March 21, 2008 - Florida-based All Children's Hospital recently replaced its first round of mobile computing carts with new wireless mobile clinical workstations from Flo Healthcare.
All Children's sought a wireless mobile clinical workstation that nurses and physicians could take with them right to the bedside for charting and rounding. The hospital had implemented computers on wheels (COWs) from another vendor several years ago. Even though clinicians enjoyed the devices' mobility, they didn't use the COWS as often as they had envisioned. The devices' large size, lack of comfort, and inability to indicate how much power remained were reasons cited for abandonment.
"We had an area that we called the 'cow corral,' where most of our carts sat unused," said Jodi Moll, an RN and clinical informatics education specialist at All Children's.
All Children's IT department collaborated with the hospital's nursing staff to assess the current carts and to determine what needed to be different the second time around. The new criteria included a smaller footprint, a height-adjustable work surface, the ability to add or upgrade components as needed, and the ability to provide on-screen battery charge status.
After nurses and physicians tested various devices for several days, they ultimately chose the Flo 1750 wireless mobile clinical workstation, which they had nicknamed "The Skinny COW" because of its small size. Moll noted that the Flo 1750's height-adjustable work surface, footrest, and large monitor made it more comfortable for nurses to use. The small footprint also facilitated bringing the workstation directly to the point of care.
Moll said that Flo's BatteryPro software sealed the deal. BatteryPro displays the battery data on the workstation monitor so that users can see what percentage of the battery is left, how much runtime remains, and the amount of time it will take to charge up to 100 percent.
"Previously, even in areas where we had COWs, they were not always used because the batteries were dead and nurses didn't realize it," she said.
The hospital ordered 46 Flo 1750s, with Wyse thin clients and 20-inch monitors. The workstations are up and running in the hospital's emergency center and neonatal intensive care unit.
Deborah Whittemore, a client technology specialist at All Children's, said the IT department also favored the Flo model because it is easy to add peripherals and upgrade the computer in the future.
For more information: www.flohealthcare.com