Connective Technology from the EMR To the Exam Room Second Screen

By Robert Stern CEO/Founder At Point of Care, LLC.

The University of Chicago has a great saying, “I get how it works in practice, but how does it work in theory?”

The digital signage displays that are becoming more prevalent in doctors’ exam rooms is an example of how new technology is trying to help out in the practice, but it may be worth examining (pun intended) how it could – in theory – work by being tied into the EMR and workflow.

With doctors under pressure to see as many patients as possible in a limited time frame, patients experience two conflicting challenges: considerable alone time in the exam room while waiting for the physician, and then too little facetime with the physician when s/he arrives. To mitigate the frustration of the wait time, digital signage has been installed to provide the patient with some useful information. 

Better advantage can be taken by Providers who have these screens during pre- and post-exam. 

Now suppose that we take this practice, add some new theory, and adapt the use of exam room digital signage to the actual practice workflow of office-based medicine by giving control of the screen to the EMR.

Step 1:

The patient is brought into the exam room by the nurse. 

The nurse takes vital statistics such as weight and blood pressure, and updates current prescriptions.

This information is entered into the EMR, which is connected to the screen so that the patient sees his/her data being entered real time in front of them. 

Before leaving the room, through the EMR the nurse activates the appropriate educational information. 

Step 2:

The patient is left alone in the exam room awaiting arrival of the doctor. This can last as long as 15-20 minutes. The patient uses this time to fully engage with his/her medical care by reviewing the EMR to better understand what the doctor will be looking at and possibly even catch some errors.  

Particularly exciting is that patients who suffer from chronic illnesses who also use the At Point of Care patient apps to collect their personal medical and device data in between office visits, can interact with the screen to upload their patient data to the EMR through their screen interaction while they are awaiting the doctor’s arrival.

Step 3:

The doctor arrives in the exam room and utilizing the screen, jointly reviews the EMR with the patient, focusing on the newly uploaded data on the screen, making the screen the information and shared decision focal point. 

The doctor may also use the screen to explain and interpret the patient’s condition, demonstrate use of a new therapy, or provide other education, all information that is available – and regularly updated – on the At Point of Care app.  The screens often include   illustrations and animation baked in, so the doctor has the ability to enhance the patient’s knowledge, participation in shared decision-making, and therapy compliance.  

Key to more interactive use of exam room digital signage is that it does not require more time with the patient. The doctor is able to maximize his/her time with the patient, thus reducing patient frustration and enabling a more successful office visit.

In conclusion, digital screen signage in exam rooms is a great idea that has tremendous potential if the theories about their use are expanded in practice.

Applications like At Point of Care have the technology to make this happen and change from Theory to Practice. 

Learn more at


Robert Stern

Chief Executive Officer

@Point of Care™


[email protected]