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Survey: Mobile Users Show Satisfaction With EHR Systems

October 16, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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More than half of providers who accessed their electronic health record (EHR) from a mobile device were "very satisfied" with the technology, compared to 28 percent of non-mobile users, according to an updated survey from the Austin, Tx.-based EHR comparison site Software Advice.

However, despite an increase in the availability of mobile applications offered by EHR vendors, a majority of users were still accessing their EHR from a desktop or laptop computer. Only 26 percent of users were accessing their EHR from a tablet or smartphone, compared to a combined 76 percent using desktops or laptops, according to the survey of 600 physician users.

That being said, the fact that mobile users were more satisfied with their systems is likely tied to the fact that these users were less affected by common EHR software challenges than non-mobile users were. Difficulty in learning to use the system and with decreased productivity were two areas where the differences between mobile and non-mobile users were greatest, the survey found.

Only 39 percent of mobile users expressed that learning how to use their EHR system was challenging, versus 58 percent of non-mobile users. This discrepancy could be attributed in part to mobile users taking their devices home with them to learn the system outside of normal working hours—and in part to the fact that 47 percent of physicians already use mobile devices for clinical purposes.

Mobile users also reported fewer problems with their EHR decreasing productivity: 73 percent said this was not a challenge, compared to just 42 percent of non-mobile users who said the same.

Other notable results from the survey include:

  • Twenty-eight percent of users responded that they would be increasing their investment in EHR software throughout 2014, and 54 percent indicated that they would keep their level of investment the same. Only 5 percent of users plan on decreasing their investment, while 13 percent stated that they were unsure.
  • Physicians surveyed were most interested in increasing their investment in patient portals (36 percent).
  • Twenty-nine percent of users in the sample indicated that they would be investing more in health information exchange (HIE) applications.
  • More than half of users surveyed (56 percent) responded that integrating their EHR with other systems presented a "major" or "moderate challenge."
  • Smaller practices were more satisfied with their EHR system than those from larger practices. Forty-three percent of small-practice users reported being “very satisfied,” compared to just 31 percent of large practices that said the same.
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