Apr 01 2020

5 Ways Mobile EHR Workstations Are Enhancing Patient Care

From improving clinical workflows to increasing face time with patients, these modern workstations can serve as important tools that are more than a simple computer cart.

Mobile electronic health record workstations serve as powerful clinical tools — designed not only to enhance care but to reduce nursing fatigue, enhance patient engagement and handle the rigors of the hospital setting without technical delay or interruption.

To patients, however, they might just be seen as “computers on a cart.”

Here are five ways that the latest EHR workstations, such as ones from Enovate Medical, enhance patient care — even if patients don’t see those differences up front:

1. The Technology Works for Instead of Against Care Providers

Mobile EHR workstations allow doctors and nurses to bring important technology to the bedside, instead of needing to be tethered to wherever their physical workstation is plugged in. That’s why the Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center in La Junta, Colo., uses Enovate’s cloud-based Rhythm system with MobiusPower swappable battery packs for its emergency department. That way, carts move with nurses and physicians as needed. 

“Although our initial goal was to support bedside medication verification, our workstations are now utilized for all documentation purposes and have become an integral part of the daily workflow,” says Heidi Gearhart, EMR education and clinical informatics specialist at the Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center. 

DISCOVER: Mobile EHR workstations can provide a valuable service in healthcare. Find the right fit for your organization today.

2. Battery Packs Help to Improve Care Workflow

When Baptist Health System in Jacksonville, Fla., first implemented its cordless workstation, it quickly saw an improvement in nurse productivity, resulting in better care for patients. However, the organization’s IT team soon noticed a hindrance in that productivity due to the need for battery-powered printers for labeling specimens on their carts — in this case the batteries the nurses were using often had to be swapped out. To boost their nurses’ productivity, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based healthcare system connected the printers directly to the MobiusPower battery powering their mobile workstations.

“We used the Rhythm data to validate the power draw from the printer,” says Ty Ackerman, IT Software Asset Manager at Baptist Health. “We determined that the change would have almost no effect on the MobiusPower battery run times.”

Rhythm Responsive Grouping

When paired with Enovate's Rhythm, mobile EHR workstations can be remotely monitored and managed in real time. (Enovate Medical)

3. Convenient Placement Leads to Real Time Documentation

Though not able to travel from room to room, MedStar Montgomery Medical Center’s option for articulating wall-arm workstations offers its clinical staff a full range of motion while maintaining visual contact with their patient. The healthcare provider chose this compact, flexible station based on its nurses’ needs and the physical building’s recent renovations.

“This was one of the keys to their success — we conducted a thorough and comprehensive assessment and made recommendations to improve bedside documentation and maximize workflow,” says Kerstin Haase, Enovate’s regional sales director from the northeast region. 

Their results: more patient engagement in high-acuity patient rooms and the ability to monitor patients easily in real time.

READ MORE: Learn how electronic health records can improve patient care.

4. Mobile Stations Allow for More Face-to-Face Time with Patients

Battery life is always a concern for mobile EHR workstations — constantly assessing, swapping and replacing batteries can mean less time with patients. That’s why Montrose Memorial Hospital, a community hospital on the western slope of Colorado, opted to lease Enovate’s MobiusPower, bringing a flexible, efficient swappable battery system to its mobile EHR workstations. The batteries only need to be swapped out once in a 12-hour shift, and that process only takes seconds. 

“With this refresh, our call volume on battery and cart issues has dropped significantly,” says John Zentmeyer, technical support analyst II at Montrose Memorial. 

The hospital’s nurses can now spend less time with tech logistics and worrying about battery life and instead focus on what they do best — helping patients. 

“The ability to roll a workstation up into a triage room and be able to document with the patient in real time is big,” says Eric Herd, director of information services. “In the emergency department, we enhanced workflow quite a bit just by helping them not have to walk around as much.”

5. Overall System Helps to Cut Costs

In maintaining a fleet of 650 mobile workstations and 1,300 swappable MobiusPower batteries, Baptist Health System’s IT team needed a way to manage and optimize its fleet. 

“At our Heart Hospital, we had 12 workstations on the fourth floor, yet there are only 24 beds on that floor,” Ackerman says. “Why do I need a $10,000 workstation for two beds? We needed more data to size our fleet with accuracy.” 

Working in conjunction with its current workstations, the health system ran a nine-month pilot study at Baptist Heart Hospital of Enovate’s Rhythm, a system to remotely monitor mobile EHR workstations. The pilot of this solution allowed the IT team to gain real time visibility into the current use of its fleet — from battery health to remote diagnostics — and enabled the team to deploy workstations more efficiently rather than buying more. 

“We were able to identify a workstation that was only used 20 minutes a day on average in a month. So why do we need that unit? Rhythm allowed us to lower our operational cost by analyzing workflow data,” says Ackerman. “One simple exercise with real data paid for almost the entire year of Rhythm across all five campuses in the Baptist Health system.”

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header photo: sturti/Getty Images; body photo: Enovate Medical