Bethel CT VNA
Bethel CT VNA Takes Panasonic Toughbook PCs On the Road
Home Healthcare Providers and Patients Benefit from Rugged Tablet Technology
Bethel Visiting Nurse Association (BVNA) provides home health services to patients from prenatal, to end-of-life care, throughout Northwestern Connecticut. Since being founded in Bethel, CT in 1927 as a non-profit, the VNA has provided professional, compassionate care to the community for over 85 years.
Today Bethel VNA offers professional services ranging from skilled nursing and rehabilitation to nutritional counseling and social work. Nurses begin their day at the BVNA headquarters where they meet to discuss patient updates. Following this daily assembly, the nurses and therapists make their way throughout Bethel's nearby communities, each visiting up to seven home healthcare patients per day.
In home healthcare especially, digitizing patient records and adopting a reliable mobile technology solution are essential. Home health workers are constantly on the move, accessing real-time patient data and streamlining the flow of information to an EMR/EHR (Electronic Medical Record/Electronic Health Record), so it is imperative that clinicians have the ability to collaborate.
When Bethel VNA initially transitioned from pen and paper to a digital solution, they deployed an EMR on a PDA-style device. However, the nurses and therapists in the field found these devices difficult to work with due to their small keyboards and screens. As a result, the Bethel VNA began to research alternative mobile computing options.
Based on user feedback, BVNA determined their staff would be better equipped with laptops. The right mobile computing device would offer a full keyboard along with a large touchscreen display, so staff could easily check off boxes while charting and also enter longer, more detailed data into their EMR.
Initially in 2005, the BVNA deployed the Panasonic Toughbook T-series of laptops. After years of positive experience with those models, it began working with the Toughbook C1 convertible tablet PC.
"When the staff began using the Panasonic Toughbook devices, they immediately saw how much faster the processor was. The screens were bigger, allowing increased visibility, expediting the entire patient record update process," notes Joyce Daly, Business Manager for the Bethel VNA.
The Bethel VNA clinicians are now able to easily enter data and view information whether they are clicking through their EMR system via the Toughbook computer's touchscreen or entering specific patient details with the keyboard.
Additionally, as Toughbook computers are manufactured to withstand drops, bumps and spills, the BVNA staff are able to carry the devices to and from patient homes, without fear of a device failure on account of inclement weather or an accidental drop.
"To this day, our nurses haven't broken a display or experienced a device failure," Joyce notes. "Even our seven-year-old models are still working and in excellent condition."
The Panasonic Toughbook mobile computers have provided Bethel VNA staff with a reliable computing solution to support their daily routine as home health clinicians. With the Toughbook computers, nurses and therapists can update patient EHR/EMR records remotely, access data at the point of care and share real-time results; ultimately allowing the Bethel VNA staff to spend more time with their patients and less time troubleshooting IT issues.