Technology

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iPad Buying Guide for PTs: 3G or not 3G?

Thinking about getting an Apple iPad to do your documentation in the clinic? There are a few important things to consider before investing your hard earned money in an iPad,  especially with clinical use in mind. We all know that the iPad does not come cheap, so to prevent any buyer’s remorse we have created this buying guide to make sure you get the iPad that is right for you in the clinic.  Following this guide will get you up and running with the best iPad possible in no time.

physical_therapy_ipad_PTHow Much Memory to Buy?
Many consumers get confused by the three memory sizes available that Apple currently offers. This refer to the storage space that comes with each model: 16GB, a 32GB, and 64GB memory. The iPad was made to store photos and music and these size differences refer to that functionality. Unless you are saving thousands of PDFs, you could potentially get away with the 16GB of storage space. If you use a web-based EMR, like WebPT, then you need not pay the $100 upgrade for more storage, because most, if not all, of your business files will be stored on WebPT servers.

Wi-Fi or 3G Internet?
The biggest dilemma for most is  whether or not you want the Wi-Fi enabled or the 3G version of the iPad.  This is really going to depend on where you are going to be using your iPad the most. If your clinic has secure Wi-Fi and that is the only location that you will be utilizing the iPad, then the Wi-Fi only version is perfect. If your clinic is currently hardwired to the internet, you can easily ask your network administrator to set up a wireless router for use with iPad.

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How Can the iPad Help PTs?

As we start a new year and a new decade, many of us want to start fresh with something that can improve our lives. 2011 has the potential for some game changing technological innovations in healthcare.

In April 2010, Apple released the iPad, which has taken the world by storm. More importantly it has given healthcare professionals mobility, easy access to web-based EMR, real time data access and a more interactive method of patient education. It is not the answer for everything, but it is a great tool that is less intimidating to patients than a laptop or computer.

PTs have embraced the iPad with enthusiasm. One of the most common questions that we get at WebPT is “Can I complete my documentation on the iPad?” Approximately 20% of WebPT users have iPads in their clinics as the point of service tool of choice. There are different opinions on how much the iPad can really impact healthcare, but the iPad and other tablet computers are already becoming very practical and useful.

Here are the three main benefits of the iPad for for therapy clinical care:

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Motion Doctor Develops iPad app designed for Physical Therapy home exercise instruction

The new iPad app includes over 60 videos categorized by body part, activity, sport and occupation. The videos are designed to help everyday people maintain their health and mobility, pain free. The Motion Doctor iPad app can also be used by Physical Therapists as a reference tool, showing patients how to properly perform exercises at home by taking the iPad anywhere they may go and watching the videos on demand.

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Using the iPad in the PT Clinic – What You Need to Know

WebPT EMR on iPadBy now you have heard all of the buzz surrounding the Apple iPad, which is already one of the most revolutionary tech products to hit the healthcare industry.  Over 20% of US physicians planned to buy the iPad before it was released. Pundits are now calling 2011, “The Year of the Tablet.”

Many WebPT members use an iPad for their documentation and more PTs have surely received or bought one for Christmas. After you sift through all the indiscriminant praise and the coffee-table novelty of this product, you are probably hit with an all too real question: How do I actually implement this product into my professional life? There is a current statistic that 30-50% of EMR implementations fail due to poor planning and potential technophobia.

If you are ready with iPad in hand, there are some key things you need to know regarding implementation using an EMR in your PT clinic. There are simply a few things that a PT, OT, or any healthcare provider should know before running out and spending the $500 on a new iPad.

1. Does your EMR work on the iPad?
Most EMR software is older, Windows-based software that will not work on the iPad at all. If you are using a modern, web-based EMR software like WebPT, you can use your iPad to run your EMR software wherever you have an Internet connection.  WebPT works on the iPad without any tricks or additional software. If your current EMR claims to be compatible with smartphones and tablet computers, make sure you actually test it before diving in.

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The real magic of electronic medical records is the ease of sharing key patient information

There are real benefits to going electronic. Sure you can get rid of the large file cabinets and storage rooms. Yes, you can search patient files making it faster to find what you are looking for. However, the real beauty of electronic medical records is the ability to quickly and easily share important patient data with referring physicians and other healthcare providers as needed.

 

 

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Healthcare found immediate practical use for the iPad

The iPad gives the medical industry the flexibility, portability, reliability and practicality that it has needed to move toward electronic medical records with ease. Medical physicians were so excited about the battery life and reasonable costs that many of them purchased their own iPad before their practice adopted them as standard tools in the practice.

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