The right laptops for mobile nurses
Yet all is not lost. The right technology can make all the difference to a nurse making calls, whether they need computers, specialised medical equipment, phones or other gear. Laptop PCs remain at the heart of their requirements; here are some key considerations to keep in mind when evaluating and procuring laptops for mobile nurses.
1. Size and weight
2. Form factor
Of course, they’re larger and heavier than tablets, and usually more expensive than more conventional laptop designs, but their versatility and suitability for the job often makes the trade-offs worthwhile.
Data lies at the heart of this factor. One of the reasons many visiting nurses embraced tablets early on is that they didn’t have to learn complex data synchronising processes – tablet sync tends to be a one-button affair. Given that most visiting nurses have significant workloads and many demands on their time, there is a natural reluctance to learn new tasks just for the purpose of keeping records. This means that for IT managers, the options are:
- Wait for the nurses to return to the office (or to their homes) for Wi-Fi transfer
- Provide external cellular data hotspots that can be checked out or assigned to the nurses
- Specify internal cellular data capabilities for the laptops themselves
Different organisations will find different answers to these, but one thing to note is that, if using Wi-Fi, you should deploy a virtual private network (VPN) to protect the private data being transmitted.