety of environmental conditions.
  3. Safety and Compliance: Medical-grade computers comply with safety and regulatory standards specific to the healthcare industry, such as UL 60601-1 for electrical safety and IEC 60601-1-2 for electromagnetic compatibility. Ensuring compliance with these standards is essential for patient safety.
  4. Ergonomics: Medical-grade computers are designed to accommodate the specific needs of healthcare professionals. They often include features like adjustable mounting options and easy access to ports for attaching medical devices.
  5. Compatibility with Medical Equipment: These computers are often equipped with specialized interfaces and connectors to connect to medical devices like patient monitors, infusion pumps, and diagnostic equipment. This facilitates the integration of these devices into the hospital’s electronic health record (EHR) system.
  6. Longevity: Hospitals typically require reliable and long-lasting equipment. Medical-grade computers are built to provide consistent performance and have a longer lifespan compared to consumer-grade devices.
  7. Data Security: Healthcare facilities handle sensitive patient information, and medical-grade computers are designed with enhanced security features to protect this data. They often include hardware encryption, secure boot processes, and other security measures to prevent data breaches.
  8. Support and Service: Hospitals can expect better customer support and service for medical-grade computers. Manufacturers understand the unique demands of the healthcare industry and are more likely to provide responsive support and timely maintenance services.
  9. Regulatory Compliance: Medical-grade computers are designed to assist healthcare facilities in meeting regulatory requirements, such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) for patient data protection. Using non-compliant equipment could result in costly penalties.
  10. Seamless Integration: Medical-grade computers are built with healthcare-specific software and applications in mind. They are more likely to integrate seamlessly with electronic health record (EHR) systems, picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), and other healthcare software.
  11. Reduced Downtime: The reliability and durability of medical-grade computers lead to reduced downtime, which is crucial in healthcare. Healthcare professionals can’t afford to have their computers fail during critical patient care tasks.

In summary, medical-grade computers are purpose-built for healthcare environments, emphasizing infection control, safety, durability, and compliance with industry-specific regulations. Investing in these computers helps hospitals provide a higher standard of care, improve efficiency, and protect patient data while ensuring the longevity and reliability of their computing infrastructure.

streamline hospitals with medical PCs

Medical PCs Streamline Hospitals

In today’s fast-paced world, technology plays a crucial role in transforming various industries, and healthcare is no exception. One such groundbreaking innovation that has revolutionized medical practices is the Medical PC. In this blog, we delve into the capabilities, benefits, and potential applications of these advanced computing systems in the healthcare landscape.

What is a Medical PC?

A Medical PC, also known as a medical-grade computer or healthcare PC, is a specialized computing device designed specifically for the unique demands of healthcare environments. These PCs are equipped with features and functionalities that cater to the stringent requirements of healthcare providers, ensuring efficiency, accuracy, and enhanced patient care. They are built to withstand the challenges of clinical settings, such as exposure to liquids, frequent disinfection, and compatibility with medical peripherals and devices.

Key Features and Benefits:

Medical PCs offer a wide range of features and benefits that contribute to improved healthcare outcomes. Firstly, they are designed with antimicrobial materials, preventing the growth and spread of harmful bacteria and germs. Their fanless design reduces the risk of airborne contaminants, making them ideal for sterile environments. Medical PCs are also equipped with high-resolution displays, enabling healthcare professionals to view medical images, patient records, and vital signs with utmost clarity.

Furthermore, these specialized computers are integrated with advanced connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and RFID, facilitating seamless communication and data exchange. The ability to connect to medical devices such as ultrasound machines, EKGs, and digital imaging systems enhances workflow efficiency and eliminates manual data entry errors.

Moreover, medical-grade computers are built to ensure patient data security and privacy, complying with stringent regulations like HIPAA. They offer features like biometric authentication, data encryption, and secure network connections, safeguarding sensitive medical information from unauthorized access.

Applications in Healthcare:

The versatility of medical PCs makes them invaluable in a wide range of healthcare settings. In hospitals, these devices streamline clinical workflows, allowing healthcare professionals to access patient data, order tests, and input treatment plans in real-time. Medical PCs are also utilized in operating rooms, where their sterile design and compatibility with surgical equipment enable surgeons to view critical patient data during procedures.

In addition, medical-grade computers find applications in telehealth and telemedicine, facilitating remote patient monitoring, virtual consultations, and real-time video conferencing. They can also be integrated into mobile medical carts, enabling healthcare providers to access patient information and record updates at the point of care, enhancing efficiency and reducing errors.

Medical PCs have undoubtedly transformed the healthcare landscape, enhancing patient care, improving efficiency, and ensuring data security. With their specialized features, durability, and compatibility with medical devices, these advanced computing systems are poised to play a vital role in the future of healthcare, delivering better outcomes and revolutionizing medical practices.

Do medical computers need touchscreens

Do Medical Computers Need Touchscreens?

When people refer to their “phone” these days, it’s more than likely they mean their “smartphone.” Smartphones have become ubiquitous in our society, and are becoming increasingly necessary for everyday life. But what caused these smartphones to take over their older cousins? One of the defining features that played a large role is the humble touchscreen. Touchscreens have become a must-have for phones for the ease of use they create. As  the adoption of smartphones and even tablets into the workplace have shown, touchscreens play an important role in the evolution of technology and how we use it. But what about their use in the medical field, do medical computers need touchscreens?

Why Medical Computers Need Touchscreens

Medical computers work perfectly in the medical setting. As such, we can broaden this question out a bit more and consider whether computers need touchscreens. On a smartphone, touchscreens allow for a style of control that mouses and keyboards lack: gestures. 

A gesture refers to the ways in which your touch(es) can be interpreted by a touchscreen enabled phone, tablet, or computer. For instance, you’ve probably “pinched” your phone’s screen before to zoom out on a photo — that’s a type of gesture. Standard computers are also capable of zooming out on a photo, but often have dedicated buttons or keyboard shortcuts to make these functions happen. With touchscreen computers, these gestures come across as second nature to end users. Because they are routinely using touchscreens on their phones in their daily lives, the shortcuts encapsulated in their gestures come as natural.

In a literal sense, no, medical computers do not NEED touchscreens. However, when taking into consideration ease of use, efficiency and practicality, the need for touchscreen medical computers is compelling.

With touchscreen computers, staff are able to interact with computers in a much more intuitive fashion than they could do with mouse and keyboard shortcuts. This can lead to increased staff productivity. 

Versatility 

medical computers

Touchscreens are completely optional, there are no drawbacks to the user experience with the inclusion of one on a medical computer. Medical computers with touchscreens like the Medix T22B are completely capable of being used with a mouse and keyboard. Users who may be less inclined to use touchscreens can treat the screen just like any other monitor. Staff will fall into a mix of using both the touchscreen and their mouse and keyboard fluidly to accomplish tasks. Computers with touchscreens allow doctors and nurses to quickly zoom in on data or pick information cells in EHR software with just a tap.

Stay Progressive with Your Medical Equipment Selection

Gen Z is hitting the workforce in increasing numbers, taking their intimate knowledge of smartphones and computers with them. By selecting medical computers with touchscreens for your hospital, you are helping improve the way your medical staff can perform their job. For more information, contact Tangent Sales today.

RFID Ready Medical Computers

RFID Ready Medical Computers

What Is RFID?

RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification. The technology standard is made up of RFID tags and readers. These tags have small radio receivers and transmitters inside them. When in contact with a reader, the tag will respond and transmit information it is carrying to the reader. 

These tags can be used for a wide variety of tracking applications across the hospital. One area in which they can be used is in the tracking of patients in the hospital. Patients can have tags built right into their wristbands. These wristbands can then be used to access various doors and areas in the hospital. Your facilities team can set up each wristband to allow for certain privileges and access to specific areas. With these tags, you can ensure that the right people are in the hospital in the right areas. 

Medical Computers With Wireless Readers

RFID readers are the other half of the RFID equation. They pick up the information from tags and display it on devices. Many medical computers rely on clunky RFID reader adapters. These adapters take up ports on the medical computer, as well as desk space. Further, they are prone to being accidentally disconnected and lost.

22b-24b-main-new-medical-computer

Medical computers like the Medix 22B feature an integrated SSO RFID. This reader allows doctors and nurses to quickly and easily sign onto the medical computer with ease. They can simply wave their enabled badge to the medical computer’s reader to gain access to their computer. This solves two problems in one. 

First, your medical staff need strong, long, and complex passwords. By having your IT department tie badges to safe passwords, your hospital can have an increased layer of cyber security. Second, this allows your medical staff to have long passwords without having to remember them exactly or input them slowly everytime they access their computer.

RFID Ready Medical Computers

RFID tags and readers are quickly becoming a required tool in every workplace, including the hospital. Medical computers with built-in readers help your hospital stay on top of the future and prepare for what’s next. Make sure your hospital has the right tools by calling Tangent Sales today and asking about their range of RFID enabled devices.

HygienicComputers

Hygienic Medical Computers

Cleanliness remains a top priority for hospitals everywhere. Since the introduction of handwashing into the medical field, efforts to curb disease spread in the hospital have been largely successful. Still, medical institutions must remain vigilant in their hygienic practices to ensure that the risks to patients are minimized. Hospitals need quality medical computers that help to create a safe and clean environment for both staff and patients.

Why Medical Computer Hygiene Matters

Your doctors and nurses are constantly moving from one room to the next in your hospital. Throughout their busy day, they visit numerous different patients and co-workers. While they may not directly come into contact with each other, they no doubt all use the same medical computer in any given room. These computers become a breeding ground for harmful pathogens as staff use them throughout the workday. 

But not all medical computers are afflicted by this issue. Many of them feature an antimicrobial coating to help protect against microbes. 

Antimicrobial Coatings Add A Layer Of Protection

An antimicrobial coating mitigates the growth of pathogens on whatever surface it is spread on. These coatings work along the same lines as naturally occurring antimicrobial materials, like copper. Antimicrobial materials  interrupt a bacteria cell’s respiratory and metabolic functions. Over a brief period of time, this leads to the cell being unable to create energy and proliferate.

Medical grade computer for emergency room us, the KW line from Tangent

Medical computers like the KW15 from Tangent feature an antimicrobial coating across its surfaces. The KW15’s enclosure mitigates the growth of pathogens, which helps create a safer hospital environment overall. The cast aluminum enclosure is also built to last, and features a fanless cooling system. The KW15 also features other sanitary features, such as a washable touchscreen to help make it even more hygienic.

Washable Medical Computers

Doctors and nurses routinely wash their hands throughout a shift to minimize the risk of spreading pathogens around the hospital. Likewise, medical computers should be routinely cleaned to minimize disease transmission. Computers from Tangent feature antimicrobial enclosures to help mitigate this transmission. But they also sport IP rated touchscreens as an added layer of protection.

The Medix 22 from Tangent features an IP65 rated touchscreen that can be easily cleaned. This touchscreen can withstand standard cleaning agents without damage to the screen. Doctors and nurses can give their computers a quick cleanup before and after use. Combined with its antimicrobial layer, the Medix 22’s IP65 rated touchscreen can give medical staff peace of mind about the sanitation efforts being employed.

Customizable Medical Grade Tablets

Medical Tablets

EN 60601-1 Certification 

Among the most important features for medical grade devices is EN 60601-1 Certification. Medical tablets with the certification are shielded from Electromagnetic interference both from receiving and also from producing it. EN 60601-1 is a certification that distinguishes a medical tablet from a consumer grade medical tablet. 

Medical Tablets with Antimicrobial Surfaces 

When you think of tablets, you probably first think of the ones available to consumers. These tablets are designed for home use, but have increasingly found a home in the commercial and creative world. Despite their growing popularity in the workforce, they have some fatal flaws that make them a poor choice for use in the medical world. For starters, nearly all of them lack an antimicrobial enclosure.

An antimicrobial enclosure is a medical grade tablet casing that mitigates the growth of pathogens across the tablet. These coatings help reduce the spread of germs in a hospital. Traditional tablets lack these coatings, and can pose a serious risk as they are passed around from one worker to another. 

Medical Tablets also feature components designed to run medical programs. The T13 from Tangent can be customized to include an Intel Core I7 Kaby Lake processor. This processor is more than fast enough to run all the electronic health records and medical programs your hospital employs with ease. 

With up to 32 gigabytes of RAM, the T13 from Tangent is a multitasking machine. It can run numerous applications at once without lag. Doctors and nurses won’t have to pick and choose which programs they can run, they can simply trust that their equipment is capable of doing what is needed.

Customization Options For Medical Grade Tablets

Tangent offers a wide range of customization options for their medical grade tablets. This helps ensure that they can be a dynamic part of your hospital’s arsenal, capable of taking on multiple roles. The T13 from Tangent can be customized with different processors and amounts of RAM. Tangent’s T13 also features hot-swap batteries. 

Hot-swap batteries from Tangent are removable batteries that can be replaced without interrupting a medical grade tablet while in use. Simply remove one battery, put it on an external charger, and swap out a freshly charged one to have continuous use of the tablet.

The ability to operate redundantly makes the T13 great for pop-up clinics or other non stationary applications. 

The T13 features a front facing camera, RFID reader, Barcode Scanner, and much more. There are countless roles for the T13 in any hospital. Some applications can be to catalog inventory in the pharmacy, keep track of medication en route to patients, and serve as a communication device. 

Customize Your Hospital With Tangent

Tangent’s line of medical grade tablets are designed to help keep your hospital running efficiently. For more information about Tangent’s tablet offerings, contact Tangent today.

medical pcs with removable batteries

Medical PC With Removable Batteries

Hospitals are dynamic workplaces. As this pandemic has shown, hospital administrators need to be willing to change up their strategies constantly. This may mean bringing on more staff at some times, or completely shifting around a hospital’s layout in others. Many hospitals have had to set up popup clinics in their parking lot during this pandemic. These clinics provide testing, vaccinations, and more. While some hospitals were prepared to create such popups, others were not. They had to use their office medical computers attached to external power generators in these outdoor clinics. This sort of situation and others can be streamlined with the use of a medical PC with removable batteries.

Why Removable Batteries Are Important In A Medical PC

Hospitals have adapted to the digital era at a breakneck pace. Over the course of the pandemic, they have transformed primary care with Telehealth, and created new methods of treatment. Nurse medical carats have seen an immense evolution. Each one is now equipped with a medical PC in order to run various programs. The medical PC has become a vital platform for these carts, allowing nurses to use a variety of tools that are plugged into it.

But one major downside to these carts using medical computers now is their reliance on battery power. A cart typically has a battery, or their medical PC does, that requires time out of service to recharge. This can effectively cut your fleet’s usable time by a third or more. But with Removable batteries that can be swapped out, your fleet of carts can enjoy 100% battery uptime. If a medical PC can store multiple batteries, a nurse can simply swap out a low one for a fresh one, and then place the low one on an external charge. 

Tangent employs this hot-swap battery technology in their lineup of medical computers. A Tangent medical PC is careful to drain one battery at a time, instead of drawing from two or more simultaneously. This helps make charging simply and easy for staff.

Medical PC With Hot-Swap Batteries

Medix T24B

The Medix T24B is one such medical PC from Tangent. The T24B comes with three Hot-Swap Batteries. These batteries can be routinely swapped out to keep the T24B running for hours. This makes it perfect for popup clinics, where it can run entirely on battery power for the entire work day.

Other medical computers like the E22B can run on a 24/7 basis thanks to its hot-swap batteries. The E22B is perfect for medical carts, and features standard VESA mounting to fit anywhere your hospital requires.

E22B and E24B from Tangent: built for emergency room use Medical PC
E24B from Tangent

Tangent: Built To Run 24/7

Not every medical PC is built equal. Many are unable to run on a 24/7 basis without being plugged into an outlet. Tangent has designed medical computers that are up to the task of operating whenever and wherever they are needed. For more information, contact Tangent Sales today.