Are 2-in-1 tablets the ultimate healthcare tool? When it comes to provider productivity and data security, the answer just might be “Yes!”

 

There is no question that electronic collaboration is essential to efficient, high-quality care. The real debate is over which tools to use. Healthcare providers can choose from a bewildering array of laptops, tablets, smartphones and an equally baffling selection of operating systems, applications, and management tools.

 

2-in-1 tablets can greatly simplify the selection process, providing a best-of-all-worlds user experience, excellent software support, and straightforward integration into existing IT systems.

 

Two recent studies at major healthcare providers demonstrated how 2-in-1s can benefit providers, patients, and IT staff alike. In both cases the providers considered other options before settling on tablets based on Intel® Core processors and Microsoft Windows* 8.1.

 

Simplifying Home Healthcare

In the first study, the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) California wanted to replace the old laptops used by its home health professionals.  These aging laptops were slow, heavy, and lacked essential features. What’s more, the laptop fleet included a variety of models, creating management headaches for IT staff.

 

After testing a variety of consumer- and business-grade tablets, VNA California selected the Dell Venue 11 Pro (Figure 1). This 2-in-1 offered several important advantages, including enterprise-class management and security, robust performance, support for McKesson Home Care* and other applications, and excellent ease of use.

 

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Figure 1. The Dell Venue 11 Pro can be used as a tablet, laptop, or desktop

 

Ease of use was particularly important for transitioning nurses to tablets. Because the Venue 11 Pro can attach to a keyboard, it can be used just like their familiar laptops.  But unlike the old laptops, the Venue 11 Pro can also be used as a lap-friendly tablet, letting provider and patient interact without electronics getting in the way.

 

The tablet also improved workflows. In the past, nurses had to photograph wounds with a smartphone or camera, and then import the photos. Now they can take photos with the Venue 11 Pro’s built-in camera. And the tablets’ 3G/LTE connectivity means that nurses can share photos and other patient information instantly – unlike the old laptops, which needed a Wi-Fi connection to access the VNA servers.

 

Perhaps most importantly, the tablets improved both capital and operations expenses. Compared to other options, VNA reports that the tablet saved $200 USD per nurse while also greatly simplifying IT support. For more details on these savings and other benefits, see Mobile Productivity for a Home Health Workforce.

 

Adding Time to the Doctor’s Day

Another study comes from Resurgens Orthopaedics, the largest orthopedics practice in Georgia, USA. This provider initially experimented with consumer-grade tablets in an effort to give its staff fingertip access to electronic healthcare records (EHR). However, Resurgens quickly discovered major shortcomings with consumer devices.

 

For example, the EHR application for these tablets could not schedule follow-up appointments, order diagnostic images, or print reports. To complete these tasks, clinicians had to leave the patient room and use a stationary PC – disrupting their workflow and taking valuable time away from patient visits.

 

To solve these problems, the practice switched to an HP tablet. This Windows-based 2-in-1 can run both the touch-enabled EHR application and the full PC-based EHR software, allowing staff to complete all of their tasks at the patient’s bedside. This leaves more time for patient care, for healthier patients and happier doctors (Figure 2).


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Figure 2. HP tablets give doctors and patients a better experience.

 

Plus, the Windows environment made life easier for IT staff – particularly in the area of security. Thanks to mature PC security solutions, the IT staff can provide the robust data protection with ease. To learn more about Resurgens’s experience, see Mobile Workflow Scores a Win for Patients and Providers.

 

The new Intel® Core™ M processor makes 2-in-1s an even more compelling option. As the world’s first 14 nm processors, these new chips combine blazing speed with the best energy efficiency in Intel’s history for a whole new level of performance and mobility. The Intel® Core™ M vPro™ processor provides hardware security and manageability features to ensure uninterrupted productivity.

 

Healthcare providers can choose from a wide selection of 2-in-1s powered by the Intel Core M processor. For example, the recently-updated Dell Venue 11 Pro line comes equipped with a high-end Intel® Core™ vPro™ processor for business-class performance, security, and manageability.

 

With a full-size keyboard and docking station, users can quickly switch between desktop, laptop and tablet modes. And an optional Mobility Keyboard with embedded battery extends battery life for all-day productivity.

 

The Venue 11 Pro also meets industry security standards including FIPS and HIPAA. AS part of the security offerings, Dell Data Protection|Encryption (DDP|E) offers nondisruptive endpoint encryption solutions. Built-in Trusted Platform Module (TPM) hardware helps avoid attacks by securing passwords and encryption keys. An optional biometric fingerprint reader and smart card reader provide multi-level authentication.

 

As another example, HP offers its line of Elite x2 1011 G1 2-in-1s powered by the new processors (Figure 3). Like the Dell tablets, the HP tablets are available with Intel Core M vPro processors and can be had with either a standard keyboard or a “power keyboard” that pack an extra battery. Impressively, HP claims a battery life of up to 14 hours and 15 minutes with the power keyboard.

 

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Figure 3. The Elite x2 1011 G1 comes with a long list of security and manageability features.

 

The HP tablets pack a host of security and manageability features as well, including a TPM module and a long list of HP and Microsoft software. The power keyboard adds a fingerprint reader, integrated smart card reader, and preboot authentication via password and smart card.

 

The Right Tool for Healthcare

As the healthcare industry continues to seek solutions for better care and lower costs, 2-in-1 tablets are just what the doctor ordered. By supporting a full range of touch-based and traditional PC applications, these tablets gives providers the flexibility they need to fully realize the power of EHR systems. To learn more about these powerful tablets, see Intel.com.

 

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Dell OEM is a Premier member of the Intel® IoT Solutions Alliance. Hewlett-Packard is an Associate member of the Alliance.

 

Kenton Williston

Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® IoT Solutions Alliance

Editor-In-Chief, Embedded Innovator magazine

Follow me on Twitter: @kentonwilliston