Here’s how to make a functional graphic in Epic with your iPad

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Yes, I know what you are thinking. You can “use” Epic on your iPad for years now using the Citrix app. But obviously you weren’t able to use Epic in a functional way. You could pull out patient charts, review labs, and make phone calls, but the process was cumbersome, complicated, and painful. You probably use Epic’s own native apps, but these aren’t the most functional for making graphics. If you tried to really document yourself with the Citrix app, good luck, that was almost impossible.

My home setup is a Mac desktop and an iPad. I don’t like carrying a laptop. For years I dreamed of being able to pull out my iPad to finish a patient chart or see how a patient was doing in a fast way. If I was at home, I would have to go to my desk. It’s not a big deal, but it’s not the ideal workflow. I gave up being able to do it on my iPad years ago. That all changed when Apple recently updated the iPad OS and supported the trackpad. Trackpad and mouse support is critical because clicking on Epic screens by touch is almost impossible. There are some additional warnings and tips you will need if you want to use your iPad to make graphics in Epic.

The most important warning of all this. You can only use this setting if your hospital computer has given you the ability to remotely access your electronic medical record through Citrix, which most providers have access to.

What do you need:

iPad: Any iPad you support iPad OS 13.4 or later

Bluetooth mouse and keyboard: You can use a generic Bluetooth mouse or trackpad and a Bluetooth keyboard. I use Apple’s Magic Keyboard as it allows me to easily remove my iPad thanks to the built-in magnets. It also has a fantastic trackpad built right into the keyboard.

Citrix application: Citrix has several applications for iPad, you need to make sure you get the right one. You must use Citrix Workspace, the application with the blue icon. Link to iPad app

Steps and tips on how to use this setting:

If your hospital makes you use two-factor authentication, do not use safari. I have found that downloading the Citrix file with Safari does not work well at this time. In contrast, when I use Chrome on my iPad, I had no problem downloading the single Citrix file using two-factor authentication. Important Note Here, when the file is downloaded to your iPad, you will need to click the “Open To” button. If you don’t see Citrix Receiver appearing automatically, scroll through the icons to the right until you see the “more” icon. When you click on this, you should be able to add “Workspace”. The following images are examples:

If you do not have two-factor authentication, use the same credentials given to you by your hospital computer for remote configuration on your home computer. Put this information directly in Citrix Workspace and Epic should be released.

Once Epic launches something that helps you is to resize the screen according to your preferences and the size of the iPad. The way to do this is to click on the top arrow in the Citrix application. When you do this, a drop-down menu appears and you click “view.” Now Epic is optimized for a 17-inch screen. If you want the same 17-inch experience you get at work or at home, you’ll need to go with an automatic adjustment means (1770 x 1230). Personally, this is too small for me. I opt for the 15-inch experience at 1400 x 900 (custom resolution option). The following images show how this looks.

Once you’ve optimized the screen size to your liking, sign in to Epic and you’re ready to go. You will find that the trackpad / mouse option will be a game changer. I will not show screenshots of my actual Epic hyperspace environment, as Epic does not allow people to do so without permission.

Below are some tips and limitations I found in my experience with this setup.

* Instead of using the trackpad to scroll down, use the arrow keys, much faster
* Keyboard shortcuts like Control Z or Control B do not work. You must use the built-in note editor options in Epic
* You don’t have the ability to use the iPad’s microphone, which makes me realize. You can use your home microphone on your desktop or Citrix Workspace laptop, but not on your iPad. This was the biggest limitation for me because I use Dragon dictation a lot when I document, and I hope that in a future update this will be enabled.

Conclusion

It’s a pleasure to be able to spin Epic quickly at home with my iPad. For me, I still miss the microphone support to be able to use the dragon dictation. However, to check patients and complete some graphs, I found this setup useful. Feel free to get in touch a twitter if you have any questions about this setting.





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