Strategic Product Manager
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Smartphones have the potential to transform the workflow of nurses and other hospital caregivers.
Rather than carry around multiple devices, clinicians can use a single device like a phone, pager, and scanner. Crucially, smartphones give them mobile access to the EMR, integration with nurse call and telemetry, and a secure platform for medical communication and collaboration.
As a clinical communication and collaboration platform, PerfectServe has partnered with many clients on their transition to clinical mobility with smartphones. We want to use this experience to help other health systems in their journey.
The first question we hear is usually, “Which device should I buy?”
The answer is, “It depends!”
At this point, no one device has emerged as the clear best choice, but PerfectServe can share some key considerations for health systems evaluating mobile devices.
In this article, we’ll highlight 4 smartphones that belong on your 2019 nursing mobility shortlist. We’ll also provide links to other content that can help you select and implement your clinical mobility solution.
Zebra Technologies TC51-HC
Zebra has been in the space for years with their previous MC40 devices, and the Zebra TC51 brings major upgrades, including an HC version targeted specifically at healthcare.
Modern hardware and Android 7 are protected by a rugged exterior that’s built to survive day-to-day in a nursing unit.
This hardened device can withstand repeated drops, exposure to liquids, and frequent exposure to healthcare disinfectants.
As an enterprise device, the TC51 is available with built in telephony, barcode scanning, robust battery capabilities and many more features designed with healthcare in mind.
Why buy it: Support.
Zebra and its partner network are well established in healthcare, offering plenty of resources to help your project succeed.
This device needs no introduction.
As a consumer-grade device, the iPhone delivers leading-edge hardware and software wrapped in a small, sleek package.
Compared to most enterprise-specific devices, an iPhone 7 is a low-cost option. However, as a consumer phone, the Apple devices will not offer the ruggedness, battery capabilities, native IP telephony, and other enterprise grade features.
That being said, the relative cost, form factor, and familiarity of the iPhone (or consumer Android devices) make it a good option in the current device market.
Why buy it: iOS.
If your organization prefers the Apple mobile operating system, your device choice is clear.
Relatively unknown in the US market, Bluebird has provided mobile computing and payment solutions internationally for over 20 years.
The Bluebird EF500 is a purpose-built rugged device running Android 6 and capable internal hardware.
It offers a scanner, strong battery capabilities and native IP telephony. The Bluebird device doesn’t bring the same level of support or technical horsepower as some other Android devices, but it can get the job done.
Why buy it: Value.
The EF500 is priced significantly lower than other purpose-built enterprise devices.
Spectralink has years of experience providing voice handsets running on hospital wireless networks, and they entered the smartphone market in 2014 with the Pivot. Now they have followed it up with the Spectralink Versity, which rolled out to customers in late 2018.
Looking at the spec sheet, the Versity checks all the boxes for ruggedness/battery/telephony/etc., and its hardware and Android 8 operating system raise the bar in the enterprise device market.
We look forward to hearing from some of the first health systems to roll it out.
Why buy it: Form factor.
The Versity is slim and light, as close as you will find to a consumer phone in a rugged package.
This is an exciting time as manufacturers continue to bring improved smartphones to the market. PerfectServe is here to share our experience and help you achieve your goals for clinical communication.
If you want more information about nurse mobility, check out our tips for how to structure a successful device pilot.