Now, here come the important questions:
- Does the doctor sit or stand while he/she talks to the patient? Patients seem to prefer it when the doctor is sitting.
- If there's a computer in the room, does the doctor spend most of the time looking at the computer screen or the patient?
- If there's a keyboard attached to the computer, is the doctor typing away or looking at the patient?
- If the doctor is using a tablet (in slate mode), then he/she won't be typing. That doctor will be tapping on the screen with a stylus pen. When interacting directly with a patient, is that better or worse than typing on a keyboard?
Also, if you're using a tablet PC, you can talk to the patient while you're standing. Then, you can also sit on a stool and continue the conversation while you scribble notes or tap on the screen of your tablet PC in slate mode. Then, if you need to do a fair bit of typing, you could quickly convert your slate tablet into a laptop.
As tablets become more versatile, more health care providers will turn to tablets for the outpatient and inpatient settings. We're going to see more rugged tablets. We're also going to see lighter models that can easily convert from slate to notebook modes.