When I first saw a Tablet PC I was impressed and amazed at its ability to recognize handwriting. It is a fabolous invention and really incredible technology. More importantly I saw the tablet as a great way to sit back and read your favorite websites kicked back on your couch while connecting wirelessly to the internet. I finally got a tablet and have been less than impressed. I still find the technology quite impressive, but I find myself cursing the tablet over and over again when trying to do simple data entry. I think the problem is the precision that is required in my searching and surfing habits. You can’t type in www.eNrupdate.com and get to emrupdate.com. That small inconsistency ruins my whole surfing experience and while Windows has made a good attempt to resolve these issues I still get frustrated using it. At least when I’m searching google and I spell something wrong google tries to correct my poor tablet handwriting and correct it for me (which I often utilize).
Overall I just find tablets more frustrating than useful even if the technology is impressive. I know there are quite a few tablet spefic EMR’s out there that must have taken this into account. I just don’t see how you can manage if it is converting your handwriting into text. It makes sense if it leaves it as handwriting and doesn’t try to understand your scribbles.
I do have to add one caveat to tablet use that I think is a viable reason to have tablets. Electronic Signatures. If (and when) EMR programs support electronic signatures using a tablet PC then even if you don’t use all the other bells and whistles it would be worth having a tablet to avoid more paper.