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Electronic Health Records For Dummies by Anita Samarth, Trenor Williams

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Determining new needs for hardware devices

Your EHR hardware wish list probably contains items to make EHR as usable as possible in any setting, from the front office or exam room to the break room or physician’s car. You want hardware that adequately suits your mobility needs and your workflow and functionality needs. To that end, ask whether you want to go for flashy or functional. If you go with flashy (say that gorgeous touchscreen tablet), remember that you may sacrifice some functionality (oops, you can’t touch that gorgeous touchscreen tablet after the kid in room 4 yakked all over the place and you). We’re not saying that flashy can’t be functional; we’re saying temper the temptation of flash with a touch of functional.

Many hardware decisions are based on the limitations of your office setting. For example, if your exam rooms are very small and you have to move in and out of them quickly, maybe a more mobile option like a laptop or tablet is the way to go instead of a desktop or rolling cart workstation. Think about your ability to connect to a wireless network, too. If your office is in an office building made of cinderblocks, chances are you might have a tough time getting a signal without standing near a window. Therefore, choose hardware that can help you overcome that issue.

Where you locate office computers in the front office and other work areas (like the nurses’ station) depends on how you use the space, too. If, for example, two employees work in the front office, ...

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