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Survey of physicians suggests tablets more useful than smartphones

AmericanEHR Partners release survey results for mobile phone and tablet usage among EHR and non-EHR users

Philadelphia, June 12, 2013 -- Two reports from AmericanEHR Partners based on a survey of nearly 1,400 physicians suggests that tablets are of greater use for clinical purposes than smartphones.

“Mobile Usage in the Medical Space 2013” and “Tablet Usage by Physicians 2013” reveal that the most common activity of physicians who use an electronic health record (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). Just 7 percent of physicians use their smartphone to access EHRs. 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.

“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, which provides comprehensive information to support clinicians in the selection and use of EHRs to improve health care delivery.

The top market share position is held by Apple®, with 55 percent of physicians using smartphones and 54 percent using tablets. Clinical app usage in a medical practice was much higher among smartphone users (51 percent daily) than tablet users (30 percent daily). 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®.

Only 28 percent of smartphone users and 18 percent of tablet users were “very satisfied” with the quality of apps for their profession.

“As the adoption of mobile devices increases, so do the expectations of clinical users,” Stringham said. “The health IT sector and app developers have an opportunity to improve the quality and usefulness of clinical mobile apps.”

Additional highlights from the “Mobile Usage in the Medical Space 2013” report include:

  • Mobile phone usage by physicians who use an EHR: 77 percent use a smartphone, 15 percent use a regular mobile phone, and 8 percent use neither.
  • About 75 percent of physicians use their smartphone to communicate with other physicians at least once weekly.
  • About 70 percent of physicians use their smartphone to research medications at least once weekly.
  • Of the physicians surveyed, about 25 percent who use a regular phone intend on purchasing a smartphone within the next six months.

Additional highlights from the “Tablet Usage by Physicians 2013” report include:

  • About 33 percent of EHR users and 25 percent of non-EHR users use a tablet device in their medical practice.
  • Smaller practices, defined as three doctors or fewer, are likely to conduct a broader range of activities on their tablet, such as banking, communicating with patients, or taking photos for clinical purposes.
  • About 33 percent of EHR users are very satisfied with their tablet device, while 44 percent are somewhat satisfied.
  • About 33 percent of EHR users use a tablet to research medications daily.

About AmericanEHR Partners
AmericanEHR Partners is a free online resource designed to aid the medical community with the selection, implementation, and effective use of health information technology and electronic health records. AmericanEHR Partners was founded by the American College of Physicians and Cientis Technologies and is supported by 16 medical societies and five health IT organizations with a combined membership of more than 720,000 clinicians, representing over 65 percent of physicians in the U.S. It does not endorse any electronic health record vendor. For more information on AmericanEHR Partners, visit www.americanehr.com.

About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 133,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

About Cientis Technologies
Cientis Technologies is an international developer of online communities, web-based tools and apps to assist clinicians and their medical practice teams achieve optimal use of health care information technologies (HIT). Cientis conducts syndicated research to provide clinicians, health care consultants, policy makers, pharma, technology professionals and consumers with key insights surrounding health care technology adoption, satisfaction and market share. For more information on Cientis, visit www.cientis.com.

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