Department of Health and Human Service Toughbook Case Study

Department of Health and Human Services safeguards against infection with Panasonic Toughbook H1

The Department of Health and Human Services in Tasmania (DHHS) has purchased 5 Panasonic Toughbook H1 Medical Clinical Assistants (MCA) to be used by clinical pharmacists in highly infectious wards. The Department is responsible for delivering integrated services that maintain and improve the health and wellbeing of individual Tasmanians and the Tasmanian community as a whole. DHHS was looking for a device that could be used by clinical pharmacists in both infectious and non-infectious wards in four hospitals – the Royal Hobart, Launceston General, North West Regional, and Mersey Community hospitals.

Clinical pharmacists provide medication therapy evaluations and recommendations to patients and other healthcare professionals. They offer advice regarding the safe, appropriate and cost-effective use of medications. It was important for the pharmacists that the device fulfilled a number of important requirements: it needed to be ergonomic, comfortable as well as being durable with a long battery-life; it needed to work with the Department’s communications systems and software, and it needed to be able to be easily disinfected.

After researching various hardware solutions including traditional notebooks and Mobile Clinical Assistants (MCA), Panasonic’s new H1 MCA stood out from the crowd. Its rugged and ergonomic design, as well as its extended battery life and ability to be sanitised with hospital-grade disinfectants, meant it was a perfect solution. The clinical pharmacists are able to bring the device with them and access critical information at the bedside. This has eliminated paper-based processes and decreased the risk of errors. The H1’s fully-sealed design is resistant to liquids, meaning the device can be completely disinfected. This proves vital when pharmacists are moving between infectious and non-infectious wards.

“We are able to bring a device into the infectious wards and this proved particularly helpful during the H1N1 (Swine) Flu pandemic.Due to its fully-sealed build-quality and resistance to hospital-grade disinfectants, the pharmacists were able to bring the device to the quarantine area without the worry of spreading the infection to other parts of the hospital.”

Amber Roberts, State-wide Medication Coordinator said the Panasonic Toughbook was an excellent choice for the Department.


With an extended battery life of six hours, it is perfect for staff on the move. The dual hot swappable batteries mean higher productivity with no downtime. A near-exhausted battery can be replaced while the device is still running, so it never needs to be powered down. The fully rugged H1 is tested to military standards (MIL-STD810F) to ensure it is capable of withstanding a drop of 90cm while operational – similar to the height of a patient’s bed. With a fully integrated camera, the pharmacists are able to take pictures and documentthe healing progress of wounds and infections.