Patientline uses Elo TouchSystems touchscreens to access patient care information on hospital bedside terminals
May 2005 - The UK's pioneering developer of integrated entertainment and communications services for patients in NHS hospitals, Patientline, has added touchscreen capability to its latest systems. Elo TouchSystems' infrared touchscreen technology has been harnessed into the Patientline terminals so that authorised hospital staff can access a wide variety of patient information directly from the bedside.
Patientline was founded in 1994 and pioneered integrated entertainment and communication services to patients in NHS hospitals. The company's bedside terminals are now installed in more than 100 UK hospitals. The original bedside units were installed in 1995 and provided basic television, radio and telephone services.
Since then, various research programmes and feedback from users of the services have inspired ongoing developments and resulted in the current Patientline unit that provides full PC functionality. Services to patients now include state-of-the-art digital entertainment and on-line Internet and emailing facilities.
The latest incarnation of the Patientline bedside unit includes an Elo TouchSystems infrared touchscreen. Helen Crosby, Patientline's chief technical officer, commented, "Patientline was developed with the aim of providing touchscreen access to hospital IT systems and we can now install this facility into hospitals that take our IT access package. This means that authorised hospital staff can access patients' medical records via the bedside unit. Without Patientline, this type of information has to be accessed at the nurses station or some other centralised position which often makes it difficult to share the information with the patient when desirable to do so."
The permanent availability of the Patientline bedside unit provides authorised staff with point-of-care access to a wide range of information including patient notes, X-rays and other medical images, care pathways, results reporting, order communications, medical libraries, expert support, educational material, hospital intranets, appointment booking and electronic prescribing among others.
The unit's near 360-degree rotation capability allows the screen to be turned towards clinical staff for privacy or towards patients for sharing information with them.
Helen Crosby concluded, "Elo's touchscreens were selected due to fully sealed infrared technology meeting stringent hospital infection control requirements while the touchscreen's robust construction ensures that the bedside units can survive the wear and tear associated with daily use in a busy hospital environment. Almost as importantly, the Elo TouchSystems IR touchscreens can be used by medical staff wearing gloves when required."
Patientline's touchscreen bedside units are currently being used in a major west London hospital and are expected to be installed at many other locations. Where hospitals with existing Patientline terminals sign for IT access, the company will upgrade to the new touchscreen units.
Elo TouchSystems developed a custom designed 12in high resolution LCD TFT touchscreen specially for the Patientline system based on the company's CarrollTouch infrared touch technology. CarrollTouch is ideal for use in hospital environments and offers a number of benefits including the ability to withstand severe environments, adjustment to changing light conditions (including direct sunlight), stable, no-drift calibration performance, vandal- and abrasion-resistant screens for rugged applications, parallax-free performance for LCD displays, sealable against contaminants, choice of controller interface and choice of filter type or overlay for system protection and optimal optics. The touchscreen for Patientline was developed to provide a cost-effective solution in a demanding environment.
About Elo TouchSystems
About Tyco Electronics
Tyco Electronics, a business segment of Tyco International Ltd., is the world's largest passive electronic components manufacturer; a world leader in cutting-edge wireless, active fibre optic and complete power systems technologies; and a provider of premise wiring components and systems. Tyco Electronics provides advanced technology products from over forty well-known and respected brands, including Agastat, Alcoswitch, AMP, AMP NETCONNECT, Buchanan, CII, CoEv, Critchley, Elcon, Elo TouchSystems, M/A-COM, Madison Cable, OEG, Potter & Brumfield, Raychem, Schrack, Simel and TDI Batteries.