Healthcare providers are making progress in adopting health IT tools within their practices, as mobility continues to impact the day-to-day delivery of patient care and healthcare practice management, according to new research from CompTIA, the Downers Grove, Ill.-based non-profit association for the IT industry.
CompTIA’s Fourth Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities study of 375 healthcare providers reveals that many are on the cusp of expanding their use of smart mobile devices from routine business activities, such as e-mail and scheduling, to more advanced, care-specific uses. Examples include medication monitoring and management, remote access to health records and assisting patients in managing insurance claims.
While most healthcare providers are in the early stages of adopting and incorporating mobile health and other technologies into their workflow, the research points to high levels of interest and experimentation. Overall, a net three in four healthcare providers surveyed believe mobility is having a positive impact on healthcare.
“It takes time for emerging technologies to mature and for users to make sufficient progress along the learning curve before the benefits of innovation can be realized,” Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA, said in a statement. “We’re now beginning to see this happen in the healthcare sector.”
One in five physicians with a mobile device capable of supporting apps uses health—or medical—related apps on a daily basis, according to the CompTIA study. Over the next 12 months, healthcare providers expect to increase their usage of medical apps to the point where 62 percent are relying on these apps at least a few times per week.
The research also suggests healthcare providers may be expected to be more than just mobile app users; they may be viewed as an app resource. Thirty-one percent of physicians report receiving app-related questions or recommendation requests from patients at least occasionally.
Additionally, the survey data shows that electronic medical record (EMR) and electronic health record (EHR) systems continue to make gains. CompTIA data indicates that about six in 10 healthcare providers have at least some elements of an EMR/EHR system in place. However, fewer than half of healthcare providers acknowledge being fully prepared for their transition to an EHR.