Is Your Hospital Prepared For A Surge In Infections?

Is Your Hospital Prepared For A Surge In Infections?

As of Feb. 13, the total number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the United States has reached 15. The overall total number of infected individuals has reached 60,000, with a staggering 5,000 new cases added just last week in the midst of new guidelines for defining the infection. While the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. is low, is the U.S. healthcare system ready for the potential of a surge of Coronavirus cases?

Experts are split on the U.S. capability to ward off the virus, “No one is ready for a worst case-scenario for a really bad, lethal, fast-moving pandemic,” says bioterrorism and biosafety expert Dr. Tara O’Toole in an interview with NPR. With this in mind, how should healthcare facilities plan for the potential outbreak of Coronavirus in the United States?

Increase Hospital And Staff Sanitation Efforts

While every hospital staff member should be regularly washing their hands, now is an important time to remind them that the practice can reduce the risk of certain infections by as much as 50%. Germs can easily spread from one staff member to another via their use of medical computers. That is, unless they are medical computers from Tangent. Medical computers from Tangent come with an antimicrobial coating. This antimicrobial coating enables the medical computer to kill pathogens it comes into contact with. Medical computers from Tangent are a great second line of defense against the Coronavirus, in addition to regular handwashing.

Utilize Antimicrobial Sprays

While replacing your medical computers with medical computers from Tangent solves the long term problem of disease causing pathogens, Tangent also offers short term solutions as well. SmartShield™ Antimicrobial Spray from Tangent contains the same antimicrobial formula used in Tangent’s lineup of medical computers and medical panel PCs. Unlike traditional cleaning sprays and wipes which kill bacteria and viruses once, SmartShield™ Antimicrobial Spray from Tangent applies an antimicrobial coating which can last for up to 90 days.

This EPA approved formula works wonders not only on medical panel PCs like the Medix C19 from Tangent, but also on nearly every surface. From nonporous surfaces to porous surfaces, SmartShield™ Antimicrobial Spray can give your hospital’s surfaces the same protection as your medical panel PCs.

Be Informed And Stay Alert

Replacing your medical computers with medical panel PCs from Tangent is a great way to help reduce the risk of infections in your hospital. But when it comes to the Coronavirus, updating your hospital to the latest medical panel PC technology is only step one. It is important to keep your hospital staff and patients in the loop on developments on the Coronavirus. Regularly email your staff on their medical panel PCs about developments in both the Coronavirus, and medical efforts to contain it.

Be Prepared With Tangent

From Tangent’s lineup of medical panel PCs to our EPA approved SmartShield™ Antimicrobial Spray, Tangent is committed to keeping your healthcare facility safe.

Medical computers by Tangent are also Antimicrobial computers

The Importance Of Antimicrobial Medical PCs

We all like to think of hospitals as places in society where people go to get healthier, and for the most part this is true. However, this is not always the case as hospitals can inadvertently become breeding grounds for harmful diseases. The CDC estimates that each and every day, 1 in 31 hospitals will see a healthcare-associated infection (HAI).

Coinciding with a decrease in the viability of antibiotics, HAIs can turn hospitals into hazardous areas for those who are prone to infection. Often, these same individuals are the ones most in need of a hospital’s services. So what can be done?

Antimicrobial Computers Offer A Compelling Solution

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to HAIs, antimicrobial computers offer one way to minimize the risk of such infections from occurring. Antimicrobial computers are medical computers that are coated with an antimicrobial treatment. This coating causes the medical computer to be deadly to harmful bacteria, much like how the natural properties of copper make the metal germ-phobic. Typically, every medical computer is an antimicrobial computer, but it is important to check beforehand if this is the case. Luckily, at Tangent all of our medical computers are antimicrobial computers and UL60601-Certified.

Are Antimicrobial Computers Safe?

Antimicrobial computers are not only safe, they are some of the safest medical computers out there. Their antimicrobial coating prevents bacteria from breeding and growing on the medical computer’s surface without being harmful to doctors and patients. Antimicrobial computers are perfectly safe to touch, which is one of the reasons why Tangent’s lineup of medical grade computers are all touchscreen enabled. This allows doctors to use these antimicrobial computers without worrying about the bacteria on their hands. Unlike computers reliant on mice and keyboards, antimicrobial medical computers will not become breeding grounds for bacteria.

Are Antimicrobial Computers Easy To Clean?

Not only are antimicrobial computers easy to clean, they are built to be cleaned! While other computers and computer monitors require specialty cleaning agents in order to not be damaged, antimicrobial medical computers are able to be cleaned with traditional cleaning supplies. Regular cleaning does not remove the antimicrobial coating either, ensuring that these medical computers last well past their warranty. What’s more, antimicrobial computers mitigate the growth of harmful bacteria on their surface, meaning that with a cleaning they become nearly germ free.

Antimicrobial Computers: Reduce Your HAIs

If reducing the amount of HAIs in your hospital is a priority, then antimicrobial medical computers may be the solution you are looking for. These advanced medical computers come in various sizes and styles, and can quickly and easily become an indispensable tool for your facility.

 

How Medical Tablets Can Help Increase Your Efficiency In The Hospital

Boosting Efficiency In Your Hospital

While not every healthcare provider is excited about the transition from paper health records to electronic health records (EHR), the amount of time saved by this transition cannot be ignored. When paired with medical tablets, the use of EHRs in the hospital is exponentially faster, allowing medical staff to instantly access patient information wherever they are in the hospital.

 

In fact, 74% of hospitals that utilize medical tablets to collect patient information are more efficient than hospitals that do not according to a Harris Poll commissioned by Ricoh Americas Corporation. In nearly 3 out of 4 hospitals, the use of medical tablets greatly increased efficiency, and it’s easy to see why.

 

Paper Free, Stress Free

Among those surveyed, 77% said that hospital work entails too much paperwork, which cuts into time spent with patients. In an age where the doctor-patient face time is declining, paperwork serves as a barrier between doctors and their real job: helping patients. Without the hassle of creating, editing, and keeping track of paper health records, doctors are able to spend more time with patients, and potentially have more visits in one day. Medical tablets can help alleviate the stress doctors face in the hospital setting, allowing them instant access to EHRs anywhere in the facility. 

 

Clean and Easy

In addition to being slow, paper health records also hold the potential of being breeding grounds for dangerous bacteria responsible for nosocomial infections. Unless every paper touched by medical staff routinely goes under a U.V. light, it’s safe to say these archaic records are anything but clean. Medical tablets are 60601-1 Medical certified and feature an antimicrobial coating which mitigates the growth of harmful bacteria on their surfaces. This allows doctors to focus on their patients without worrying about the potential spread of bacteria. 

 

Medical tablets are also IP65 rated for water and dust resistance, making them both easy to clean and long lasting. With the combination of water resistance and their antimicrobial coatings, medical tablets make the perfect companion for doctors seeing patients with the flu or other spreadable illnesses.

 

The Patient’s Choice

85% of survey respondents said they feel more comfortable in hospitals deploying the latest technology in their healthcare. Medical tablets are on the bleeding edge of medical technology, and their applications in the hospital are growing every day. EHRs are just the beginning, medical tablets can be used in many of the same scenarios that medical computers are used in while also being mobile.

 

An astonishing 60% of respondents said they would rather spend time on the internet attempting to self diagnose a non-life threatening illness than deal with the paperwork associated with going to the hospital. Cutting back on the amount of paperwork in your hospital is crucial to giving patients adequate healthcare, and medical tablets offer a promising alternative.

Emergency Services Benefit From Medical Tablets

Emergency Services Benefit From Medical Tablets

The fires ravaging California are a grim reminder that the world as we know it is changing, in part, due to climate change. According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, we can expect the acreage burned by wildfires to increase on a yearly basis as the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases. As these wildfires get bigger, so too does the medical threat they impose. From asthma to burns, wildfires can affect patient health in numerous ways. Keeping your hospital up to date with the latest medical tablets can help ensure that your hospital is ready for the mobile care needed when a fire erupts.

medical tablet
                                                  Tangent Medix M8

When a wildfire ignites, urgent care may be needed in multiple places at once. While the priority may be to always get patients to the hospital as quickly as possible, sometimes this is just not possible. Medical tablets help fill in the gap when larger medical computers are not available for use, such as in the field during an emergency. Like medical computers, medical tablets have features that better suit them for use around patients than typical commercial tablets. Medical tablets, like the M8 8-inch Medical Tablet from Tangent, are 60601-1 Medical Certified for use around patients and sensitive electronics. This makes them ideal for emergency situations, when the last thing emergency personnel should be worrying about is if their equipment is safe for use around patients.

Medical Tablet PC
                                              Tangent’s Medix T13 Medical Tablet PC

Medical tablets can also aid your medical personnel, and emergency services, keep track of patient information to be uploaded once staff return to the hospital. Medical tablets like the T13 Medical Tablet from Tangent come equipped with both front and rear facing cameras, allowing emergency medical personnel to take pictures of patient injuries for use later. This feature is complemented by the T13’s anti-reflective screen, allowing for it to be used outside without eye strain. In addition, the T13 comes with hot-swap battery technology, allowing for it to be used around the clock without needing to sit out to charge. Medical staff can simply swap out a dead battery for a charged one, keeping the T13 ready at all times during an emergency.

 

Wide scale emergencies may sadly be a fact of life due to climate change. Being prepared to help the communities they serve should be at the top of every hospital’s priorities, and that means assisting victims of wildfires as soon as possible. Medical tablets allow medical personnel and emergency services the full use of medical computers on the go, and can help these forces better aid those in need.

Medical Tablets

Medical Staff Love Medical Tablets

These days, it seems rare for groups to be able to find common ground, let alone fully agree on an issue. However, a recent study has shown that over 90% of medical staff comprised of individuals at various levels surveyed felt their institution should support tablet integration in their hospitals and clinics. The survey asked resident trainees, fellowship level trainees, and attending level physicians across various medical fields multiple questions regarding the use of medical tablets. One thing is certain: Medical staff want to use medical tablets, and they are ready.

medical tablet
Tangent MedixM8

Medical tablets, simply put, are computer tablets designed for use in the medical setting. They are touchscreen computers that run the ever familiar and easy to use Windows operating system. Medical tablets like the M8 Medical tablet from Tangent have a small form factor, and are as easy for medical staff to use as their own personal cell phones. 

 

The biggest difference between medical tablets and commercial tablets is that medical tablets are designed to be 60601-1 certified for medical use. This allows them to be used in close proximity to both patients and medical equipment without worry. What’s more, medical tablets have an antimicrobial coating that mitigates the growth of bacteria on the tablet’s surfaces. This is extremely important for tablets used in the medical setting, as they are constantly changing hands throughout the day.

medical tablet
Tangent MedixT13

The study showed that even 90% of medical staff who did not own tablets at home felt as though their medical institution should have them. Medical tablets like the T13 from Tangent simply make the hospital work life easier and more efficient. With hot-swap batteries, the T13 does not need to sit out of commision while it charges, instead it can simply have its battery replaced and be ready to help patients in seconds.

 

With such a positive response to medical tablets, it’s a wonder why more medical institutions do not adopt them in their daily use. Medical tablets are a homerun with medical staff, and are just one way to increase morale around the hospital or clinic. 

Medical Computers Redundancy

Preparing Your Hospital For Hurricanes And Other Natural Disasters

While we tend not to think of worst case scenarios, it is important that we are prepared for them. Natural disasters are inherently unpredictable, and it is up to individuals and organizations to be prepared when disaster strikes. Unfortunately, we may not be as prepared as we would like to think. According to the National Health Security Preparedness Index, which measures health protections from numerous sources, the United States is not as adequately prepared for wide scale health emergencies as we should be. The Index rates the United States at a 6.7 out of 10, and while this score has increased from previous years, the rate at which it is growing is slowing. Worse, healthcare delivery was rated at a mere 4.9 out of 10. 

 

What Can Be Done?

In emergency situations, hospitals must be fully prepared to render aid to any and all affected. After all, communities cannot rebuild and return to normalcy when the populace is isn’t healthy. Ensuring that your hospital is ready for natural disasters is crucial to your community’s peace of mind. It is vital that doctors, nurses, and medical staff are able to be relied on in times of crisis, as their services are crucial to preventing natural disasters from turning into health crises. A recent study by American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) surveyed a group of 247 doctors and found that 93 percent believed their hospitals were not fully prepared to deal with large patient influxes due to disasters. Making sure that your medical personnel have the right equipment to handle large patient influxes such as those occurring in natural disasters is just as important.

 

Choosing The Right Equipment.

Disaster can strike at any time, and while hurricanes can be tracked, they cannot be stopped. It’s a fact that America’s power infrastructure is decaying, and relying on traditional wall outlets in an emergency could lead to serious medical consequences. Making sure your medical equipment can operate for extended periods without relying on the power grid is crucial to making sure your hospital is prepared for disasters.

 

Traditional desktop computers rely on external uninterrupted power supplies (UPS) for emergency power. These are fine, but require floor space and IT monitoring and setup, and cannot be moved in an emergency. Medical all-in-one PCs are touchscreen enabled computers that can feature hot-swap battery technology, allowing them to act as their own UPS. Tangent’s lineup of medical all-in-one PCs features PCs that are capable of running off battery power without being plugged into walls. This allows them to be mobile computers, going wherever they are needed. Medical Tablets are also battery operated, and just as capable as traditional computers. Medical Tablets can serve as on-the-go medical PCs in disaster scenarios, allowing doctors to treat and track numerous patients at a time. In search and rescue operations, medical tablets are portable enough to serve first responders without inhibiting their mission. Having medical tablets on standby is just one way to prepare your hospital for natural disasters.

 

Serving The Community.

A hospitals priority should be to serve the public’s health everyday, including days when disaster is unfolding. Allocating Medical all-in-one PCs and medical tablets are just two of the ways that your hospital can better prepare itself for the inevitable. 

 

medical computers

Mobile Phone vs Medical Tablet: What’s Best in Healthcare?

Technology you encounter at hospitals can be a tad confusing or funny at times. You see million dollar state-of-the-art scanners and treatment machines, but then you also see a doctor walk by with a 90s style pager clipped to their pocket.

 

The reason for this is that they both suit their purpose best. The most up-to-date scanners do a better job of identifying anomalies and areas of concern, and the old pagers have a longer battery life and better signal strength than cell phones can get in hospitals. You also see hospital staff roaming around with medical tablets more often than mobile phones, although one would think that mobile phones do just as much for cheaper.

 

However, there’s quite a bit of thought that goes into the tablets used by medical professionals.

Most standard mobile phones like the iPhone are created for general consumer use for normal daily activities like making calls, using the internet, or taking photos. Medical grade tablets are designed specifically for use in healthcare facilities.

 

For example, the Tangent Medix T13 has a magnesium chassis that makes it 33% lighter than aluminum and offers high impact resistance. The surface of the medical tablet is treated with an antimicrobial surface that prevents the growth and/or spread of infection and germs, and it also keeps the enclosure material from degrading over time. You’re not likely to see a feature like that on a regular mobile device. Mobile phones are also susceptible to water damage even from minor contact with it. The T13 medical tablet is rated at an IP65 level of protection from dust, water, or contaminant intrusion into the computer. Mobile phone design is meant to be sleek and aesthetically pleasing to the consumer eye, but without a good case and screen protector, they are not long for this world. Tangent’s medical tablets are constructed with a rugged design that has good grip and protected against vibration and shocks from short drops.

 

The internals of the devices also have quite a few notable differences. While a mobile device’s battery can be recharged within an hour or so, hospital staff simply can’t wait that long. Tangent’s T13 medical tablet has hot-swappable batteries that can be switched out while maintaining continuity in power. That is a huge thing for patient care, and a big reason why many still carry those old pagers to get quick notifications. If you know Apple, then you know that they don’t customize their product or allow for repairs, even replacing the battery when it’s bad.  Tangent enjoys offering accessories and options on their products that best suits the needs of their clients. On the outside, the T13 has a kickstand and a hand strap for easy mobility and visibility. Inside, they offer a barcode scanner and/or RFID for asset tracking or locating patients. The details make everything about a medical tablet, which is why medical facilities invest in what works best for them.

 

Medical tablets for sabitafions

Medical Tablets for Sanitation

Medical Tablets: Handheld and Sanitary Computer Solutions    

 

People tend to forget that public computers and touchscreens are prime breeding grounds for bacteria and infection. Just this week, a study done by a British newspaper, Metro, announced that they found gut and fecal bacteria on the touchscreen computers in all eight of the McDonald’s chain restaurants that they checked. The main bacteria found was coliform but the dangerous listeria bacteria was also found on some of the screens. The restaurant chain responded that the touchscreens are regularly cleaned, but how much stewardship and regulation goes into a restaurant’s computers cleanliness? There didn’t appear to be much foresight into how easily communicable germs and bacteria are.

It’s no small surprise that infection control is one of the top priorities within medical facilities. Any reputable hospital system has written and publicly published policies and procedures related to infection control for everything including computer equipment. An industrial panel PC from Tangent is the optimal choice for tackling the threat of infection. For example, the KW series panel PC is rated with an IP65 level of protection which precludes any sort of dust or contaminant ingress into the panel PC, and can also withstand direct water jets and cleaning solutions. The panel PC can be sprayed and wiped down an innumerable amount of times and never get damaged from it.

The industrial grade metal enclosure offers a rugged, corrosive resistant surface that is also treated with an antimicrobial coating to further protect patients and staff from the spread of infection. The inside of the panel PC also plays a large part in promoting cleanliness and durability. The computer operates entirely without fans or moving parts. Failures within a computer are often attributed to components that wear out. The Tangent panel PC requires less maintenance, has more uptime, and doesn’t blow any dust particles around.

Another feature that’s making panel PCs the new norm in medical facilities is their compact size and all-inclusiveness. Having no separate PC box or cabling drastically cuts down on the space needed. Keyboards and mice are notoriously hard to keep clean, so the option to cut them out of the equation is very possible and attractive with a Tangent panel PC. They are offered with 4-wire resistive touch or PCAP multi-touch screen to provide a range of functionality based on the client’s needs. Optional Intel Wireless AC-7260 and Bluetooth functionality also adds to the cord-cutting versatility of Tangent’s panel PC line.

Tangent took the extra step of ensuring that their medical tablets and industrial panel PCs are validated to be fully compliant with both Epic and Cerner applications, two of the biggest providers of health information technology solutions and services in the world. A lot of effort was put into creating a line of purpose built industrial panel PCs that would give medical practices powerful computing capabilities, ease-of-use, reliability, and to help avoid infection scares like with the fast food touchscreen fiasco. It’s a big enough scandal for a big name restaurant, but it would be catastrophic for a small health facility.

 

Invisible Threats

Invisible Threats

Invisible Threats

Hospital equipment often is advertised as being antimicrobial, but how is it possible for a LCD monitor or tablet computer to ward off pathogens in a medical setting without being wiped down with disinfectants all the time? It seems odd for a collection of plastics and wires to promote any sort of health benefits, but medical advancements and information technology have long gone hand in hand. Antimicrobial additives can now be blended into plastic surfaces during the manufacturing process to provide lasting protection from microbes, harmful bacteria, mold, fungi and viruses. This minimizes the risk of the spread of infection, staining, smells, and material degradation. When you take into account that hospital associated infections have caused more than 100,000 deaths in the United States, it’s no wonder that great efforts are made to sterilize every surface possible.

Another benefit of antimicrobial plastic is that the additives have been tested to last for the expected lifetime of the treated product, like Tangent’s Medical LCD monitors. Once infused into plastic, antimicrobial additives don’t leech from the surface, cause discoloration or affect the clarity of the plastic. This ensures that the equipment can be confidently kept in medical spaces to keep patients safe for years without degrading the quality of the device. Every Tangent Touch Screen Medical LCD monitor comes factory treated with an antimicrobial additive to battle surface contamination. The 22” Medical LCD monitor also has an IP65 rated front panel, which means it’s rated as dust tight and protected against water projected from a nozzle. One doesn’t expect a random hose to be shooting water around a hospital, but strange things are known to happen. Actually, this provides a very beneficial added layer of cleanliness to the LCD monitor. The monitor can be easily cleaned and wiped down with no chance of damaging it’s internal components or adversely affecting its touch screen capabilities.  

Microbes and bacteria are a threat that is naked to the eye, and yet another invisible and potentially hazardous peril can arise from electronics in a medical setting. Before 1977, there was no standard for safety on medical equipment and electric shocks and shorts were commonplace. Since then the EN 60601-1 family of standards was developed. Its scope covers the safety, essential performance and electromagnetic compatibility of medical electrical equipment and related systems. Tangent’s Touch Screen Medical LCD is certified EN 60601 and is compliant with CDC guidelines. Painstaking measures are taken to ensure that these LCD monitors are safe, sanitary, and effective in a medical space. It’s VESA 75 mounting capability allows for affixing the LCD monitor to an arm, point-of-care cart, or stand.

Pair this sleek LCD monitor with one of Tangent’s antimicrobial, waterproof keyboards, and a rugged, fanless PC to truly experience a long-lasting, dependable, hygienic computer system. There is enough to worry about in a hospital settings without having to consider whether your computer components are making patients unwell or spreading dust and spores.