- A CDW survey of 152 healthcare providers who use tablets on a regular basis for clinical work indicates that the iPads and Kindle Fires make physicians happier, more mobile, and more productive. Physicians who are equipped with the pocket-sized devices spend just over two hours a day working on the touch screen computers, which amounts to 26% of their total computing time. They gain 1.1 hours in daily productivity, and 84% say the devices make them better at multi-tasking.
A recent HIMSS report seems to confirm the exploding popularity of mobile devices to communicate with patients, take notes in the consult room, and access informational resources with the swipe of a finger. The report stated that 93% of physicians use some form of mobile technology daily, and 80% use tablets or smartphones to directly influence patient care. Physicians love tablets because of their long battery life, portability, intuitive interface, and easy access to their EHR systems as well as a variety of other applications that support clinical work or interaction with patients. With the rise of mobile technology among patients and providers, tablets represent a new wave of healthcare technology in the exam room.
Seventy-four percent of the CDW survey respondents believed that the devices improved their workflow, and 91% said it improves their ability to access information from anywhere. Among the advocates for the new technology is Harish Gagneja, MD, a gastroenterologist in Austin, Texas who spoke to American Medical News about his tablet habits. “[It’s] a really, really powerful tool and has made me very productive,” he says, noting that easy access to his email cuts down on the time he spends on the phone, leaving the patient’s room to research information, or coordinating with insurers. Dr. Gagneja uses his tablet to create a personal, interactive experience for the patient, whether it’s sharing anatomical diagrams or simply spending more time face-to-face without the need to interrupt for administrative reasons.
As more and more providers adopt electronic health records that can be accessed from mobile devices, the popularity of tablets in the office is set to expand rapidly. “Based on the productivity gains we have seen just on the email, Web, and calendar usage,” said Jonathan Karl, sales director for CDW Healthcare, “I think it’s safe to assess that will continue into more creative use as the clinicians find more ways to use it effectively.”