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COPY-iPads replace paper, make doctor's jobs easier

OTTAWA, ONTARIO (CBC/CNN) - No more shelves full of doctor's charts and patients' records at a hospital in Ottawa that has ditched tracking patients and treatment on paper in favor of operating on iPads.

 Not only can this doctor examine an x-ray on his iPad, he can make notes, prescribe treatment and take the x-ray along with him when he consults with his patient.

"The advantage of this exercise is you go see the patient, you do things you're done," Physician Glen Geiger, who works at the hospital, said.

Paperwork is traditionally a big part of a hospital visit.

There are multiple forms - medical histories, injury reports and patient allergies - that need to be filled out and filed.

But now, Geiger carries all of that information around with him in the pocket of his lab coat.

It's all there on his iPad.

"If I was at the bedside with you I'd be able to talk about your results, I'd say what we're going to do next is we're going to do this and then we'd discuss if you'd agree with the treatment plan we'd order the treatment plan right then and there," he said.

Giving the patients a greater understanding and say in their treatment is one of the benefits of this new bedside manner.

Dale Potter is the man behind the Ottawa Hospital tech transformation.

He's ordered 1,800 iPads, running from $400 to $600 each.

Potter, the CIO, said the products will offset the cost by replacing outdated equipment, increasing productivity and reducing errors.

"Paper order that are handwritten, 15 to 20 percent of those are missing information or are illegible and require human intervention," he said.

Server banks contain patient records.

Potter said security is in place to make sure that confidential information does not leave the hospital.

"There's no information stored locally, so it's like watching the TV, you shut off the TV and it's gone."

Copyright 2011 CBC News via CNN. All rights reserved.

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