Category Archives: Healthcare

Battery Chemistry and the Future of Hospital Safety

We covered the FDA’s advisory letter on mobile medical cart safety a few posts back, but I thought it warranted a deeper explanation about the science of battery chemistry, and what difference that makes in a health care environment.

To find a suitable subject matter expert, I didn’t have to look very far: Ergotron CEO Pete Segar has a Ph.D. in electro-chemistry. So we sat down in the studio (ok, actually we stood up) to to talk through his vision of the future of hospital electrical safety.

 

As always, if you have questions or topics you’d like to hear us cover on a future episode, just let me know in the comments, or via @ergotron on Twitter.

Ergotron Statement on FDA Advisory Letter

Late last year, the FDA sent an advisory letter to hospital administrators, warning them of the dangers associated with some battery-powered mobile medical carts.

At Ergotron, we saw this as another opportunity to communicate with our customers. In this video, Troy Townes, Product Manager for mobile medical carts, talks about the battery chemistry Ergotron uses in our StyleView carts, and the difference that makes in safety, durability and value.

If you have any questions about your medical cart fleet (whether Ergotron-branded or not), our Services team can help. Learn more.

Ergotron Aims to Change Bedside Patient-Provider Interaction

The patient over-bed table in hospitals hasn’t changed much in the last few decades. Despite the revolution in mobile computing, too many patients use outdated technology to interact with their care team. Ergotron wants to change that.

With our new StyleView® Patient eTable, healthcare tech is no longer a barrier for the patient to overcome; it’s an integral part of their care. From medications to food menus to patient entertainment, our eTable provides a platform for patients to easily use tablet computers without risking muscle strain from holding the tablet for a long time.

In this podcast, Ergotron Product Manager Troy Townes shares with me the details on this exciting new product, how it came about, and where we think the technology is going in the future.

 


Have you heard our other podcasts? We plan to do a lot more, so if you have ideas or questions you’d like us to cover in future episodes, be sure to let us know in the comments, or on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Are You Attending HIMSS17 in Orlando?


The final countdown to #HIMSS17 on February 18–22 has begun! Be sure to add Ergotron to your “must stop” list and get a first-hand look at our expanded portfolio of carts and workstations for the whole hospital. Innovative designs — in collaboration with our strategic partner Intel — make the most of your EHR hardware/software platforms and wireless connectivity.

You’ll find us in booth #5260 and throughout the exhibit floor at 20 partner booths. See our exciting new healthcare roadmap. Ergotron products provide the robust performance, security and reliability necessary in healthcare environments.

“Advances in technology are transforming the way we look at creating innovative solutions to improve the patient experience,” says Michael Mullen, director of product development at Ergotron. “Physicians and nurses are embracing interactive technology at the point of care, which optimizes clinical workflows and improves patient care efficiency.”

Also, you can enter to win prizes during the event at the Ergotron daily WorkFit® Sweepstakes and the Intel Technology Challenge.

Want to talk clinical mobility, workflows, and device interoperability? Follow @ergotron. Share your thoughts with hashtag #HIMSS17 and follow @himss for tradeshow updates and happenings.

Build Better Nurse-Patient Connections


 
Find out more about how to improve the nurse-patient connection in this new white paper, The Nurse-Patient Connection, including the four major obstacles that get in the way. Nurses struggle with these job performance challenges:

1) allocating time

2) EHR difficulties

3) physical strain

4) unsuitable workstations

There are a number of proven ways to overcome those obstacles. Addressing substandard physical spaces, convoluted work flows, and poor ergonomics is one key. Research shows that improving the physical working environment for nurses boosts their satisfaction, and ultimately, direct patient care and clinical outcomes.

Ergonomic workstation and medication carts of all styles can help increase nurse comfort, reduce walking time, and allow nurses to engage more with patients and other members of the healthcare team.

The cumulative takeaway? When you improve the environment, you improve the outcomes.

Download the white paper>
 

Ergotron Telehealth Carts empower patients

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The telemedicine trend is exploding, with virtual consult services being the most well-known and popular among patients. The American Telemedicine Association estimates that half of all health care services will be delivered via telehealth within five years. The World Health Organization predicts the practice has the “potential to transform the face of health service delivery across the globe.” In fact, the global market for telemedicine is expected to top $34 billion by 2020.

So, what is telemedicine (or telehealth)? There are a number of definitions but they all point to the same general idea: Telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve patients’ health status.

Surprisingly, telehealth as a phenomenon has been around since the late 1800’s, with the invention of the telegraph and telephone. During the Civil War, the military used the telegraph to order medical supplies and a few decades later, the telephone for medical consultations. The invention of the radio and television ramped up the healthcare applications until digital technology expanded them even further.

Patients have embraced telemedicine enthusiastically and here’s why:

1-They can access care easily from a tablet, smartphone or computer, meeting through a safe, secure, and confidential video connection. Surveys show that patients are just as satisfied with a virtual face-to-face visit as a live one.

2-Patients can connect with a qualified, board-certified health care provider right away, and get a diagnosis and treatment as needed. Some tests can even be conducted during a virtual visit and prescriptions can be ordered afterwards.

3-Patients get convenient care, when and where they need it, without the hassle of driving or waiting to be seen. Virtual consults are usually available 7 days a week, for extended hours, such as 8am to midnight.

4-In addition to being fast, easy, and flexible, virtual consults are more affordable. They can be charged to a patient’s insurance company or a credit card. Rates are less than an office visit; $39 is a common fee, though insurers may negotiate even lower rates for their members.

Ergotron Telemedicine Carts and Telepresence Carts combine the power to support onboard diagnostics and video-conferencing with StyleView® point-of-care carts. (See all our Telehealth Carts.) Healthcare organizations can rely on Ergotron’s more than 30 years of expertise and service to build a solution that matches their needs and budget.

 

Come see Anthro/Ergotron at RSNA 2016

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To say that a lot will be happening at RSNA–which kicks off Nov. 27th at Chicago’s McCormick Place–is definitely an understatement. More than 56,000 attendees are expected this year at the world’s largest annual imaging conference.

Some professionals will take advantage of the 435 CE courses and hundreds of sessions that cover this meeting’s theme, Beyond Imaging, exploring new ways to collaborate.

And of course, almost every radiologist, administrator and IT pro will also spend some time perusing the 659 exhibitor booths, including Anthro/Ergotron Booth #7927 in Hall B.

As you examine the innovative designs at each booth, be sure to ask the following questions:

  1. Do you offer a lifetime warranty?
  2. Where are your products made?
  3. Who will install the product? Who performs necessary maintenance?
  4. How many steps are there between me and the manufacturer of this product?

RSNA is an excellent place to compare and contrast radiology desks and related products from various companies. Take advantage of the fact that they’re all in one place, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. And of course, there’s nothing like “test driving” the market’s premier imaging workstation: Anthro’s Carl’s Table.

We can’t wait to see you at Anthro/Ergotron Booth # 7927!

Follow us at #RSNA16, @ergotron and @anthrocorp.

We were featured in the Intel Health & Life Sciences blog!

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Our Director of Product Development, Michael Mullen, discusses Ergotron’s work in healthcare product innovation on the Intel health and science community forum.

For over 30 years, Ergotron has optimized the digital interface with IT equipment for improved usability, comfort and safety for doctors, nurses, and the entire healthcare team.

Michael explains how we work closely with thought leaders like Intel and our IT partners to optimize the latest technology and improve EMR usage.

You can read the Q&A with Michael here.

A lesson in radiology reading table design

When a top hospital and academic health center in the Pacific Northwest needed a teaching station for their imaging program, they couldn’t find a ready-made table that checked off all their requirements.

Their newly-appointed department chair set out to renovate the radiology reading rooms. Looking at best practices across the U.S., and knowing that sitting is the new smoking, he wanted to ensure that his staff had the ability to sit or stand during long, intense sessions scrutinizing images across a row of monitors.

After querying multiple firms for imaging furniture, he selected Anthro, a brand of Ergotron Inc., to design and manufacture a solution, based on Anthro’s superior product quality, unique designs that meet the specific needs of radiologists and convenient service offerings. The university ordered 30 tables, which were deployed in two waves; a successful result of a joint decision-making process that involved administration, educators and IT leadership.

Steve’s Bench is an example of how Ergotron can design imaging products in collaboration with imaging professionals.

Radiologists were thrilled with the design because the product is rock solid and moves smoothly with the touch of a button, without racking, even when they tried to rock it. The table also offered an enlarged work space that allows a trainee and a faculty attending radiologist to work side by side and switch between sitting and standing throughout the shift for a healthier reading experience.

They liked having plenty of “real estate” on the table for the four monitors—driven by two computers—set-up on each station. Even with all that, they can still spread out, it accommodates numerous radiologists, with leg room to spare. Wire management means it shows no “spaghetti,” even though they dressed the table with the maximum cables.

The university took advantage of “white gloves” delivery and hardware set-up. Ergotron offers a broad array of service packages for healthcare organizations implementing new equipment. If something ever goes wrong, customers know they’re covered for maintenance and repair, upfront through the life of the product.

Through its Custom Solutions group, Ergotron was able to quickly design and manufacture a unique solution for the university because of its short-turn manufacturing ability to make custom parts.

“Our design and engineering teams are under the same roof as our manufacturing facility,” says Julia Griffiths, Product Manager at Ergotron. “These teams work hand in hand so prototypes come quicker and production ramp-up is smoother. Plus, customers can draw from over 30 years of proven product designs from both Ergotron and Anthro. With those designs in our back pocket, we don’t have to start from scratch.”

The extra-large teaching station design was so well-received that it became a standard product, uniquely suited to demanding healthcare, laboratory, and corporate environments. Now called Steve’s Bench (a member of the Steve’s Station family), it lifts up to 350 pounds, and measures 90” wide by 31” deep so it can support plenty of monitors and equipment. Quiet, smooth-action legs move from 30” to 49.5” in height with the push of a button. It’s an ideal teaching station or utility bench.

But we don’t stop at design and manufacturing: Our service packages guarantee that Steve’s Bench will cover the needs of radiologists into the future, no matter how technology morphs and shifts.

Preventive maintenance is key

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That old adage is true – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

We rely on our personal cars and trucks, so we give them periodic care and attention: changing the oil every three months, checking the tires to make sure they’re properly inflated, getting a tune-up… there’s a checklist to keep any set of wheels in prime working condition.

Periodic care for the machines that help us do our jobs is just as important. Everyone with a mission-critical role in a healthcare, corporate, or education environment relies on technology and the furniture, arms and mounts that support it to be up and running.

No one likes hassling with deployment, unexpected repairs, or routine maintenance. Now you don’t have to – we’ll take care of it!

Ergotron Services installs over 4,000 products a year and has over 5,000 devices under contract. We cover the full product lifecycle in the USA. Our service packages are designed to make life easier for you and your stakeholders. We know healthcare and other high-demand areas. Our equipment is used and abused day in and day out, and in many cases, 365 days a year, three shifts on every one of those days.

Preventive maintenance is key. Ergotron’s Josh Wilson shows how to avoid frustration, downtime and unnecessary expense.