Improved bedside manner is on hand

Doctors and nurses will be able to access their patients’ medical records from the bedside, thanks to a wireless hand-held device designed by Philips.

The Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) will help improve patient care by reducing medication errors, its creators claim.

Staff will be able to positively identify patients, fill out charts, capture vital signs, write reports and validate blood transfusions as well as closely monitor wound healing. It will also allow nurses to access up-to-the-minute records and document patient condition in real-time, thus reducing administration.

The device features an easy-to-read touch-screen, RFID and barcode scanning, Bluetooth, wireless LAN connectivity and a digital camera. It is made of lightweight materials and has a handgrip for holding it flat.

As it has been designed as a fully-sealed device without any unnecessary ports, the MCA can easily be wiped clean with disinfectant to reduce the spread of infection as nurses move from patient to patient.

It has also been toughened to withstand knocks and being dropped and can be safely used next to other medical equipment. This means staff working in intensive care or surgical wards can use it.

Another advantage is that the long-life battery can be swapped for a fresh one in the docking station without any danger of disrupting current applications.