The art of medicine has always involved a mixture of technology and the human touch. Today, the two are coming together in a remarkable new tool. It’s called the Smart Board, which is an interactive touch-screen display that puts a whole new level of care in reach for both patients and providers.
Traditionally, hospitals have utilized erasable whiteboards to communicate and exhibit caregiver schedules, staff instructions, patient data and other important medical info. For years, technology no more sophisticated than colored markers and post-it notes served patients and hospitals well.
Today however, the Smart Board as emerged as a powerful new tool that improves workflow, reduces medical errors and leads to better outcomes and experiences for patients. Here are several ways that they are being used in hospitals:
- Caregiver Tracking: Caregivers wearing ultrasound badges are tracked as they move about the hospital. Physicians, nurses and other staff entering a patient’s room will automatically see pertinent medical info or instructions on a Smart Board, tablet or mobile device.
- EMR Integration: Smart Boards can mean that healthcare workers no longer have to write down patient data manually. Caregivers can check off boxes on interactive screens, and that information is automatically integrated within the hospital’s Electronic Medical Records system.
- Patient Comfort: Patients can access Smart Boards too. They can check the scheduling of upcoming procedures, see when their caregivers are due to visit and even watch health-related informational media.
- Health Protocols: Hospitals are using tracking devices to locate staff, anticipate their tasks and provide digital reminders via mobile devices and interactive touch screens. In particular, Smart Boards are especially helpful when it comes to providing caregivers with up-to-date protocols and checklists that need to be followed.
- Virtual Meetings: Doctors, nurses and healthcare administrators can use Smart Boards to conduct virtual meetings. For instance, they can use them to share information on digital whiteboards, collaborate on documents or participate in video conferences.
Hospitals are harnessing technology in ways that smarten the delivery of healthcare. Mobile devices – smart phones, tablets and telemedicine carts – are being used as data collection portals embedded within a hospital-wide digital ecosystem. Indeed, one hospital in Salt Lake City Utah is experimenting with “smart watches,” which use color-coded alarms reminding physicians to wash their hands depending on their location within the care facility.
Interestingly, many physicians respond better to high-tech reminders than human oversight. Nevertheless, integrating AV and digital technology into healthcare settings presents many challenges. To begin with, medical staffs usually require some familiarization when it comes to the adaptation of new technologies and systems. Furthermore, hospitals need to partner with AV providers that know the healthcare field. After all, if you want doctors and nurses to support and embrace new technology, then you have to demonstrate that your company understands what care providers need from you to get their jobs done.
Smart Boards represent the cutting-edge in patient management. They allow providers to see real-time clinical information on a single screen. Furthermore, patients can be tracked by both caregivers and family through all stages of the treatment process. In sum, thanks to high-tech, medicine is getting better and smarter than ever.
About Bob Higginbotham
Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org