Cheap EHR: How to keep your tablets from walking out the door

Cheap EHR: How to keep your tablets from walking out the door

Summary: You may want to start using tablets in your medical practice, but how do you prevent them from walking out the door? In this short article, you'll learn about a company that provides tablet locks. They're not cheap, but they'll do.

TOPICS: Health

Over the past few months, I've been exploring the challenge of adding electronic health records to medical practices without breaking the bank.

My doctor, who's about as close to an old-school country doctor as you're going to find in the middle of Central Florida, has been fascinated by this discussion. He's slowly and reluctantly coming up to speed with the idea of medical records, but he blames every penny he has to spend on the government.

On my last visit, I told him about keeping electronic health records on Kindle Fire. He looked at me for about thirty seconds, with that expression teachers used to reserve for particularly troublesome children.

Then he shook his head, said, "It'll never work," and walked out of the examination room.

A few minutes later, when he made his way back to my room (you could hear him grumbling about the computers all the way down the hall), he clarified his statement.

He looked at me, again with that expression, and said, "They're gonna walk." He shook his head and said, "I give them an hour. Only reason my TV hasn't walked in all these years is that it weighs about as much as a Volkswagon."

My doc's TV is a 1970s console sitting on top of a bigger 1950s console. It's not going anywhere.

But Doc had a point. These tablets, even at $200, are expensive, they're small, and his busy office staff (his wife and an ever-changing cranky clerical worker) can't always keep an eye on these devices (or on the front door).

As it turns out, a company called CompuLocks put out a press release talking about their tablet locks. In the release, they quoted an IDC statement from 2010 indicating 91% of corporations had some theft of portable devices that year and 21% of IT managers reported an increase in theft.

Sometimes you can get some really useful information from press releases. This CompuLocks company sells tablet security devices that range from about $39 to $99, designed to secure tablets to tables.

The company even has a Kindle Fire Lock that was $99 and is now $49. So there you go. If you want to deploy your $199 Kindle Fire, spend another $49 and make sure no one walks away with it (and your medical records along with it).


See Also: Free and open source healthcare software for your practice

Topic: Health


Denise Amrich is a Registered Nurse, the health care advisor for the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, and a mentor for the Virtual Campus at Florida's Brevard Community College.

Nothing in this article is meant to be a substitute for medical advice, and shouldn't be considered as such. If you are in need of medical help, please see your doctor.

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  • Or just roll your own

    Instead of using these pricey locks, for that kind of price you can DIY a bunch with nothing more than an off the shelf Kensington lock cable, some strong glue, and a kensington lock plate (like this or any number of cheap 3rd party alternatives).

    That said, all you really need is a loop of stainles steel cable and a simple metal plate with a loop in it to glue to the back of the tablet. The sort of thing you can get as a shackle mount from a hardware store for a total of five bucks.
  • What about no records on the Kindle at all...

    Why does any individual's Medical Records are on any Kindle except on Demand with file deletion after the appointment?
  • What's the point then

    If the tablet is locked to a table, what's the point of having one? The whole point of having a tablet is to be mobile and go from room to room with it...

    They should do like in stores, having a magnetic thing inside that would beep going out the building...
  • Sounds like a desktop

    Locking a tablet to a table is like having a desktop with a small monitor and crappy keyboard. Just saying.