Healthcare News & Insights

One tool doctors want but aren’t getting support for

More doctors are turning to mobile devices and online tools for their work. Is your health IT department supporting all the tools doctors want and need? 

Online tools and mobile devices are becoming a significant part of doctors’ daily lives, according to a recent survey from research firm comScore.

Just as their patients are likely to check health-related websites, most physicians visit websites regularly. Among the 1,000 doctors surveyed, 81% visit sites with content specifically designed for healthcare providers, and 72% visit sites with general health content.

In addition, half of the doctors polled regularly use social media websites.

Often, those sites are being accessed on a mobile device, too. The majority (60%) use a smartphone daily, and 62% of those say daily smartphone use is necessary for them to stay in contact with their job.

More doctors want tablets

An increasing number of doctors have begun using tablets such as Apple’s iPad for their jobs, with close to half (44%) saying they use tablets every day. However, when asked whether they would prefer using a smartphone or a tablet for medical functions, 64% of doctors chose a tablet.

Doctors preferred tablets for accessing electronic health records (EHRs), as well as reading medical news, checking for drug information and researching treatment options.

The message for health IT departments: A majority of physicians want to use tablets to view mobile EHRs and complete other tasks, though in many cases their organization doesn’t support the use of those devices. While smartphones are popular, too, many doctors feel they would be able to replace a PC with a tablet for many functions, which is something they can’t say for a phone.

According to a previous survey, doctors are especially interested in using Apple’s new iPad tablet. The reason: the device’s smaller size (it has a 7.9-inch screen, compared to other models’ 9.7 inches), which doctors will make it easier to carry around and store in a lab coat pocket.

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