Complete nursing documentation is the foundation for high-quality patient care. At the Oberhavel Kliniken, where more than 250 doctors and 550 nurses look after the well-being of the patients, modern electronic data collection was therefore introduced at an early stage. The visiting trolleys were equipped with thin clients – the trolleys are always present when nurses and doctors interact with patients. However, the system soon showed weaknesses, especially with regard to the performance of the built-in rechargeable batteries. Together with CONCEPT International, the IT team at Oberhavel Kliniken found a better solution.
Rechargeable Batteries as a Critical Factor in Mobile Patient Data Collection
Carsten Schwenteck, IT manager at Oberhavel Kliniken, drew a clear conclusion after four years with the thin-client variant: an alternative with a state-of-the-art battery solution is needed. In long-term use, these weaknesses had become apparent:
- Unacceptable operating time: someone from the nursing staff always had to recharge the battery in time.
- Fixed battery: The trolley PC could not be used while charging.
- General problems with the power supply: Overheated or melted plugs as well as bloated batteries.
Schwenteck made the experience that such deficiencies not only hinder procedures, but can also have a psychological effect: If the devices can only be used with caution (monitor charge level, coordinate charging), an inhibition threshold is created that not every employee wants to cross. Ultimately, the use of the devices is limited to a small circle of users and the benefits fall short of the expected efficiency.
Other Hardware Requirements: Business Trolley Compatible and Easy to Use
One essential requirement for new hardware was therefore quickly defined: the new solution should solve all problems related to charging. Furthermore, it was clear that only the PCs would be replaced and the trolleys would remain. A complete solution consisting of an electrified trolley and a PC, as often offered by medical systems companies, was ruled out for the Oberhavel Kliniken.
At the conhIT trade fair in Berlin, Carsten Schwenteck became aware of the Medical All-in-One PCs made by the US manufacturer DT Research, which in Germany are exclusively distributed by CONCEPT International. They offer a bright display with a waterproof front and a detergent-resistant, antibacterial surface developed for clinical use. The decisive factor, above all, was that thanks to VESA holes, the devices can be easily mounted on almost all trolleys using a bracket. No modification to the trolley’s frame is necessary.
Result in the Long-Term Test: More Efficiency in Nursing Documentation
The staff tested the new medical cart PCs in daily use for more than four weeks. The WLAN connection worked flawlessly and the staff expressed their satisfaction across the board. Finally, the complete exchange followed at all Oberhavel Kliniken locations. The long-term balance after one year was also positive. The long battery life was particularly convincing:
- It is no longer necessary to assign someone to monitor the charge level or replace the batteries every shift.
- It is sufficient to simply charge the trolley overnight. If this is forgotten, three batteries charged in a charging tray can be used. The early shift is always equipped with a fully operational mobile unit.
As anticipated, the ease of use thanks to the long battery life also reduces the fear of getting in touch with the technology. The doctors, for example, like to use the PC as a mobile workstation at which they always do documentation and administrative tasks exactly where they are needed.
Thus, the new PC solution has helped to provide maximum efficiency in the work processes. The significantly improved nursing documentation ensures the quality of patient care and thus fully meets the requirements of Oberhavel Kliniken and its IT manager.