Is RFID Safe?

RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology has been found to generate considerable cost savings and increase efficiency in a variety of sectors like supply chain management, asset management, and information technology departments due to its ability to capture data without any human intervention.

 

Utilizing RFID in healthcare has been explored with great interest in recent years not only because of a legislative mandate to use new technology in healthcare, but for its potential to benefit patient safety, provide accurate patient and asset tracking, and enhance efficiencies in patient care. For example, RFID systems can identify medical staff, patients, medications, and blood sampling data all in real time.

 

The adoption of RFID in hospitals has been somewhat slow due to questions about data security, privacy, and concerns about radio frequency interruption due to older infrastructure in many facilities. However, apprehension about these risks largely stem from unfamiliarity with the technology and poor implementation strategies. These issues can be mitigated with in-depth analyses of risk/benefits, return on investment analyses, extensive testing prior to implementation, educating staff on the technology and its benefits, and taking steps for appropriate security measures to ensure patient privacy.

 

Tangent is well aware of the national mandate from the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Clinical Health) Act of 2015 to implement new health information technology and improve healthcare delivery. With that, they aim to stay at the forefront of technology that can be integrated into their medical devices.

medixt13

An excellent example is the Tangent Medix T13  medical tablet PC. This tablet is packed with a treasure trove of useful features for only being 13” inches. The enclosure is factory treated with a medical grade antimicrobial coating and is rated at an IP54 level of protection against contaminant or liquid ingress into the unit. The touchscreen is a PCAP multitouch, the computer’s Ultramobile processor can be an Intel Core i7, i5, or Celeron, and the unit has TPM 2.0 support.

 

The Medix medical tablet has a full-slot smart card reader and SD card readers. This allows for clocking in, secure logging in to the system, accepting payments and a great number of other uses with a card. An optional barcode scanner can allow for scanning of medications or patient wristbands. A  desktop charging cradle, wall and vehicle mounting accessories, and a handheld wrist strap for the T13 medical tablet provide numerous ways to interact with the device.

And keeping with the topic of this blog entry, an optional RFID reader in the T13 medical tablet allows hospital staff to identify, track, and retrieve data on most anything in the facility.

 

As hospitals and clinics are urged to adopt newer technologies by governing bodies, it’s important for providers to stay ahead of the curve on offering these features in their computing devices. Tangent’s mission is to provide medical care providers all the tools they need to give the best care and to stay up-to-date  with regulations and recommendations. When implemented correctly, technologies like RFID can create highly visible benefits to both patients and care facilities.

 

The Antimicrobial Screen Advantage

Any surface can be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, and that is a particularly troubling fact when it comes to health compromised patients in hospitals. The CDC’s website states that about one in 31 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection.  Devices that are touched by both patients and doctors, like medical equipment and computers, can pose a significant risk of spreading contagions. Unlike a doorknob or a handrail, consumer computers and devices are sensitive to harsh cleaning and being exposed to liquids and abrasive cleaners.

 

Your standard LCD monitor is not protected against liquid ingress and will malfunction upon contact with it.  Luckily, antimicrobial surface treatment technology has become quite advanced and companies like Tangent are producing medical grade LCD monitors that are not only treated with antimicrobial coatings, they are also protected against water damage so that they may be appropriately cleaned in line with hospital regulations.

 

Antimicrobial surfaces mainly work to suppress the growth of bacteria and harmful microorganisms, and stop the spread of microbes. In addition to deterring bacteria, germs and molds, the coating also minimizes stains and degradation of plastic on the surfaces they are applied to. Antimicrobial agents come in a variety of types like chlorhexidine, ammonium compounds, and silver.  

Medical-Monitor

Tangent’s flagship 22 inch medical LCD monitor has a cast aluminum chassis, is factory treated with an antimicrobial additive to battle surface contamination, and is rated an an IP65 protection level against dust, cleaning liquids and water. Because of big initiatives to improve in sanitation, prevention, care quality, and overall awareness, data from CDC’s hospital healthcare-associated infection prevalence surveys show significant reductions in overall healthcare-associated infection prevalence and central line prevalence between 2011 and 2015. And speaking of the CDC, Tangent’s medical LCD monitor is EN60601-1 certified to be compliant with CDC guidelines for environmental infection control and isolation precautions.

 

This 22″ LED backlit medical LCD monitor features a 16:9 aspect ratio widescreen display, a PCAP 2-point touchscreen, and on screen display buttons for power, brightness, and auto tune. A variety of mounting options like point of care carts, movable arms, or desktop stands are possible with the VESA 75 mounting bracket. The Tangent medical LCD monitor also comes with integrated speakers, a feature not often seen on a monitor. With the success of antimicrobial agents on medical devices to help prevent the spread of pathogens in clinical settings, the technology is now being sought for use in a wider setting like businesses and homes. Wherever the demand may be, Tangent’s medical grade LCD monitor is up to the task.

Why the HIMSS Conference Matters

Medical practitioners have always sought to employ the best technology available to enhance their care and treatment of patients, but how do they go about learning what technology is available and specific to their field? From the development and testing of vaccines and drugs to ever-advancing medical equipment, information technology and healthcare go hand in hand, and that notion is especially promoted by a non-profit organization called HIMSS.

 

HIMSS aims to optimize healthcare through information technology by way of leadership, community building, information disbursement, driving public policy, professional and workforce development, and large events where members can learn and share ideas. HIMSS’ biggest event is their annual global conference and exhibition. For 2019, it is being held on February 11th through the 15th in Orlando, Florida. It is touted as the leading health information and technology conference, and will host around 45,000 professionals from over 90 countries to join in seminars, education, innovation and collaboration.

 

Topics at this year’s conference will include cybersecurity and privacy, patient engagement and digital health, health informatics education, interoperability, and innovation and venture investment. Outside of the conferences and seminars, the event will have over 1,300 health IT vendors in the exhibit hall.

 

Conferences and events of this nature are excellent sources of information regarding the importance of using top quality medical computer equipment and partnering with the right vendor to provide the best solutions. Tangent prides itself on being an award-winner solutions expert on medical equipment and services needs, both small and large.

 

Tangent representatives will be in attendance at the 2019 HIMSS Global Conference, and will be stationed in the exhibit hall at booth 3909, next to the Allscripts exhibit. The knowledgeable Tangent team will field questions pertaining to medical grade computing needs, cloud solutions, storage, and so much more. They can host demonstrations with sample products and provide guidance for general or customized needs. Visitors are encouraged to share their business’ challenges and requirements and see where Tangent can help them excel.

A Firewall for Your Finger Tips

A Firewall for Your Finger Tips

We spend quite a bit of time discussing sanitation on medical computers and monitors, but we’d be remiss to not center some of the spotlight on the computer component that not only provides access to the system but also experiences most of the physical contact: the keyboard. In medical environments, the main objective of their operations is to improve patient health, but equally scrutinized is a facility’s ability to protect their patient’s private health information. Though it seems like the most expendable of peripherals, a medical grade keyboard can actually prove to be a major asset in both of those goals.

Tangent’s newest anti-microbial medical keyboard, the MEDKYB-011,  sets out to safeguard patients from infection and from data breaches.  First on the list of sanitary measures is that the keyboard is treated with an antimicrobial additive to prevent the spread of germs and contaminants. The medical keyboard also comes equipped with a cleaning switch which allows you to cut the power to the keyboard and thoroughly clean a disinfect it without causing any damage. With many hands and fingers touching the keyboard every day, it’s key to have a durable, long-lasting, and germ-free product. I’ve turned over numerous keyboards and watched in disgust as years old food crumbs and dirt came tumbling out from between the keys. This is absolutely unacceptable in a hospital environment.

Anti-microbial protection and the ability to be washed is where most medical keyboards finish in terms of special features. The Tangent MEDKYB-011 medical keyboard comes with analytical software that can provide data that most compliance officers would do backflips to be able to obtain. Hospitals will be able to know what keyboard was cleaned, who cleaned it, and when it was last cleaned. This can be achieved through monitoring logins, or to be even more compliance assured, the medical keyboard has an optional biometric fingerprint reader to log users in. There is also an option to add OneSign Secure Walk-Away software to work in conjunction with the medical keyboard and computer cameras for more effective and assured protected health information (PHI) and avoid a number if HIPAA violations.  In hectic, shared workstation settings, it can easily happen that hospital staff don’t check to see if someone else logged into their computer since they left it. This can lead to them charting under the wrong provider ID or on the wrong patients’ record. Also, if a medical care provider had to walk away from a workstation in an emergency, a patient’s personal information is left up on the screen for anyone to copy down. It’s easy to see what a disaster that could turn into.

The Secure Walk-Away application provides user tracking to identify an authenticated user in front of the computer and will automatically lock the system upon their departure, providing instant re-authentication when they return. This saves on so much time and removes the stress of having to remember to log in and out of the workstation, which is huge for any care provider with an already stressful workload. Tangent looks at a hospital processes and pain points, and targets its products to improve medical user’s experience, enhance workflows, and protect patients. The best and most reliable technology goes into each offering, even into its medical keyboards.

 

Medical LCD Monitors

Medical LCD Monitors

The CDC largely cites government agency regulations and the Spaulding Classification Scheme when determining recommendations for maintaining a safe medical environment regarding the cleanliness of equipment involved with or in the vicinity of treatment. In the early 90’s, OSHA (the Occupational Health and Safety Administration) enacted a standard called “Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens.” The intent was to eliminate or at least minimize occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. A major component of the standard is that all equipment, environmental, and working surfaces be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated with a disinfectant after contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials. Another 90’s study expanded this and the Spaulding scheme by dividing noncritical environmental surfaces into housekeeping surfaces and medical equipment surfaces. Medical equipment surfaces, which includes computer equipment like medical LCD monitors, can become contaminated with infectious agents and contribute to the spread of pathogens. For this reason, it was noted that noncritical medical equipment surfaces should be disinfected with an EPA-registered low- or intermediate-level disinfectant.

 

With so many regulations, treatises, and recommendations in place, it’s very important to utilize equipment that will both keep patients safe and maintain a compliant standing. Medical LCD monitors are no exception to these rules. Not only is the Tangent 22” Medical LCD monitor EN60601-Certified to be compliant with CDC guidelines, it is also IP65 certified against water, dirt, and dust ingress. One could shoot low pressure water jets directly at the front panel of the unit and it would continue to function normally.

 

The medical LCD monitor can be cleaned, disinfected and wiped down without any threat of damaging internal components. The monitor is a true flat capacitive multi touch screen, which makes it capability to be so thoroughly washed and sanitized all the more impressive. Tangent also took into consideration that many surfaces are naturally a microbial and pathogenic cesspool, so they ensured that the casing of their medical LCD monitor is factory treated with an antimicrobial additive to battle surface contamination.

 

And since Tangent is so keen on being in line with standards, their medical LCD monitors are VESA 75 compliant for standard mounting to a number of things like a pivoting monitor arm or point-of-care cart. Other certifications the medical LCD monitors carry are FCC Class A, which classifies them as  a product marketed for commercial or industrial use, and CE certification, which indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). Compliance with regulatory measures are one of the highest priorities for Tangent on their medical LCD monitors and all of their other quality medical grade systems.  

Importance of 60601-1 Certification for Medical Tablets

Importance of 60601-1 Certification for Medical Tablets

In the medical field, the general standard IEC 60601-1 is a widely accepted benchmark for medical electrical equipment. It deals with the basic safety and essential performance functions of medical electrical equipment and aims to ensure that no electrical, mechanical, or functional failure poses an unacceptable risk to patients or operators.  Compliance with the standards described in the manual (including newer editions) has largely become a mandatory requirement for electrical medical equipment in many countries, so adherence to it is paramount to any company manufacturing or selling such equipment.

Tangent takes safety standards very seriously for its line of medical tablets, ensuring that they not only meet those requirements, but also offer durable, full-featured, and user-friendly devices. Tangent offers five different medical tables, made to suit a variety of hospital technology needs, and range from nine inches to thirteen inches. All come standard with anti-microbial surfaces, at least an IP54 rated casing, a sleek, but rugged design to withstand the demanding environment of medical facilities, and of course is certified on the 60601-1 standard for medical equipment safety.

 

t13-13-inch-antimicrobial-tablet

The T13 thirteen inch medical tablet features the Intel Core i7 or i5 CPU, a projected capacitive touchscreen, full slot smart card and SD card readers. Optional features include RFID reader, front and back cameras, 2D barcode scanner, a 4G LTE module, detachable keyboard, charging cradle, and mounting accessories like a desktop charging cradle, and wall/vehicle mounts with VESA 100 ratings. Another great option for added mobility is a hand strap for the medical tablet and\or an integrated stand.  The IP54 rating on this means its protected from dirt, dust, oil, other non-corrosive substances and splashes of water. This workhorse is perfect for users that are on the move and need a reliable, clean, easy-to-read device.

M10i-10-inch-fully-rugged-tablet

The M10i ten inch medical tablet takes safety and durability ratings to a whole different level with being tested to MIL-STD-810G military standards and having an IP65 rated enclosure, making it safe to be sprayed and wiped clean without damaging the internal components. The MIL-STD-810G environmental testing proves that this tablet will excel throughout its service life in the medical industry by certifying that it can handle stress, vibration and shock. This is all in addition to the 60601-1 certification all Tangent medical tablets carry. This particular tablet features a 4th Generation Intel® Haswell Core™ i processor, and a high brightness multi-touch surface featuring a sun-readable Gorilla Glass panel and digitizer. Other features native to this impressive PC include a  hot-swap battery for 11-hours of uninterrupted operation, dual front and back cameras, TPM 1.2 support, WiFi and Bluetooth. It even has a docking port to easily make use of a monitor and keyboard. It’s an extremely full-featured medical tablet that’s ready to last a full day of work.

It’s tough keeping up with the rigorous standards of the day, especially in regards to medical equipment, but it’s a task that Tangent and its medical tablets happily take on and continuously work to improve.

The Surgical Environment and Noise-free Computers: A Complimentary Pair

 

Tangent’s fanless medical computers contain advanced cooling technology and SSD storage providing noise-free operation. While a silent computer is convenient and desirable, there are specific environments where the noise-free feature is not just a nice commodity, but also a requisite. This article covers the applications of noise-free computers in surgical environments.

 

Operating Rooms: Medical industries are highly dynamic environments filled with technological devices and people. Reducing noise pollution is a continuous common goal that improves the flow of the medical workplace. While silent devices are needed throughout health facilities, none is more important than the operating room, which carries with it the reputation of irrefutable respect- with reason.

Operation outcomes can be the determining factor of life or death. Open-heart surgery, liver transplants, and intestine transplants are just a few high-stake procedures that occur in the OR. Surgeon concentration is of utmost importance as is that of the entire OR team, often comprised of nurses, surgical technicians and anesthesiologists.

While music has proven to increase workflow by setting a nice pace and easing the tension of the surgical environment, distractions must be kept to a minimum. Unnecessary, obtrusive noise has no place in surgical environments and thus is why silent computers make the list of must-haves in them.

Post-Operative Patient Care: While the act of performing surgery is the high-pressured climax of a surgical environment, proper post-operative care is vital to ensure the hard work performed during surgery is successful. Sleep and rest assist to ensure proper post-operative healing. Among the concerns of post-operative patients, sensitivity to light, sound and smells top the list. So while proper functioning computers hold insurmountable value to patient care both in and out of surgery, the ability to do so silently shares equal merit.

Tangent noise-free computers are the perfect pair for the surgical environment delivering silent operation and optimizing sterility. Fanless in design, noise-free computers maintain a sterile environment because the elimination of a fan prevents the circulation of dust particles and airborne debris. The ventless enclosure of our noise-free, fanless computers means zero maintenance ensuring the surgical team can focus on what matters most: patient care.

 

 

The Significance of Anti-Microbial Keyboards and Mice

The Significance of Antimicrobial         Keyboards and Mice

Medical grade keyboards and mice are the gateway to secure, sterile, high-quality healthcare.

Healthcare computers, carts and tablets receive significant credit in the way they have improved healthcare environments producing more efficiency, sterility and better quality service. Nevertheless, as the adage states: a castle can only stand as strong as its foundation. Medical grade keyboards and mice are imperative foundational supporting accessories that must be on par with the other foreground components in order to sustain a superior work environment.

Hands: The gateway to healthcare professionals and their patients. Study after study demonstrates that hands are one of the leading causes in the spread of germs. We teach the importance of clean hands since childhood because if there is anything we have learned from historical plagues to modern day epidemics, sterile hands are paramount to the prevention of spreading disease. Proper hand hygiene is crucial in any healthcare department, let alone workplace. Therefore, the technological tools that hands most come into contact hold insurmountable importance.

While the healthcare industry improves with the incorporation of technological products, in order to maintain the most hygienic and exemplary health environment, medical grade keyboards and mice, the accessories, must meet high quality standards as well.

GATEWAY ACCESSORIES

 Medical grade keyboards and mice are referred to as gateway accessories as they are the channels through which germs and viruses are spread or NOT. At Tangent, all our medical grade keyboards and accompanying mice are SilverShield™ antimicrobial and SealShield ™ waterproof. This translates to fully washable medical grade keyboards and mice. Protect your healthcare workplace to the highest caliber by selecting premium grade healthcare accessories.

To view our medical grade keyboard and mice inventory, follow this link:

https://www.tangent.com/healthcare/antimicrobial-keyboards or click HERE