The limited use of digital ink in the private-sector primary care physician's office.
Two of the greatest obstacles to the implementation of the standardized electronic medical record are physician and staff acceptance and the development of a complete standardized medical vocabulary. Physicians have found the familiar desktop computer environment cumbersome in the examination room and the coding and hierarchic structure of existing vocabulary inadequate. The author recommends the use of digital ink, the graphic form of the pen computer, in telephone messaging and as a supplement in the examination room encounter note. A key concept in this paper is that the development of a standard electronic medical record cannot occur without the thorough evaluation of the office environment and physicians' concerns. This approach reveals a role for digital ink in telephone messaging and as a supplement to the encounter note. It is hoped that the utilization of digital ink will foster greater physician participation in the development of the electronic medical record. (+info)
Examining the symptom experience of hospitalized patients using a pen-based computer.
The purposes of this study were to test the feasibility of using a pen-based computer to capture self-reported symptom data, to evaluate the system, and to evaluate the importance of obtaining symptom data. The sample included 72 patients who were hospitalized for a variety of medical conditions. Self-reported symptom data was obtained with the automated Sign and Symptom Checklist. The feasibility of using an automated symptom checklist to capture self-reported symptom data was demonstrated. Patients' evaluations of the ease of use and the format of the system were primarily positive; mean ratings ranged from 4.58 to 4.70 on a 5-point scale. Patients indicated the importance of documenting symptoms, with a few suggesting that the use of an automated symptom checklist may increase communication between providers and patients. Study findings support the inclusion of self-reported symptom data in electronic health records and national health care databases. (+info)
Computed radiography printing problems: a quantitative, observer-independent solution.
Even though facilities using computed radiography (CR) operate in an electronic environment, the production of hard-copy films is still necessary during the transition period, as well as for particular needs following complete implementation. We have implemented a quantitative technique to match the response of printed CR film with that of previous screen/film combinations. A stepwedge is radiographed using the conventional system. The same stepwedge is then radiographed (same geometry and technique) using the CR system. Following processing and printing, the plot of optical density versus step for the CR system is compared with that of the screen/film system. Adjustments are made to the printing parameters until the response curves are identical. All other translation tables in the system are set to be linear. This has proven to be a valuable technique for us and provides CR printed image quality that is equivalent to that of our previous screen/film combinations. (+info)
PTEVAL: a computerized home-based physical therapy intervention instrument.
The determination of physical therapy treatment protocols, based on an in-home evaluation of a patient, is a complex task. The specific rules for treatment indications are individually simple, but numerous and hence time-consuming and prone to error using pencil-and-paper methods. This paper describes PTEVAL, a computerized Point-of-Care instrument designed to support the intervention protocols of an ongoing clinical trial. With appropriate modifications and extensions, PTEVAL can be a model for instruments used in clinical practice. (+info)
RadStation: client-based digital dictation system and integrated clinical information display with an embedded Web-browser.
RadStation is a digital dictation system having an integrated display of clinical information. The three-tiered system architecture provides robust performance, with most information displayed within one second after a request. The multifunctional client tier is a unique client/browser hybrid. A Web browser display window functions as the client application's data display window for clinical information, radiology reports, and laboratory and pathology results. RadStation provides a robust platform for digital dictation functionality. The system's internal status checks ensure operational integrity in a clinical environment. Also, the programmable dictation microphone and bar-code reader supplant the mouse as the system's primary input device. By merging information queries into existing work flow, radiologist's interpretation efficiency is maintained with instant access to essential clinical information. Finally, RadStation requires minimal training and has been enthusiastically accepted by our radiologists in an active clinical practice. (+info)
Wireless clinical alerts for physiologic, laboratory and medication data.
A fully interfaced clinical information system (CIS) contains physiologic, laboratory, blood gas, medication and other data that can be used as the information base for a comprehensive alerting system. Coupled with an event driven rules engine, a CIS can generate clinical alerts which may both prevent medical errors and assist caregivers in responding to critical events in a timely way. The authors have developed a clinical alerting system which delivers alerts and reminders to clinicians in real time via a alphanumeric display pagers. This paper will describe the system, the type and number of alerts generated, and the impact on clinical practice. A major issue remains in measuring the impact of wireless alerts on patient outcomes. (+info)
Differences between work methods and gender in computer mouse use.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate whether gender or different methods of operating a computer mouse have an effect on performance and musculoskeletal load in the use of a computer mouse. METHODS: Thirty experienced computer mouse users, 15 men and 15 women, participated in the study. Electromyography (right first dorsal interossei, right extensor digitorum and right and left trapezius), a force-sensing mouse, and subjective ratings were used to register muscular load. An electrogoniometer was used to register the wrist movements. The subjects worked with 3 different methods, their own, a wrist-based method and an arm-based method. Gender comparisons were made when the subjects used their own method. RESULTS: The women worked with greater extension and range of motion and tended to work with a greater ulnar deviation of the wrist. They also applied higher forces to the mouse when expressed as a percentage of a maximum voluntary contraction and had higher muscular activity in the right extensor digitorum. When using the arm-based method, the subjects worked with greater wrist extension, had higher muscular activity in the right and left trapezius muscles, and had the highest ratings of perceived exertion in the neck and shoulder. The wrist-based method resulted in higher forces being applied to the sides of the mouse and the highest ratings of perceived exertion in the wrist and hand-fingers. CONCLUSIONS: Gender differences were found for musculoskeletal load, and for most of the measured variables the women worked with higher loads than the men. The work method affected performance and musculoskeletal load. Finally, subjective measures appeared to have some utility in characterizing muscular load. (+info)
Measuring and characterizing force exposures during computer mouse use.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a sampling strategy for characterizing the finger force exposures associated with computer mouse use. METHODS: Mouse forces were measured from 16 subjects (8 men, 8 women), on 3 separate days, at their actual workstations while they performed (i) their regular work, (ii) a battery of standardized tasks, and (iii) simulated mouse use. RESULTS: The forces applied to the mouse did not vary between hours or days. During regular work, the mouse was used 78.0 (SD 40.7) times per hour, accounting for 23.7 (SD 9.5)% of the worktime. The mean forces applied to the sides and button of the mouse were low, averaging 0.6 % (0.35 N) and 0.8 % (0.43 N) of the maximal voluntary contraction, respectively. The forces applied to the mouse during the standardized tasks differed from the regular work forces; however, there were moderate-to-strong correlations between the 2 measures. CONCLUSIONS: With respect to performing exposure assessment studies, the 3 major findings were (i) mouse force measurements should be made while subjects perform their actual work in order to characterize the absolute applied force accurately, (ii) the forces applied to the mouse during the performance of a short battery of standardized tasks can be used to characterize relative exposure and identify computer operators or work situations for which higher forces are applied to the mouse, and (iii) subjects cannot accurately simulate mouse forces. (+info)