Modern technology is instrumental in providing patient care, saving time and reducing errors. The last few years has seen a monumental shift towards mobile technology such as smartphones and tablets, however many healthcare settings have opted for consumer devices in a bid to reduce costs. While the initial outlay may be lower, consumer devices are simply not designed for the day-to-day rigours of the healthcare environment and their failure can put patients at risk. In this blog we take a look at the benefits of investing in healthcare-specific devices over their consumer cousins.
Patient care is the number one priority in a healthcare setting and practitioners need to know that their devices won’t let them down. With the enhanced battery life of a rugged device you can be sure that it will last an entire shift - and then some. When your battery does need charging, you can avoid device downtime with hot swappable batteries which can be changed in seconds, ensuring you don’t have to pause patient care because your device has powered down.
Built for Purpose
Unlike their consumer counterparts, enterprise devices are designed and built for purpose. Encased in disinfectant ready plastics and coated with antimicrobial material, your healthcare-ready device can withstand the rigorous cleaning required in order to ensure patient safety. With high ingress protection (IP) ratings, your mobile computer or tablet can withstand multiple knocks and drops without breaking, so you can always put your patients first.
Modern mobile computers come with a range of optional enhancements such as barcode scanners and NFC/RFID readers. With unparalleled functionality, you only ever need one device to hand. Read customer ID tags, scan medications, access patient records and communicate with colleagues all with one single device.
Need to use a touchscreen with wet hands or while wearing gloves? No problem. Purpose built mobile computers and tablets offer heightened screen sensitivity so you don’t have to interrupt patient care to access your screen, especially in an emergency situation.
Total Cost of Ownership
Consumer devices are built to be replaced every couple of years and while they may be less expensive to begin with, their lack of durability means they fail more often and are more susceptible to breakage. You can reasonably expect to replace a consumer device used in an enterprise environment four times sooner than a rugged device so the cost soon adds up. If you fail to invest in a purpose-built product from the beginning your hardware will actually become more costly in the long run. You know what they say, buy cheap, buy twice.
Consumer-grade devices are typically built on either Android, iOS or Windows operating systems. While Apple devices are trendy and offer great functionality for the average consumer, they are not built to integrate with complex systems such as those used to manage patient records in healthcare settings and operating system incompatibility means patching systems together. With the demise of Windows as an enterprise mobility platform, Android devices are now the market leaders in this area and are fully supported by leading manufacturers such as Zebra, Honeywell and Datalogic.
When it comes to patient safety, it pays to invest in high quality hardware. Don’t be fooled into the false economy of inexpensive consumer devices – they will end up costing you more over time and can contribute to errors or delays in patient care.
Barcode Data’s healthcare team are experts in their field. If you are considering a hardware refresh for your healthcare setting, we advise you get in touch for free, impartial advice on the best options for your specific needs. Call us on 03333 660 842 or visit our healthcare pages for further information.