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It’s the Customer Experience, Stupid!



Software Advice writes today about how they wish a Mac Tablet would materialize, especially as applied to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs).

Coincidentally, Forrester Research also writes about customer experience, namely how the Windows experience ranks behind OS X.

The common bond behind the two posts being that customer experience matters.

In today’s battered economy, capital spending for technology will flow again, but it will flow first to companies that provide solutions that a) improve user efficiency; and b) provide better user experiences.

Regarding EMRs, doctors who are able to put their time into talking with patients, rather than spending time selecting items from lists of arcane medical diagnostic codes are going to better diagnose patient issues, reduce data entry costs and provide a better patient experience. Win-win-win!

But why should EMRs wait for an Apple Tablet form factor device to become widespread? Why can’t ISVs build a very approachable, very user-friendly EMR solution on a touch-enabled Windows tablet today?

I’m sure that an iTablet (or whatever Apple eventually calls it) will be an excellent piece of technology and user experience, when it arrives. However, there is no basic technology mentioned in the Software Advice article that is unique to OS X. Windows Touch Technology and Windows Speech Recognition exist today, and are widely available, on a variety of mobile hardware.

I’m not promoting Windows over OS X. I’m promoting Electronic Medical Records technology for doctors’ offices so that I can spend 25 of my 30 minutes talking to my doctor, instead of 15.



  1. Dave P

    04/21/2009 at 1:21 pm

    I would point out that MotionComputing offers a health care solution with their C5 tablet which is designed for medical use right down to the ability to be cleaned and disinfected with standard chemical disinfectants.

    The only difference between it and your theoretical computer is that it uses ink (a Wacom digitizer) rather than touch. This allows for Windows handwriting recognition.

    Note that I have nothing to do with MotionComputing other than being an owner of one of their previous models.

  2. Brian

    04/22/2009 at 5:13 pm

    1) You’re absolutely right. The “secret” to EMRs is software, not hardware. It isn’t even that inconvenient to find a desktop to chart on, but I know very few physicians who are pleased with their EMR software. EMR user interfaces would have to be *dramatically* improved to allow physicians to feel comfortable charting with a tablet PC in real-time. (basically what happens is that tablets are bought, but used as any other laptop would be, touch/stylus are most certainly underutilized) And I’m still baffled that their aren’t better solutions out there. This is a multi-billion dollar industry.

    2) The 15 min apt won’t disappear with good EMR software, it’s an insurance thing. They have dictated the 15 min rule for monetary reasons, not software, or the lack thereof.

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