Healthcare News & Insights

Residents don’t have much use for iPads

A lot has been written about the use of tablets in healthcare and how providers are beginning to use mobile devices for their work. But enthusiasm for popular tablets may not be as high as many observers think, even among younger professionals. 

doctor tabletOnly a minority of medical students think Apple’s popular iPad device is a worthwhile tool for healthcare applications, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Medical Technology in Medicine.

A group of 102 medical and surgical residents at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Ohio were surveyed regarding their views of the iPad’s benefits in a variety of situations. For most categories fewer than half of the respondents saw the iPad as a useful tool.

Not for daily clinical use

After using the iPad for an academic year, 58% said the device was useful for sourcing articles while outside the hospital, and 52% said the tablet was useful for doing research.

But for other applications, ratings were much lower. For example, just 15% used the iPad on daily rounds and only 8% said the device helped with documentation efficiency.

In addition, many of the categories had a large split based on the field of the respondent:

  • 58% of medical residents and 37% of surgical residents valued the iPad for making recommendations to a colleague
  • 46% of medical residents and 23% of surgical residents said the iPad helped facilitate patient care
  • 42% of medical residents and 7%  of surgical residents valued the iPad as an education tool, and
  • 39% of medical residents and 17% of surgical residents used the iPad to view test results.

What does it mean for hospitals? While there may be a lot of hype for tablets in general, the study’s authors recommend organizations determine whether or not iPads and other devices will actually be helpful in their specific circumstances before adopting them.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest and greatest healthcare news and insights delivered to your inbox.