A little MLC goes a long way: the story of NTUH and medical panel PCs for public health

As we did in 2020, ADLINK, along with AU Optronics (AUO), is supporting frontline healthcare workers at the National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH), the leading medical center in the country.

Challenges: Sheer Volume of Patients and Time-Consuming Disinfecting Processes

A hospital cannot restrict the number of staff or people who need care. NTUH has a team of 7,000-8,000 and provides healthcare to approximately 10,000 outpatients, many of whom are accompanied by a friend or family member. The medical center needed to find ways to keep people at a safe distance and to effectively disinfect the computers they share.

Dr. Chien-Hua Huang, chairman and clinical professor of NTUH’s Department of Emergency Medicine, points out that the hospital’s emergency room and epidemic clinic make up the front line in this battle – and there is no room for error. Since NTUH has digitized its processes, these departments depend on computers to do their jobs, and healthcare practitioners at the facility can use a single computer more than 1,000 times per day.

However, using IT hardware in a healthcare setting poses significant challenges in the fight against spreading infectious diseases.  Typical computers have keyboards, buttons, seams, screws, frames and other construction features that make thorough cleaning and disinfecting time-consuming – if not impossible. Patient care is always the priority, so staff may not have time to disinfect a computer adequately and on schedule.

The medical center at NTUH needed a way to keep shared computers clean to help control contamination and achieve its zero-fault standards for disease transmission.

A Hygienic Solution: The MLC 8 Medical Panel PC

To help NTUH meet these challenges, ADLINK and AUO provided 20 MLC 8 medical panel computers to NTUH’s Department of Emergency Medicine and specialized COVID-19 clinics. NTUH also used the computers in its ER reception areas where patients’ families could receive information without entering examination and care areas where they could be exposed to the virus. 

NTUH staff use the MLC 8 in an ER reception area

The computers, including the touchscreens, are antimicrobial, which eliminates the need for a mouse and keyboard and is more than 99 percent effective at controlling the growth of germs. Furthermore, the screen’s edge-to-edge design makes a frame unnecessary. In fact, the computer is designed so there are no seams, screws, or buttons, and it’s fully sealed (IP54), so liquid cleaners won’t damage it. Furthermore, designers also chose materials for the MLC 8, such as a corrosion-resistant metal housing rather than a plastic housing, to give NTUH and other healthcare facilities greater choice in the types of chemicals they can use to disinfect the computers.

Additionally, the MLC 8 has invisible buttons, including screen lock, so the NTUH staff doesn’t have to shut them down to prevent mis-entered data during cleaning. This feature makes it easier to build disinfecting processes into routine workflows, enabling cleaning several times each shift — even when a high volume of patients come through the hospital.

Dr. Huang observes that upgrading all computers to medical-grade touchscreens could reduce transmission and stop disease while providing the highest quality of care supported by technology. It’s truly smart healthcare: enabling advanced functionality with digital healthcare systems and using practical IT hardware, specifically built for use in a healthcare environment and to withstand frequent disinfecting to control disease transmission.

What MLC 8 Delivers to Healthcare

Since deploying the MLC 8, NTUH has been able to increase the frequency of cleaning by six to eight times without interrupting patient treatment, helping to control the spread of coronavirus and other diseases.

Additionally, because the MLC 8 is designed for intensive care unit (ICU) and operating room (OR) use, it connects with hospital systems, including picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) and patient data management systems (PDMS), easily. At NTUH, the computers were fully operational within three working days.

ADLINK is committed to providing solutions for healthcare that help frontline workers, such as the team at NTUH, deliver vital care for patients. With our partner AUO, we stepped forward with assistance in 2020, and we will continue to do so.

Learn more at https://www.adlinktech.com/en/News/ntuh-adopts-mlc-8-series-medical-panel-computer.

Derrick Tu
Derrick Tu

Product Manager, Medically Certified Products and Healthcare Systems, ADLINK Technology

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