MEDITECH on the iPad: A Review

Much to an IT department’s chagrin, a lot of physicians tend to be fans of Apple products much like myself. Therefore, they are continually requesting that their new EHR, which they may or may not like, be accessible on their iPad and iPhone. A little less than a year ago, MEDITECH posted a “Success story” about one of their clients using their product on the iPad.  It is an entertaining read since nowhere does it mention that the physician was actually happy with how MEDITECH operated on the iPad.  In the past, I’ve only seen slides from MEDITECH presenting how their system could work on the iPad, but I got a chance recently to try it out on my iPad with a client of mine.  Since I haven’t seen any unbiased reviews out there, I thought I’d deliver my impressions.

Let me get this out of the way first.  This was my initial, secondary and lasting impression of doing trying to use MEDITECH on my iPad:


MEDITECH did not produce a native application for iOS, nor did they create a web application which means the only way to access their system from an iPad is to use a third party application.  In this case, I was using Citrix Receiver which is the same application vaguely mentioned in the MEDITECH article.  Citrix Receiver is a nice little application that creates a secure connection to your network and allows the launch of applications over that connection on to the iPad.  As a bonus, it even allows the administrator to create a “store” where the list of applications can be limited by user. Citrix Receive works quite well, it is simple, effective and I didn’t have any problems with it.  Downloading the MEDITECH application from the “store” and launching it was a breeze.

Immediately after launch, the problems start.  Logging in proves to be difficult, because you have to manually bring down the keyboard and click on fields that maybe have been an appropriate size for a mouse click, but are a bit small for a finger tap. Kudos to the Citrix app for allowing the pinch-zoom gesture.  Once you have logged in, you manually hide the keyboard and then select your MEDITECH application.  I went into PWM.  Once in PWM the first thing I noticed was that the MEDITECH window was a little too big for the screen, which means you have to scroll horizontally to see all the information.  Actually, it’s double scrolling: once using multi-touch gestures and the other to use the MEDITECH window’s scroll bar.  Again, the size of the clickable objects in the window allow for plenty of room for error unless you zoom in and are constantly scrolling.  The rest of the experience goes pretty much the same way, trying to ever-so-carefully point at what you want and then bringing up the keyboard manually if you need to type and then putting it back down manually again.  Imaging? Third party image viewing isn’t an option.

Should you use this at your organization?  If you have a very patient user with lots of free time on their hands, sure, go ahead and try it out. MEDITECH is correct in stating that it can work.  However, given that most physicians complain about the number of clicks it takes to do anything in MEDITECH on a laptop or desktop, I wouldn’t recommend setting them up on their iPad anytime soon.  It just doesn’t work very well.  Additionally, when accessing applications through a third-party, there is always some delay.  So take your typical delay you get when you’re in MEDITECH and multiple that by at least 2 to get an idea of how slow you’ll be moving.

To put a quick end to more hopes and dreams, don’t count on MEDITECH developing an iPad specific application and unfortunately, that’s a shame.  They would have to duplicate the entire system in order to do this and redesign it to fit the iPad paradigm.  In doing so, they might be forced to come up with a design that is much simpler given the limited real estate.  Right now the appeal of the iPad is lost when using MEDITECH on it.

3 Responses to “MEDITECH on the iPad: A Review”
  1. Lamont Hetland says:

    “to duplicate the entire system in order to do this and redesign it to fit the iPad paradigm”, i think that’s a shame too!

  2. Venkata says:

    Based on what I heard from a doctor, MediTech System seems to have been developed by Computer Geek(s) that have not come up with a way letting the doctor tailor the user interface that supports the doctor’s workflow. In addition, the MediTech System use Microsoft Windows-based. Windows-based systems are tailored to appease the developer rather than the end-user. Apple’s systems, Mac and iPad/iPhone/iPod, are end-user focused and allow a frictionless productive use of the Health-IT.

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  1. […] an independent health information technology contractor, tried Citrix with Meditech software. And his response is disappointment: the Meditech window is too big for the screen, requiring doctors to scroll to see all the […]

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