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There is wide variability in emergency department (ED) information technology deployment and capabilities, and even the most comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) packages do not include every possible functionality. A number of essential support technologies have developed in recent years. These technologies serve a variety of ancillary departmental functions, from augmenting communication (knowledge accessibility), to increasing productivity, and helping to realize the potential of the existing technology.

This chapter will provide brief overviews of several of the support technologies that are most frequently used in modern EDs: Internet-based resources, mobile devices, scheduling systems, and patient kiosks/portals (Table 63-1). Each type of support technology will be, when applicable, described in terms of

  • Common applications/use-case scenarios: In what way will this technology support a modern ED?
  • Functionality: What criteria can be used to select from among the available products?
  • Cost effectiveness: How will a new support technology affect the bottom line?
  • Implementation/integration/distribution: How are common pitfalls avoided?

Table 63-1 Overview of ED Support Technologies

This discussion is intended as an introductory guide for the busy medical director who may not have dedicated information technology support staff or consultants. Further, any textbook treatment will be rapidly eclipsed by the pace of technological innovation. In order to mitigate this effect, discussions are conceptual ...

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