Tablet PCs Boost EMT Efficiency

Efficiency is important in any field. But for an emergency medical services professional, it can mean the difference between life and death.

First responders such as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) are often in a race against the clock to respond to an urgent situation, provide immediate care and transport the patient to a treatment facility. Time is so critical in these situations that emergency professionals often speak of the “Golden Hour” – the first hour following a traumatic injury, during which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical treatment will prevent the patient’s death.

With efficiency being so critical, EMTs have long been users of rugged mobile devices such as laptops to document procedures rendered during a call, look up information and records, keep in communication with colleagues and perform other tasks. Before adopting this technology, EMTs such as those from the Castle Rock (Colo.) Fire & Rescue Department would have to document patient care via pen-and-paper notes, which would then need to be transcribed on computers after the call. With teams regularly conducting three or four runs in a shift, it was often difficult for staff to recall every detail of a patient’s care by the time they reached a computer, and notes were easily lost or often incomplete.

In recent years, EMTs have increasingly begun transitioning from laptops to enterprise-grade tablet PCs. With their computing power and lightweight portability, these devices are shown to be efficiency-boosters. In a CD-W poll of tablet users in the workplace, respondents reported gaining an average of 1.1 hours in daily productivity by using their tablet. For health care professionals, the productivity gains were slightly higher, at 1.2 hours per day.

Toughpad FZ-M1 wins EMS Today Hot Products Award

Toughpad FZ-M1

And what tablets are catching the eyes of EMS professionals? At the recent EMS Today conference and expo, leading emergency medical services community publication JEMS named Panasonic’s new Toughpad FZ-M1 tablet as one of its Hot Products of the year. Each year, JEMS editors select the top products from hundreds of exhibitors, based on their potential to improve EMS professionals’ ability to deliver optimal emergency medical care to sick and injured patients, and to do so safely, efficiently and with enhanced comfort for the patient.

The 7-inch Toughpad FZ-M1 is built for mobile professionals such as first responders, providing Windows 8.1-powered, desktop-class performance in a fully rugged and sealed 1.2 lbs. package. With its other unique features – such as a daylight-readable multi-touch screen that can be used with thick industrial-type gloves, a broad range of configuration options and optional 4G LTE multi-carrier embedded wireless broadband connectivity – it’s ideal for patient care reporting and back of the ambulance computing. Learn more at

Header image credit: Flickr user Tristan Reville