When a patient arrives at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, he or she is now greeted by a computer, The Dallas Morning News is reporting. This electronic processing of patients at Parkland was implemented by the hospital’s own IT department with the help of Sand Dune Ventures Inc., a Torrance, CA maker of TabletKiosk™.
The company is specializing in touch screen tablet PCs, mobile computers, and “custom hardware solutions and kiosk encasements.” They serve different industries, but health care solutions is what interests us.
Here’s how Dallas Morning News is describing a patient’s experience with such an electronic triage:
“It was real efficient,” said Ms. Beachum, who didn’t have to wait in a long line or worry about eavesdroppers. “Nobody can hear.”
While similar machines are popping up nationally to check in patients at medical clinics, Parkland officials said they believe they are among the first to have a system in a hospital emergency room. A donation through UT Southwestern Medical School paid for the $50,000 project.
The kiosks went up just two weeks ago, and kinks are still being worked out. Because of the people served at the public hospital – including a large indigent population – the technology can present challenges. The machines look and operate a lot like automated check-in kiosks at the airport.
“A lot of these folks don’t use a computer at all,” said Jamie Ensminger, a nurse in charge of the project. “They get really aggravated.”
But Parkland personnel stand by to give directions and type in information for people who need help, and the hospital continues to adjust to make the system more user-friendly, he said.