Docs see tablets as more useful than smartphones

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A survey of nearly 1,400 physicians indicates that tablets are of greater use for clinical purposes than smartphones, according to two reports by AmericanEHR Partners, a free online resource founded by the American College of Physicians and Cientis Technologies to support clinicians in the selection and use of electronic health records (EHRs). The survey results reveal that the most common activity of physicians who use an EHR and use a smartphone or tablet is sending and receiving emails. 

"The second most frequent activity among tablet users is accessing EHRs [51 percent daily], while only seven percent of physicians use their smartphone to access EHRs. In addition, the survey results show that among physicians who have an EHR, 75 percent use a smartphone and 33 percent use a tablet, but time spent on tablets is 66 percent higher than time spent on smartphones," study results revealed.

Similarly, in a recent national survey, primary care and internal medicine physicians indicated a strong preference for EHR usability on their mobile devices, according to a Black Book Rankings, a Clearwater, Fla.-based market and opinion research company. Of the medical specialties polled by Black Book, 100 percent of hospitalists, 98 percent of primary care physicians, 97 percent of internal medicine physicians, 92 percent of office-based physicians, 88 percent of rheumatologists, and 87 percent of nephrologists reported a strong preference for EHR systems that include mobile apps for tablets and smartphones.

Nevertheless, the AmericanEHR Partners survey found that clinical app usage in a medical practice was much higher among smartphone users (51 percent daily) than tablet users (30 percent daily). According to the survey results, the top marketshare position is held by Apple, with 55 percent of physicians using smartphones and 54 percent using tablets. 

The top five smartphone apps used in a medical practice were Epocrates, Medscape, MedCalc, Skyscape, and Doximity. The top five tablet apps used in a medical practice were Epocrates, Medscape, Up To Date, MedCalc, and Skyscape. However, just 28 percent of smartphone users and 18 percent of tablet users were "very satisfied" with the quality of apps.

"These two reports provide useful insights into how physicians use technology to interact with patients, physician satisfaction with mobile devices and apps, and the differences of technology use within various user demographics," said Thomas Stringham, co-founder of AmericanEHR Partners.

To learn more:
- read the announcement

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