Doctors Love The iPhone And iPad Even Though Many Electronic Records Systems Don’t

Doctors Love The iPhone And iPad Even Though Many Electronic Records Systems Don’t

The iPhone and iPad are the most preferred mobile devices in healthcare.

The iPhone is the most popular device among medical professionals, followed by the iPad and then Android smartphones. That’s one of the key findings in a new study that examines the relationship between electronic health records (EHR) systems, mobile technology, and how doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers use both mobile devices and EHR systems.

One of the biggest points of the survey, however, is that the vast majority of U.S. healthcare providers do not use a mobile device to access electronic records. In fact only about in one in twenty (6%) use a mobile device to access electronic records or prescribe medications using an electronic prescribing system. That’s despite the fact that almost three-quarters (72%) of providers report using mobile technology as part of their practice.

The results come from Vitera Healthcare Solutions, a company that produces EHR systems and companion technologies like billing, communications, and practice management tools.

The study showed that almost all doctors (91%) want to see an EHR system that includes mobile access. That desire is echoed by the majority (66%) of medical practice administrators. While many billing managers (43%) are interested in the technology, the majority don’t see it as a necessity related to their job.

What do doctors want an iPhone or iPad EHR system to do? Just the basics. 93% of doctors and other providers want to be able to review patient records. 87% want to be able to update those records and 82% want the ability to document patient encounters beyond or apart from updating a patient’s chart. 86% want to be able to prescribe electronically from a mobile device. 67% want to be able to use mobile technology for out-of-office activities, which CITEworld’s Chris Nerney wryly suggests that this may mean using a device to improve a doctor’s golf handicap.

As far as non-EHR but practice-related activities, healthcare providers are pretty much in line with other professionals. 55% use them for communications (email, phone, and texting) and 14% use them as a laptop replacement. Only 20% reported using devices for on-the-go research – though it’s worth noting that other studies have shown great use of reference apps and sites, particularly among nurses.

Lastly, if you’re curious about the top devices used in healthcare and their popularity, here’s the list.

  • iPhone – 60%
  • iPad – 45%
  • Android (phone) – 38%
  • BlackBerry – 14%
  • Windows tablet – 14%
  • Windows Phone – 5%
  • Android (tablet) – 3%
  • Other – 3%
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About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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