Sunday, June 15, 2014

Best Computer for Doctors

See the original post here

Your a medical professional. Your slammed with an influx of new patients and strict HIPAA guidelines. There’s a stack of patients’ charts and hours of dictation left to do. Now your medical group added new goals to meet by quarter end. How will you balance all it all? How can you adapt to a computerized medical field?

The answer is simple:

Get the right computer, learn the basics, and succeed.

The problem is finding the right computer. 

There once was a time that having someone who knew computers in your family was rare, now their as common as Marvel superhero movies. You end up listening to that 14 year old nephew of yours, and you buy buy that $2100 dollar Alienware laptop or that $1900 dollar MacBook Pro. Now you have no idea how it works and your IT department can’t get the programs you need to run on it.

Now your stuck with an expensive brick that will now be demoted to watching Netfilx and YouTube videos.  

Lets avoid the expensive mistake. Keep these two rules in mind:
Rule 1: You computer should be compatible with your medical group’s network.
This is simple to find out. If your medical group uses Microsoft Office, Exchange for your email server(you can ask your IT department), and the rest of the employee’s have Windows XP, 7 or 8 running on their desktops. Then you should use Windows as your main operating system.

Macs are nice, and yes, you can buy Office and Outlooks for a Mac. Macs are expensive though —which is nothing new— but the biggest issue is having them serviced. Your medical group’s IT department will have almost an endless supply of people who know how to fix windows. Which means if your computer breaks, someone will be able to trouble shoot it. If you have a Mac? Then Billy the I-still-have-a-holier-than-thou-IT-mentality network troll will be the only guy to help you. 

Trust me, most of the medical software out there is designed to run on Windows. You could access your medical groups’s programs on a Mac using a local virtual box, dual booting, or using VMWare or Citrix. The problem is now you’ll either have to configure virtual box yourself or be at the mercy of a wireless network. 
Rule 2: Go with a Solid State Hard Drive
I can go into major detail why solid state hard drives are 100x better than traditional hard drives; however, I believe this video will say enough (its 3 minutes long, but its worth the time)

I recently decided to buy a 500GB Samsung 840 EVO for my laptop. I installed Windows 7 Professional and decided to see this speed first hand. 15 seconds later, Windows was up and ready to go. 

Also, using a SSD will make applications load faster like Photoshop, EMR/EHR programs and radiology viewers. 

One of the reasons Macs are so much faster is because their hard drives are SSD not HDD. Now, an SSD will be more expensive than a traditional one, but benefits outweigh the cost.

I love Macs, but they are not the best tools in an enterprise/medical environment. They fill a specific niche and that niche isn’t the medical field. If you are willing to drop $1400 MacBook, you could buy a HP EliteBook Revolve 810 which has the same specs and doubles as a tablet.

There you have it. Finally some clear advice for a busy professional.