The portable Pen Unit is marketed by Raleigh'sMedic Computer Systems. The unit is a wireless computer containing patient records.
"We have some providers who actually go around at the hospital and can take their device into the hospital to interact with their patients while they're in the hospital," says Scott Sanner, vice-president of clinical sales at Medic Computer Services. "The key is the entire medical record is there."
The medical record is displayed. Everything can be accessed simply by pressing in an area much like a mouse.
Software on the Pen Unit allows doctors to prescribe drugs and have a record of every contact with the patient. Critical patient information can be transmitted across the room, across town or cross country on the Internet.
"Instead of having to UPS records, FedEx records, you can now instantly send records to a remote site -- that gives for better patient care," says Dr. Paul Suh of the North Carolina Spine Center.
Leaders in medicine and companies which supply medical practices say automation can lead to better care.
"If the doctor can quickly see history or if the doctor quickly knows what insurance coverages are in place, etc. The care will be better and you'll be in a situation where ultimately, people should be healthier as a result of it," says Tom Skelton, CEO of Medic Computer Services.
The medical community has been slow to jump on the technology bandwagon. However, as costs go down, more high-tech gadgets may soon be found in doctor's offices.
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