Finally broke for an iPad

Ok, so I finally broke down and bought the little devil, despite my hesitations earlier in the year.  Lowest memory possible — 16 GB — but did get the WiFi-3G combo.  I figured I will just need to get one and dwell for a while in order to figure out it’s real pluses and minuses.  I’m sure it will be a lot of fun to own and use, but my hesitations were based on how useful it would be for the purposes of what I do most of on a daily basis, that is:  EMR use, research and blogging.  (Not that my schedule is letting me do much blogging lately!)  I’d like to get used to blogging using a touchscreen rather than a keyboard.

Two things I’ve noticed so far.  First, I can’t use my EMR system, Practice Fusion, since there is no flash capability on the iPad, short of jailbreaking the device to add an app that will allow it to play flash media.  There is a logmein app that one can get from Apple’s App Store for $30, but this requires you to run the EMR from another computer.  There’s also a company that makes an iPad app for PF, but I’ve heard that you have to buy the service for a $100 monthly ongoing fee, so no fun there.  Incidentally, I don’t think that this is PF has anything to be ashamed of.  I think that Apple should have considered adding flash capability given the state of computer technology in 2011 and the fact that this is a pretty standard way of communicating media over an internet connection.  What was Apple thinking?

Second, the WordPress GUI has the option for blogging in Visual or HTML mode (when you’re on a “computer” computer).  Who really wants to blog in HTML mode these days?  I’m actually surprised that little things like flash and visual interfaces for blogging can make such a difference in the user’s end experience.  In a way, it’s kind of like going back in time a few years to the days of Windows 95 and having to know HTML language.   At the time, it was a way rad and revolutionary concept, but now… meh.  I’m sure with time, I will find little backdoors and other ways of doing things on the iPad that make life easier.  Jailbreak anyone?  🙂

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC.  He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009.  He can be reached at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.  He blogs at HappyEMRDoctor.com and EHROutlook.com.

About the author

Dr. Michael West

Dr. Michael West

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC in 2009. He can be contacted at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.

10 Comments

  • If you like PF check out this EMR I ran across and have been thinking about as a replacement. It’s name is OneTouchEMR, it’s still in development but it’s supposed to be IPad ok through the browser. What caught me was it’s done by a group of physicians. I am also looking for a Ipad type emr that easy use also for ortho

  • Dr. West – flash has a ton of faults from a development perspective but part of what Apple is thinking is that virtually all the functionality you love about flash is included in the newest version of HTML (v5), which is out now and people are beginning to develop in.

  • “Who really wants to blog in HTML mode these days?”
    *raises hand*
    I prefer HTML mode. Then, I have more control over how it appears, but I’m a nerd like that. Every once in a while I switch to Visual mode, but that’s very rare since you can do almost everything I do regularly in HTML mode.

    Reminds me of what a lot of EMR software should do. Make it easy to do your regular tasks and you can switch to the advanced editor when needed.

  • Thanks for sharing Dr. West, especially regarding your blogging experiences. Like John, I think the HTML mode is a nice option to have when you want to get a bit more creative. I’m getting that much closer to breaking down and buying an iPad!

  • Hi I’ve mentioned this before but we’re using Claydata’s EMR on iPads – it’s certified for safety and security and cross-platform compatible. It’s quite a simple look which works well on our desktops and iPads (and iPhones) alike. We’re ambulatory and happy! Oh, and we’ve just started Tweeting @mynsmg… hello world!

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