The organization I work for continues in its efforts to implement a complete electronic health record. We quickly learned that COWs—computers on wheels—were not user friendly: we struggled with battery issues, storage space, and the toll on nurses of pushing or pulling these devices around the unit. We decided on a fixed computer station in all patient rooms and have recently been reviewing other options, including the iPad.
As discussed in “Tablet Technology for Nurses” (iNurse, September), patient privacy and professionalism are the top concerns we've had when considering the use of mobile devices. I believe patients will become accustomed to nurses using portable devices for documentation. Another concern we've struggled with is the durability of these mobile devices. Nurses work at such a fast pace. Can a mobile device handle the rugged wear and tear?
It would be beneficial if one of the device makers would consider the needs of health care workers when making a device specifically for this population of users.
Penny Quinn, BSN, RN, NE-BC