Thursday, March 4, 2010

Do physicians prefer mobile computers or workstations? #HIMSS10

Here at HIMSS10, I heard several stories where hospitals were trying to determine what type of computing form factor they should adopt as they prepared to transition from paper orders to computerized physician order entry (CPOE). Do physicians prefer mobile computers like laptops and tablet PCs, or do they prefer workstations with large monitors?

You can't answer this question through a series of surveys. However, you could set up a "tech day" where you set up several different clinical stations that simulate the clinical workflow. Station one may have a slate tablet PC. Station two may have a workstation with a 19" monitor. Station three may have a convertible tablet attached to a docking station and large monitor. You can have physicians try each different station and rate their level of comfort at each station.

In general, you'll find that older physicians like the larger monitors. Younger physicians who train with tablet PCs and laptops will prefer mobility. How do you reconcile these differences?

Special thanks to HP for sponsoring me to attend HIMSS10 and blog about my experiences.

1 comment:

  1. Setting up demo stations is a good start. However, that fails to take the value of mobility into the equation--i.e. does the value of a large monitor in a fixed location outweigh the value of having data available wherever the user may be on a mobile device. The best test is always to have the end user put demo devices into a real world setting--seeing how they work with that user's actual workflow.

    On top of that, every users will have different needs, different apps, different types of locations. In some instances, a fixed workstation is best. In others, a mobile device works better. There's never going to be a one-size-fits-all solution.