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Frequently Asked Questions

Integration with EMR Systems

How does the DS smart™ platform interface to the EMR?

The DS smart platform communicates to the EMR using the facility’s network to transmit data over the internet to the EMR. The EMR provides an Application Program Interface (API) that is used for managing login credentials, providing resident information and storing vital signs readings.

Do I need to have separate logins for the product connected to the DS smart platform? How do I keep the DS smart user settings in sync with my EMR system?

There are no special management settings required to configure the DS smart platform. It uses the login information stored in the EMR system. Users will use the same user IDs and passwords that they use for logging in to the EMR system. Any changes that are made in the EMR system for caregivers, login authorization, residents and their assignment to specific caregivers are automatically reflected in the DS smart system when the caregiver logs in.

Where does the resident information (resident name, date of birth, MRN and resident image, if available) come from and how is it managed?

The resident information displayed on the tablet is downloaded from the EMR system. Updates to resident list that are made in the EMR system will be reflected in the DS smart system upon caregiver login.  

Network Requirements/Data Security

Does the DS smart product comply with HIPAA requirements for protecting electronic Personal Health Information (ePHI)?

The DS smart platform complies with HIPAA requirements and was designed for proper processing of ePHI data. It encrypts all ePHI data when it is stored on the tablet or on a HIPAA-compliant cloud server. It also encrypts all ePHI data that is transmitted between devices.

Are there any special network or security requirements for the DS smart platform?

No unique security or network settings are required. The DS smart platform uses web service data transmissions to communicate with the EMR system using the standard HTTP/HTTPS ports 80 and 443. All ePHI data that is sent between the tablet and the EMR is encrypted.

Other connected clinical device solutions that I’ve looked at require setting up and configuring servers, specific network settings, custom hardware, user accounts and significant configuration of the equipment. What does the DS smart platform require?

The DS smart platform was designed for simplicity of operation. It uses standard network settings, doesn’t require a special server or custom hardware, and uses caregiver and resident information from your EMR system. All it requires is that the tablet contains the DS smart app, which can be downloaded and activated remotely.

The Wi-Fi network in my facility is spotty. How does this affect the DS smart platform?

The DS smart platform is designed so it can support momentary disruptions in Wi-Fi network connections, or it can be used in certain sections of a building where Wi-Fi reception is spotty. It is not designed to operate without Wi-Fi or internet connectivity for long periods of time.

The DS smart platform must be able to communicate with the Wi-Fi network and the internet when the caregiver logs on, but if it loses the Wi-Fi signal while taking vital sign readings, it will continue to operate. It will store the readings that are taken, and once it has re-established a Wi-Fi signal, it will automatically send the readings to the EMR system.

Other connected clinical device solutions that I’ve looked at require setting up and configuring servers, specific network settings, custom hardware, user accounts and significant configuration of the equipment. What does the DS smart platform require?

The DS smart platform was designed for simplicity of operation. It uses standard network settings, doesn’t require a special server or custom hardware, and uses caregiver and resident information from your PointClickCare EMR system. All it requires is that the tablet contains the DS smart app, which can be downloaded and activated remotely.

The Wi-Fi network in my facility is spotty. How does this affect the DS smart platform?

The DS smart platform is designed so it can support momentary disruptions in Wi-Fi network connections, or it can be used in certain sections of a building where Wi-Fi reception is spotty. It is not designed to operate without Wi-Fi or internet connectivity for long periods of time. The DS smart platform must be able to communicate with the Wi-Fi network and the internet when the caregiver logs on, but if it loses the Wi-Fi signal while taking vital sign readings, it will continue to operate. It will store the readings that are taken, and once it has re-established a Wi-Fi signal, it will automatically send the readings to the EMR system.

What happens when the Wi-Fi service or the internet connection for the facility is down?

The DS smart platform will continue to operate and store readings as long as the caregiver remains logged in and is using the application. If the caregiver logs out or turns off the DS smart tablet prior to restoration of network service, the readings that were taken will be lost. If Wi-Fi or internet service is not restored within two hours, the caregiver is automatically logged out and the saved readings will be lost.

Tablet Information/Management

How do I select the tablet that runs the DS smart app? Can I use my existing point-of-care tablets for the DS smart app?

The solution currently supports Android 6.0 or higher and iOS 10, 11 and 12. The DS smart app is designed so it can use the same tablet that is used for the point-of-care interface provided by the EMR (POC application for Apple iOS and POC website access for Android). If you don’t currently use point-of-care tablets, or prefer to source them together with DS smart, we sell and support compatible Android tablets.

How is the tablet managed? Am I able to apply my device management software to the tablet?

Tablets can use device management software, but it is not required. If the tablet is purchased from Direct Supply, it will come pre-configured with software for managing the tablet, and additional software cannot be added. If customers purchase their own tablet, they can choose to load their own device management software on the tablet.

How will I clean the tablet?

The connectivity hardware (tablet, tablet case and cable) may be surface-cleaned by using a soft cloth dampened with either a commercial, nonabrasive cleaner or one of the solutions listed below. Lightly wipe the cable as well as the top, bottom and front surfaces of the tablet and tablet case.

  • 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • 10% chlorine bleach solution (do not use bleach directly on tablet)

Updates/Customer Support

Will the Attendant® Connected Vital Signs Monitor (VSM) still work if the tablet stops working?

Yes, the VSM is designed to take vital sign readings as a standalone clinical device even if the tablet isn’t working. However, if the tablet isn’t working, the DS smart app won’t be able to transfer the readings automatically to the EMR. Caregivers will need to record the readings manually and transfer them to the resident record within the EMR.

How are updates to the DS smart app managed? How often are they made available? Is there a charge for an update?

The DS smart app is updated by downloading an update, similar to what is done for other tablet apps. These updates are provided whenever enhancements are available. App updates are included in the monthly DS smart fee.

What is covered by the monthly DS smart fee?

The monthly fee covers ongoing support of the DS smart platform and provides:

  • Software app updates
  • Technical phone support during business hours – Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm CST
Can Direct Supply provide remote support? What does that cost?

As with all products that Direct Supply sells, support is provided for the VSM and DS smart products. There is a monthly DS smart fee that covers support. Phone support is available during business hours – Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm CST. Direct Supply does not provide remote management of the DS smart platform at this time.

What will my EMR provider charge me for this? If you don’t know, what questions should I be asking them?

Direct Supply partners with the EMR system to make sure the DS smart platform works properly with it, but the two companies do not manage licenses and fees for each other’s products and services. The EMR system currently requires authorized integration to its system. You should contact your EMR system representative to understand the fees that may be associated with the integration. Let them know you plan to use the DS smart product to interface your connected clinical devices to your EMR system.

How do I let my EMR provider know that I will be using the DS smart platform to send clinical readings directly to their system?

Reach out to your EMR system account manager and simply tell them you want to turn on the integration with the DS smart application. They will ensure you have the appropriate and active licensure and you will need to specify whether you want to enable this integration for all of your facilities or just specific facilities.

How do scales connect to the EMR system?

Scales connect through DS smart on a tablet, which acts as a hub (the user interface between the caregiver and the resident’s vitals). Other competitive systems may use the VSM (shown on the VSM monitor screen) as a hub.

Will my existing Attendant equipment connect to DS smart?

Today, DS smart connects to the Attendant Connected Vital Signs Monitor, the Attendant Bluetooth Wheelchair Scale and the Attendant Bluetooth Digital Chair Scale. If you’ve purchased an earlier model of these devices, they may be compatible after an upgrade. Contact your account manager for more details and associated upgrade fees.

Does your system only work with Attendant-branded equipment?

We are continually developing national brand partners to make preferred equipment compatible with DS smart. Please contact your account manager with specific questions.

Can I use DS smart on my iPhone?

Currently, DS smart is available on tablets only; however, an iPhone app is currently in development.

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