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Personal Tech-Wielding Docs Challenge IT Leaders

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, July 12, 2012

The guest network allows Maimonides physicians to log in to the physician portal, and all users are able to access the public Internet.

A dedicated, high-resolution PACS workstation offers no compromises when viewing images, but a mobile device has its limitations. Performance is only one of them. The virtual desktop software that presents desktop data on portable devices such as iPads carries its own set of tradeoffs.

"The Citrix [virtual desktop] on the iPad is not the world's most friendly user experience," says Davidson. "Because the iPad is a touch-driven tool, you're constantly toggling back and forth between driving the window—the Citrix client—and driving the application inside the window. Sometime in recent months, Citrix has made toggling back and forth easier."

Maimonidies' inpatient EMR, Sunrise Clinical Manager from Allscripts, when delivered on a 1024-by-768 resolution screen such as the iPad 2—or even the new iPad with its Retina display (2048-by-1536)—still is not intended for touchscreen use, Davidson says.

"If you're doing it as I do sometimes from my MacBook Air, it's fine, because I've got my touchpad or mouse," Davidson says. "It's a lot easier to point with that on a screen that was designed for mouse-type pointing and clicking."

At the recent HIMSS conference, Allscripts released an improved client for the iPad, and Davidson says it "seems like it would be worth evaluating and getting some feedback from clinicians as to what they think might be its value."

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