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Home Knowledge Center What is a Computer on Wheels (COW) in Healthcare?

Technical Articles & Industry Trends

What is a Computer on Wheels (COW) in Healthcare?

Two nurses working on their Computer Cart

In the rapidly advancing world of healthcare technology, integrating computers has revolutionized the way medical professionals provide patient care. One such innovative solution is the Computer on Wheels (COW). This article aims to explore the concept of a COW in healthcare, its significance, and the benefits it offers to healthcare organizations.

Understanding the Computer on Wheels (COW)

A Computer on Wheels (COW) refers to a mobile computer workstation designed specifically for use in healthcare settings. Its primary purpose is to provide medical professionals with mobile access to essential tools and information. By housing a computer, monitor, keyboard, and power supply on a portable cart with wheels, a COW enables healthcare providers to carry technology with them as they move from one patient to another.

Components and Features

A typical COW consists of several key components. These include a high-resolution monitor for viewing medical records, a central processing unit (CPU) for data processing, a keyboard for data entry, and a power supply to ensure uninterrupted usage. In addition to these core components, COWs often come equipped with additional features such as barcode scanners, built-in cameras for telemedicine, and wireless connectivity for seamless communication and data transfer.

Applications of COW in Healthcare

One of the primary applications of COWs in healthcare is point-of-care documentation. With a COW, healthcare professionals can input patient information directly into electronic health records (EHRs) at the bedside. This real-time documentation enhances accuracy, reduces the risk of error, and improves workflow efficiency. It eliminates the need for manual data entry at a later time, ensuring that patient information is up-to-date and easily accessible.

Clinical Decision Support

COWs provide healthcare professionals with instant access to patient data and clinical decision support systems. By accessing EHRs, lab results, medication information, and allergies in real-time, medical staff can make informed decisions promptly. This access to critical data improves patient safety, facilitates faster diagnoses, and enhances overall care quality.

Computer on Wheels (COW) Bedside

Telemedicine and Communication

COWs play a crucial role in telemedicine and communication within healthcare organizations. Through video conferencing, messaging, and collaboration tools, COWs enable healthcare professionals to connect with remote specialists and consult with patients remotely. Telemedicine is valuable in rural areas, where access to specialized care is limited. The ability to communicate and collaborate efficiently leads to better coordination among care teams, resulting in improved patient outcomes.

Benefits of COWs in Healthcare

Implementing COWs in healthcare settings leads to enhanced efficiency and workflow. With mobile access to information, healthcare professionals can retrieve and update patient data instantly, eliminating the need for multiple trips to stationary workstations. This streamlined approach saves time, reduces paperwork, and enables medical staff to focus more on direct patient care.

Computer on Wheels also contributes to a better patient experience by enabling healthcare providers to spend more time at the bedside. By eliminating the need for healthcare professionals to leave the patients' room to access information, COWs facilitate seamless and uninterrupted care delivery. This enhanced interaction between providers and patients helps build trust, improve communications and beside manner, and ultimately leads to higher patient satisfaction.

COWs promote accuracy in data entry and reduce the risk of errors that can occur with manual documentation. With the ability to enter data directly into electronic systems, healthcare and professionals can minimize transcription errors and ensure the integrity of patient information. Additionally, COWs often come equipped with robust security measures to protect patient data, ensuring compliance with privacy regulation.  

Finding the Right Computer for Your Workstation

TEGUAR 27" Medical Display TMD-65-27 front-facing

If you're in search of a COW computer, Teguar is a premier provider, delivering robust and dependable computing solutions. Their lineup features a diverse range of specialized computers expertly crafted for seamless integration with COWs. These computer systems are purpose-built to precisely address the distinct requirements of the healthcare industry. This provide healthcare professionals with the flexibility and convenience of a computer workstation on wheels, while also delivering the durability and high-performance required in healthcare environments.

Teguar's computers are built with robust hardware and incorporate advanced features, ensuring that healthcare professionals can depend on these systems to deliver efficient and secure patient care. Whether its seamless integration with electronic health records, real-time access to clinical decision support systems, or the ability to conduct telemedicine consultations, Teguar provides reliable technology that enhances workflow, improves communication, and optimizes healthcare delivery.

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About the Authors:

Emily Vrettos, Teguar's Digital Marketing Coordinator, merges her creativity with marketing skills to craft engaging content. When she isn’t writing, she loves to read, cook lots of different cuisines, and travel home to her family in New England.