Durable Toughbook Laptops Help Saint Luke’s Home Care Clinicians Stay Connected

On average, Saint Luke’s clinicians carry out five to seven house calls each day, traveling as far as 50 miles from the Home Care Corporate offices and serving up to 900 patients throughout the year. Since healthcare needs happen around the clock, the home care agency offers 24-hour services for patients.

With emerging pressures faced by healthcare organizations today, such as improving patient and visitor experiences, regulatory compliance, increased efficiency and patient record security, healthcare organizations are looking to technology to help them address these hurdles.

Because patient care is its highest priority, Saint Luke’s has placed an emphasis on streamlining home care workflow processes in order to provide the best possible service. To address the growing need for its mobile clinicians to access reliable patient information, the Home Care Agency deployed Panasonic’s Toughbook 52 laptops to assist in accomplishing home visits and information sharing in a timely and efficient manner. This decision first came during the Home Care Agency’s transition from traditional pen-to-paper reporting to a digital process, leveraging over two hundred semi-rugged laptops for clinicians working in the field.

The conversion from paper to digital processing not only enhances the safety and security of patient health records and data, but also minimizes time consuming manual paperwork in a time where health professionals are expected to do more with less.

“From real-time documentation, to checking patient records, to gathering patient signatures, the Toughbook laptop helps streamline the communication process from patient to physician, making the process better for everyone involved,” said Ashley Greco, RN, Saint Luke’s Quality Resource Analyst.

“The convenience of the laptop and its connectivity allows us to act more quickly and efficiently, no matter our location,” said Scott Hidlebaugh, Saint Luke’s Systems IT Manager. “I don’t even see how our service would be possible without this function.”

The rugged reliability of the Toughbook mobile computers, combined with advanced integrated technology that connects to a Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, provides a highly reliable, totally connected solution that is helping health organizations like Saint Luke’s improve productivity and ensure optimized patient care for its patients outside the hospital. At any given time, clinicians are documenting details from their patient visits, looking up lab results, communicating with physicians, or accessing educational materials to share with their patients, so reliable connectivity in the field is critical.

“When our clinicians are in patients’ homes, there is always a chance that the laptops are in danger of getting knocked over, dropped, or spilled on,” said Ashley. “These situations make a durable product a necessity for this type of field work.”

Following the success of the earlier deployment of Panasonic’s semi-rugged laptops, Saint Luke’s is currently deploying a third generation of the product with the Toughbook 54, to coincide with the home care agency’s new EMR/HER system.

The overall benefits provided by rugged mobile computers not only save time and money for Saint Luke’s, but also help ensure greater accuracy of data, resulting in quality patient care and safety.

“There are so many advantages with the Toughbook it’s hard to boil it down to one or two,” said Scott. “At the end of the day, the reliable wireless connectivity enables our employees to access the information they need when they need it, and its durability gives the nurses peace of mind, so they can stay focused on providing great patient care.”

Read the full case study here to learn more.