Approximately one quarter of U.S. hospitals reported that smartphones are in use at their organization, and on average, 169 devices are deployed per hospital, according to the 2014 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics Mobile Devices Study.
In comparison, 24 percent of U.S. hospitals reported that tablet computers are in use at their organization, with an average of 37 devices deployed per hospital. Indeed, tablet computers and smartphones appear to be currently used to supplement access of information via another method such as a desktop and/or laptop computer. According to the study, two-thirds of clinicians reported using both a desktop/laptop computer and a smartphone/ tablet computer to access information. The HIMSS Analytics study surveyed 139 clinicians during October and November of this year.
The use of smartphones/tablet computers is beginning to yield a number of benefits, the report concluded. Clinicians reported that smartphones/tablet computers greatly enhance their ability to communicate with other clinicians and healthcare providers. They also reported that the use of these devices is providing them with a more positive work experience, both in terms of satisfaction with their jobs and work/life balance.
However, while clinicians reported leveraging mobile technologies for a multiplicity of tasks, there is still room for growth. For instance, while 69 percent of respondents indicated that they used apps to access clinical information, only 33 percent of respondents reported they believe they can access most or all of the clinical systems technologies they need via smartphones/tablet computers.
Finally, clinicians were optimistic that use of smartphones/tablet computers will positively impact the delivery of patient care. For instance, one-third of clinicians indicated that use of smartphones/tablet computers would create overall efficiencies in care, such as eliminating redundancies in care. One-third of respondents also indicated that use of these devices could have a positive impact on overall quality of care and care coordination. However, here too, there is room for growth, as a large portion of the respondents indicated that they were presently unsure as to the impact that the use of smartphones/tablet computers could have on the delivery of healthcare, the report found.