More to HIMSS than EHRs: Four Technologies for Patients and Providers

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , March 9, 2010

LodgeNet, based in Sioux Falls, SD, says that in most cases it can use a hospital's existing coaxial cable network and televisions to install the program and that it can interface with existing clinical systems for bedside care management. The product is currently in use at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the VA Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Drop me like a laplet
It's a laptop. It's a tablet. It's a . . . laplet? The most recent version of Panasonic's Toughbook® line of computers has a screen with three hinges—one that opens and closes the screen like a traditional laptop and one that allows the screen to rotate and fold into tablet mode.

Panasonic claims the "triple hinge design significantly reduces hinge failures." It's not exactly feather light (3.7 pounds with two batteries), but thanks to an ergonomic grip it was surprisingly comfortable to hold with one hand in tablet mode.

The computer has two batteries, which last up to 10 hours, and they're "hot-swappable," meaning you can pull one out and replace it without having to shut down the computer. Plus, the hard drive pulls out so that if something does happen to the computer (it can withstand impact from a height of about 30 inches) its data stays safe.

Similar to previous models, the keyboard has an irrigations system of sorts, protecting against liquid spills of about six ounces (200 ccs). Please let's not talk about the kind of liquids that might land on this laptop in the hospital setting, OK?

Sanitize me
There was one noticeable trend at the show—many of the products I demoed, including three described here, had touch screens. Wave of the future, right? Well as much fun as they are, there's an obvious problem in the hospital setting: infection control.

If you're going to have a way-finding kiosk in your lobby, you better have a hand sanitizer kiosk right next to it. I should know: I'm writing this week's column from home, where I'm laid up with the worst cold I've had in a long time.

And I totally blame the touch screens.

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