NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
Panasonic Toughpad Tablets Deliver for Herts NHS Trust Drivers
Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust provides health and social care for people with mental ill health, physical ill health and learning disabilities.
The Trust’s fleet of 50 vehicles cover one million miles a year including transporting patients and delivering samples, medical records and equipment between hospitals.
Following a comprehensive review of its operations, the Trust has put the latest Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 tablet at the heart of its logistics operation. Each vehicle driver is equipped with the device to improve efficiency and productivity. Drivers are typically based at one of the Trust’s sites and drive circular routes through the community, picking up and delivering as required. Alternatively, some vehicles are used to deliver samples and medical records to specialist hospitals around the country.
“At the beginning of each day the driver first checks their vehicle and records information on the device. The control room will then send the driver’s schedule of pick-ups and deliveries and the pre-planned route to the Panasonic Toughpad tablet,” explained Nick Smith, Transport Services Manager, at Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. “The driver can then access GIS map information as required to check the route and use the device throughout the day for Proof of Collection and Delivery.”
Nick and his team have worked with specialist business application developer TAAP to create the software application for the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 tablet. Together the application and Panasonic Toughpad tablet becomes a powerful tool for the mobile worker. Using a series of drop-down menus for speed and ease of use, the driver can scan barcodes and record signatures for proof of collection or delivery. The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 tablet can also be used as a phone to contact the control centre or departments as required. This is an important safety feature for the drivers, who work alone, so that they can always contact someone during an emergency.
Finally, the devices encrypt and transfer information back to the control centre in real-time. This is an important feature to meet data protection and confidentiality requirements because it ensures that data is never stored on the device, in case they are misplaced or stolen.
Nick and his team chose the Panasonic device following a recommendation from TAAP and testing of a number of other products. “The Panasonic Toughpad tablet does everything we imagined that we needed,” said Nick. “It is rugged, light and easy to use and has all the voice and data capabilities that we require.”
“This new system saves us a lot of paper work, improves our productivity and efficiency and provides a fully traceable proof of collection and delivery service. My long-term ambition would be to see this solution rolled out to other NHS Trusts for their use.”
The Panasonic Toughpad FX-E1 is the world’s most rugged 5 inch screen handheld tablet with voice and data capabilities and a 14 hour battery life. A powerful all-in-one device for mobile workers, it combines the best of handheld, smartphone and tablets in the most rugged, easy to use, long working device.
Powered by Microsoft’s latest handheld OS platform and resistant to drops of up to 3m on concrete, the device is fully sealed against dust and submersible in up to 1.5 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It can operate in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 60°C thanks to a built-in heater, and is also tested for resistance to impact, shock, vibration, altitude and extreme humidity.
The devices’ numerous unique enterprise-grade features include a sunlight-readable, anti-reflective HD (1280x720) 10-point capacitive, toughened multi-touchscreen display that works even with heavy gloves. In addition to an 8MP rear camera with bright LED flash and a 1.3MP front camera, configuration options are available such as an integrated 1D/2D barcode reader. A gadget expansion facility also allows enterprises to customise the ideal tool for their workforces. Programmable, function buttons make customising the device for one touch access to favourite applications easy to achieve.
The device is the first in the Toughpad line to offer voice connectivity. An integrated Micro USB port, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, near field communications (NFC), standalone GPS and Bluetooth® v4.0 (Class 1) are standard. The integrated high accuracy GPS functionality is ideal for field workers that require navigation in vehicles and pin-point location capabilities, with accuracy to between 2-4m.