Located in southern West Virginia, Princeton Community Hospital is a leader in medical care delivery, with 267 beds, 160 doctors and 1,097 employees. In early 2013, the hospital’s cardiopulmonary department began searching for a new mobile computing solution to scan patient medications and update patient electronic medical records.
“Our workflow efficiency and care giver morale has improved greatly with the new devices.”
Previously, the hospital used consumer-grade laptops with a wand-like barcode scanner attached through a USB port. These laptops were docked to mobile carts that were wheeled into patient’s room. However, the carts could not fit into isolation rooms so instead of scanning patient ID wristbands and medication barcodes, respiratory therapists were manually documenting patient information into the laptop post-treatment.
Additionally, the consumer-grade laptops were frequently replaced due to device failures. They could not handle the abuse of a fast moving hospital environment. Daily activities, such as the vibration on the cart, frequent drops and liquid spills caused the laptops to crash. Furthermore, the consumer-grade laptops could not be fully sanitized.
“We knew we needed a durable device with an integrated barcode scanner that could handle the daily wear and tear of the hospital environment,” said George Wilson, assistant director, cardiopulmonary department, Princeton Community Hospital. “We also needed it be light, portable, sanitizable and easy to integrate with our existing infrastructure and MEDITECH software.”
While researching mobile computing solutions, Wilson saw a Panasonic Toughbook product review video produced by DataSource Mobility, a technology integrator based in Clarksville, TN. DataSource Mobility evaluated the hospital’s device requirements and ultimately equipped them with Toughbook H2 tablets.
Wilson and his team saw immediate improvement. With its integrated barcode scanner, fully-sealed easy to clean design and rugged certification to withstand drops and spills of up to six feet, the Toughbook H2 was an ideal candidate for the job. Other key features included a lightweight and ergonomic design and a long battery life.
Princeton Community Hospital engineered the Toughbook H2’s integrated barcode scanner to be compatible with the hospital’s unique barcode algorithm – enabling respiratory therapists to avoid patient charting errors and be more efficient. The devices also easily integrated with the hospital’s infrastructure and MEDITECH software. Furthermore, staff benefitted from the Toughbook H2’s hot swappable twin batteries, which provided continuous power minimizing downtime. The device’s built-in stylus simplifies data entry for doctors and respiratory therapists making them more efficient.
“With Toughbook H2’s deployed to clinicians, we’re able to scan patient information at the point-of-care, reducing the risk of human error or double data entry,” said Wilson. “Our workflow efficiency and care giver morale has improved greatly with the new devices.”
In the six months since the deployment began, the cardiopulmonary department has yet to experience a single device failure, which has reduced strain on Princeton Community Hospital’s IT department and helped ensure a healthy ROI. As a result of the successful rollout, the Panasonic Toughbook H2 is being demoed by both the emergency and physical therapy departments of the hospital.
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