Great use of a Tablet PC, patients use the device to check themselves in...if you can write on a piece of paper, you can easily use a tablet...after all it is handwriting...and some of it gets changed to text too!  Some tablets weigh less than a paper chart too!  BD

If you haven't been in a hospital for a few years, you might be surprised at how technology aimed at making your stay safer and more enjoyable is emerging in this notoriously paperbound industry.

Your doctor may wheel a computer into your room during an exam. Your nurse may scan the bar code on your ID bracelet before giving you a pill. If you face a long wait for a procedure, a hospital employee may give you a pager much like the ones those perpetually busy chain restaurants hand out. Your preemie may send you an e-mail.

At Bryn Mawr Hospital's new outpatient building in Newtown Square, patients can check themselves in using tablet computers. 

At the hospital's emergency department, RFID chips embedded in plastic tags tell staff where patients are, when they get an EKG, and when the doctor first sees them.

"You better get smart fast or that combination of factors will put you out of business," she said.


At Geisinger Health System, a national leader in IT adoption, patients can schedule their own appointments by computer. "One of the things that young people love is that you can print out your child's immunization record from home," said James Walker, chief medical information officer.

Electronic medical records at Cooper University Hospital and its outpatient doctors' offices in South Jersey mean patients have to provide their personal and insurance information only once, saving them from one of the most irritating aspects of complex medical care.

The doctors want to talk directly to patients while they are with them, he said, but the computers make it easier to enter orders and access information afterward.

Hospitals Going High-tech | Inquirer | 07/22/2007


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