The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center chooses Surface Pro 3

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 13 June 2014
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center chooses Surface Pro 3

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in Pennsylvania, US, is to deploy Surface Pro 3 to enable clinicians to use its Convergence app and access patient records easily while on rounds.  

The integrated healthcare delivery and financing system provider chose to deploy 2,000 devices to enable clinicians to use the UPMC Convergence app and gain quick access to real-time electronic health records (EHR). Although the medical centre spent a year trying to develop the Convergence app for the iPad, it found that the device did not provide the necessary functionality for an enterprise setting, such as interfacing with the legacy systems.

“The doctors who tried it loved the application visualisations our developers came up with, but they balked when told the iPad app would be read-only and that they would still have to go back to their EHR to record data,” said Rebecca Kaul, chief innovation officer for UPMC and president of UPMC’s Technology Development Center. “We’ve looked at other devices in the Windows 8 realm and chose the Surface because it really has the right balance of features in terms of size, form factor and ability to disinfect.”

Lighter and thinner than previous Surface devices, the Surface Pro 3 has a nine-hour web-browsing battery life, increasing the mobility of clinicians who can use the new pen and multiposition kickstand to take patient notes more easily while on rounds. In addition, Surface Pro 3 has a 12.1-inch display, enabling clinicians to access the data-intensive interfaces found in many full EMR software packages, rather than via apps.

“What’s really interesting is that we’re now able to sit at our clinical desktops and visualise the information on the Windows 8 framework,” said Dr Rasu Shrestha, vice president of medical information technology and radiologist, UPMC. “When we’re on rounds, we’re able to undock our Surface devices and carry them around as tablets and have all of the information at the touch of our fingertips. 

She added: "Our Convergence platform on the Surface device brings the patients’ stories to life and enables a superb user experience interoperability and optimal workflow between the tablet and the electronic medical records.”

By using the devices, clinicians at UMPC’s facilities can also involve the patients in their own care plans.

“I can simply grab a Microsoft Surface…and while we’re walking to the patient’s room, we can consume the data and create a care plan,” said Dr Shidev Rao, cardiologist at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. “We can then take the device into the patient’s room, flip the screen to show them, engage them in the process and show them why we are doing the things we were doing. In that sense, it is kind of a game changer for me.”

Earlier this month Seattle Children’s Hospital in Washington DC, US, revealed it would replace its existing laptops with Surface Pro 3. The paediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center said the Surface Pro 3 will provide its staff with a touch-enabled user interface for EMR management, while ensuring they adhere to strict healthcare security regulations.

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