Why Government Implementation of Rugged Tablets Should be a Priority

As the public and private sectors move towards mobile, digital, and analytical processes, the government sector is poised to take advantage of athe single most useful tool available in recent technological history the rugged tablet. The benefits of handheld, durable devices with superior computing power include:

Security. With closed networks, rugged tablets are some of the most secure devices available to those who require high levels of security to operate. The ability to install security measures for both manual access and potential wireless hacking are a large part of why tablets are overtaking smartphones as the secure device of choice. Card access, pin codes, and even biometrics can be utilized to enhance appropriate accessibility on the fly.

Smarter Processes. The software options available for rugged tablets make them the best choice for those on the move, and the accessibility measures make them the right device for situations in which constant handoff is required. Platforms are constantly being revisited and manufacturers work in tandem with the most used operating system creators.

Real Time Access. When data is required in the field, sooner is better than later. The ability to transfer or enable access to data immediately and share updates and changes makes the rugged tablet even more valuable from a time saving and productivity standpoint.

Data Capture Capability. Data entry in the field is fast and easy with a virtual keyboard, a stylus, a scanner or a built in code recognition system. ReduceNo errors by using fully built in data capture rather than transferring data between various separate scanners and readers or less reliable snap-on toolson paperwork, and records can quickly be checked and matched with offsite inventory counts.

Compatibility. The ability to work between old tech and new, easing the transition between outdated PCs and smartphones, while bringing new innovation and tech to life in their field is another major attraction for those now trialing rugged tablets its the bridge device that was needed to connect office workers and field workers on common ground.

Ease of Integration. Finally, rugged tablets are already proven to integrate seamlessly into almost any environment, enabling real-time data access and management as well as business intelligence analytics. Add in fully responsive records management, and rapid, informed decision making capabilities for every individual on the team regardless of whether they are on foot, on a forklift, in a vehicle, or behind a desk and you have the ideal computing and data capture device that most managers dream of.

Any government organizations basic process can benefit from the support that rugged tablets and other mobile technologies can drive progress and improve productivity. Its the smart, strategic decision, with a reasonable CAPEX and a solid ROI.

Informed Decision Making is Possible with Rugged Tablet Access to Critical Data

Those who put Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions into the hands of key personnel report that significant, quantifiable improvements can be seen across the board. Outfitting mobile and remote workers with rugged tablets is a success strategy that benefits manufacturers, logistic experts and more by:

  • Reducing operations costs

  • Reducing inventory costs

  • Reducing waste of various resources

  • More effectively utilizing resources

One of the primary resources that is better managed with the implementation of ERP via rugged tablets is labor; performance goes way up when workers have access to tools designed to enhance productivity and streamline tasks. The enhanced access to critical data provides major benefits in each of five key areas:

Standardized processes. The most visible factor is the ability to standardize and streamline both planning and execution processes across the entire face of an enterprise. Internal productivity goes up and costs go down. Companies need an ERP that can adapt quickly to meet changing business needs, so a rugged tablet is ideal.

Organization, efficiency, and coordination. The seamless integration of manufacturing operations with production design teams promotes cross functionality, and provides for continual improvement in critical areas. Communication and coordination between departments improves when all parties are using the same system, and a rugged tablet based ERP allows each team to get what they need.

Communication between employees and with customers. When team members are working with all of the information, delays and miscommunications in answering customer queries drops sharply. Instantaneous access to data in the field or office allows for fast, accurate response that improves customer / employee relationships.

Data integration and sharing. In a business product or services setting, an advanced ERP provides real time visibility into every process from quote to delivery, and ensures the cash funnel stays active during times of expansion or growth. Data can be integrated from clients and shared with vendors.

Mobility and enhanced performance with real time access. Data access allows both line employees and managers to make on the spot, informed decisions at crunch time, mitigating potential issues and projecting confidence. This can help avoid costly delays and allow off-site upper level management to have real time, actionable input.

The advanced technology and mobile access to ERP that a rugged tablet brings to the table makes each and every employee more productive, more confident, and more informed, all of which benefit the company as a whole.

How NextGen Computers-on-Wheels (COWS) Enhance Patient Care

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems are digitizing healthcare. Facilities are racing to find and purchase the best equipment that will both safeguard their patients data according to the requirements set out by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) act, and give health care professionals better flexibility and functionality to deliver patient care.

IT vs. Caregiver Perspectives

IT departments can be blind to the realities of what their professionals on the floor really need. Many facilities turned to wall or desk mounted PCs in as many rooms as possible, tethering each device to a static location. However, caregivers found mobility to be their biggest advantage, thus PCs mounted on medical carts were considered as an option.

Although these first generation options (often referred to as Computers-on-Wheels (COWS) and Workstations-on-Wheels (WOWS)) promised mobility, the laptop computers often ran out of battery charge mid-shift, causing delays in patient care due to power issues.

In addition, using an off-the-shelf laptop computer on top of a medical cart was found to be problematic, as the practice quickly spread bacteria from room to room within a hospital, due to the computer fan blowing air around. The concept of a consumer grade PC simply mounted on a standard medical cart was discarded, and a new concept was implemented – the all-in-one medical-cart computer.

DT Researchs next generation medical-cart computers have addressed the previous power issues with a hot swappable battery that can be switched on the spot without losing connectivity, and the bacteria spreading issues were also resolved, leading to a cutting edge solution that offers true medical computing at the point-of-care.

The Triangle of Patient Care

There are three points to the triangle of patient care; the patient themselves, the data, and the caregiver. Having an all-in-one medical-cart computer available at the point-of-care allows medical professionals to complete electronic based charting while at the side of the patient. Advantages include:

  • Real time, on location methodology of data collection and entry. This ensures rapid input of information in a timely manner as well as the ability to double check with the patient when it comes to items like medical histories and allergies.

  • Optimal layout of the facility thanks to the unit not being tethered permanently to a wall or desk. This allows for greater mobility for staff and physicians who dont have to work around the cart when its not in use.

  • Suitability for use in conjunction with wall mounts. The all-in-one medical-cart computer can be wheeled in and used as a comparison with data available on a wall mount when time is short and data transfer is minutes that are not to be wasted.

  • Access across floors and specialties for complex cases. A mobile, integrated medical-cart computer assigned to a complex case can be taken from floor to floor, parked by the patients bed, and charts updated seamlessly when sending information electronically for every move and change isnt time effective or productive.

Efficiency + Productivity + Accuracy = Better Patient Care

NexGen Medical-Cart Computers take the uncertainty and delays out of patient data collection, entry, and sharing. The ability to work on a patient and then enter data without interrupting workflow to find a wall mount or go to a centralized data entry station means that patient care is handled quickly and efficiently and the care is improved by better accuracy and less human error.

NextGen Medical-Cart Computers by DT Research will help facilitate broad adoption of EMR systems, which will significantly improve medical outcomes.

Understanding All-In-One Medical-Cart Computers for Point-of-Care

Point-of-Care drives nearly every variation of medical equipment found in a facility. The POC is the location the medical-cart has in proximity to services or procedures being completed, and determines whether the cart is stocked with pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, or data in an all-in-one medical-cart computer.

Many medical carts reside in a Pre-POC storage and restocking area until needed. Of these, all-in-one medical-cart computers may be lined up near where batteries are kept for quick hot swapping, and the charging stations for the batteries can also be located nearby so drained batteries can be plugged in. As rooms are assigned to patients, medical-cart computers can also be assigned to the room, or dedicated to recording the care of that patient through the facility.

Common Medical-Cart Computer POCs

More and more medical-cart computers are being implemented in hospitals and other care facilities, and designated for doctor and nurse use, streamlining patient care and ensuring that data is correctly input in a timely manner. An all-in-one medical-cart computer provides medical staff with the ability to quickly and effectively manage:

  • Facility Operations and Maintenance. Data to be accessed could include power grid and Internet options, managed via an all-in-one medical-cart computer with a built in battery.

  • Central Supply. While many medical carts will simply be designated for restocking, one or more medical-cart computers may be used to track inventory and assign tasks.

  • Pharmacy / Medication. Obviously the need for tracked inventory is even more crucial when pharmaceuticals are involved, an all-in-one medical-cart computer with a built in battery provides a timestamped way to verify dosages and administration.

  • Sterile Processing. Another POC that may or may not require data entry, these medical carts are located by sterile rooms or outside operating theaters.

  • Traction. Specialty items and procedures are required for traction patients, and a POC medical-cart computer can help make sure staff remember protocols.

  • Anesthesia POC medical-cart computers can also require additional equipment and hot-swappable batteries for continual for accuracy of treatment and up to the minute reports on a patients condition.

  • NICU. There is probably no other place where information on patients is updated more frequently than the neonatal ICU. Staff members can make extensive notes so each new shift can be quickly updated and review data from the previous shifts. An all-in-one medical-cart computer can move with the neonatal bed from location to location.

Carts with built in mobility and computing power provide an upgraded experience for both patients and staff. Instead of being forced to retreat to a centrally located terminal to enter data and waiting for a slot to open up, a medical cart computer can be quickly utilized at the Point-of-Care and the data fed directly into the database from anywhere in the hospital. Authentication protocols meet HIPAA requirements, and patient care improves significantly.

Tracking and Verification Applications for the Rugged Tablet

While handheld POS devices have long been adapted for tracking and signature capture, rugged tablets have many more advantages and a high potential for use in the logistics industry.

Shipping and delivery verticals in particular can benefit from the flexibility, durability, and accuracy rugged tablets provide. Around various holidays, points of departure can become chaotic and confusing, with multiple deliveries, special orders, tight schedules and limited manpower.

With the right match of software and hardware, a rugged tablet can be invaluable.. Some of the benefits of a rugged tablet for logistics include:

  • Mapping potential can be extremely beneficial when it comes to time management being able to coordinate deliveries and traffic as well as factoring in multiple team members, potential roadblocks and restricted streets can help streamline the days deliveries and allow for time sensitive packages to get to their destination on time.

  • Similar to POS machines, a data capture equipped rugged tablet can provide a fast, easy, and efficient way to complete instant verification, signature capture, and transmission of data to a centralized tracking database. It can also allow delivery personnel to quickly scan and verify information for proper recordkeeping.

  • Rugged tablets also expand and improve the process of communication; the ease of making contact with other workers, handing off tasks and making changes on the fly if needed yielding savings in time and labor when things dont go as planned.

  • All tasks can be streamlined and back-up plans made and stored in case of breakdown, traffic, or other emergency. Duties can be reassigned and schedules restructured in case of unforeseen events.

  • Rugged means devices keep working even in bad weather, if they are dropped, rained on, banged, or shaken. The tablet is durable and strong, able to put up with inevitable abuse.

  • The ever important customer experience is better thanks to simplified tracking, acceptance, and signature processes. Worker experience is better with the exact data capture features needed to focus on tasks for their specific industry or work process.

Devices can be assigned to individuals, to vehicles, or to static locations; wherever a rugged tablet is needed, it can be customized for the user and the tasks to be completed. The ability to communicate data in real time helps keep the logistic chain running smoothly, from the time an order is made until the time it is signed for by the recipient.