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Study: 9 in 10 Clinicians to Use Mobile Devices at Bedside by 2022

April 24, 2018
by Heather Landi
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A recent study indicates a rising adoption in clinical mobility, such as the use of mobile devices like handheld mobile computers, tablets, cordless barcode scanners and mobile printers, in hospitals and clinicians increasingly see mobile devices as improving the quality of patient care and helping to reduce medication administration errors.

Nine in 10 clinicians expect to use a mobile device at the bedside by 2022, according to Zebra Technologies’ 2022 Hospital Vision Study. Zebra Technologies, a mobile device solutions company, surveyed 1,500 nursing managers, IT decision-makers and patients and the survey compiles the feedback from respondents across the United States, Brazil, China, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates.

Seventy-two percent of surveyed decision-makers say that mobile devices are improving the quality of patient care, giving clinicians actionable intelligence at the bedside with the effect of increasing time with patients and reducing errors. The survey also found that 55 percent of hospitals cite reduced cost of patient care as a benefit of mobile technology.

The perceived benefits of clinical mobility are fueling an increase in adoption of mobile technologies at every level of care. According to survey respondents, nearly all hospitals estimate that mobile devices will be used at the bedside by nurses (97 percent) and physicians (98 percent) by 2022, but also increasingly by other members of the care team such as pharmacists, lab technicians, radiologists, and patient transport professionals. According to the survey, respondents forecast a major increase in the use of mobile devices across areas such as pharmacist and pharmacy technicians (from 42 in 2017 to 96 percent in 2022), lab technicians (from 52 to 96 percent), and intensive care nurses (from 38 to 93 percent).

Surveyed nursing managers and IT decision-makers expect clinical mobility to reduce errors in areas including medication administration (61 percent) and specimen collection labeling (52 percent). According to the survey, by 2022, 91 percent of nurses are expected to access electronic health records (EHRs), medical and drug databases (92 percent), and lab diagnostic results (88 percent) using a mobile device, reducing time that must be spent away from patients.

The survey results also indicate that communications are expected to improve due to rising clinical mobility adoption. Nearly seven in ten of surveyed nurse managers credit clinical mobility with improving staff communication and collaboration as well as the quality of patient care, while 64 percent of surveyed IT decision-makers identify nurse-to-physician communications as a top area for improvement.

Improved data streams integrated through handheld mobile technology are expected to improve detection and notification of life-threatening conditions, according to the survey results. By 2022, 98 percent of surveyed IT decision-makers, and 96 percent of nurses, expect predictive analytics and early notification for life- threatening conditions, such as sepsis and hospital-acquired infection, will be sent to clinicians’ mobile devices.

What’s more, 83 percent of clinicians and IT decision-makers plan to expand the use of real-time locationing service (RTLS) for dynamic staff workflows.

The study also highlighted how patients perceive the rise of clinical mobility with nearly eight in 10 survey respondents feeling positive about mobile tools being used to improve their care.


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