Mobile devices are everywhere these days, including increasingly in hospitals and medical practices of all sizes. A survey out this week found that nearly half of U.S. physicians and mid-level practitioners are using smartphones and tablet devices in addition to laptop or desktop PCs to carry out their professional duties. Clinicians' increasing use of a variety of mobile devices is leading to new ways to improve patient care and new concerns about protecting patients' private information.
This week's Clinical Documentation News Roundup looks at clinicians and mobile devices with articles on the benefits and risks that come with them working together.
- 47% of Doctors Use Smartphone, Tablet and PC at InformationWeek: "Clinicians are rapidly increasing their use of mobile devices at work, according to a new report from Epocrates, a vendor of mobile reference materials that is owned by EHR vendor Athenahealth. Of the 1,063 physicians and mid-level practitioners who responded to Epocrates' survey, 86% of the clinicians now use smartphones in their professional activities, up from 78% in 2012. In addition, 53% use tablets at work, compared to 34% last year. All of the respondents use desktop/laptop computers. And nearly half fall into a new category that Epocrates dubs "digital omnivores," who use all three platforms, or "screens."
- How an iPhone Improved Patient Care in the ICU at KevinMD: "At iMedicalApps we have traditionally expounded on how smart phones can help us with patient care in regards to providing physician centric tools at bedside. These range from drug reference tools to various clinical algorithm medical apps. But there are also non-traditional methods where smartphones enable us to improve patient care at the bedside. These are subtle, but can be equally or more powerful. When I was working in the ICU recently, there were two “non-traditional” methods that I utilized my iPhone for to improve the care of my patients. "
- Using Technology in the Exam Room at Physicians Practice: "Your smartphone is like a double-edged scalpel. On one hand it provides lightning fast results and connections, while on the other it can be an annoying distraction that leaves patients feeling unheard. Tablets, laptops and exam- room computers are no different. By enabling you to research, record, and relate in myriad ways, they can simultaneously detract from your quality of professionalism by shifting your attention away from others who are in your presence. The thing with technology is that it can both help and hinder physician-patient relationships."
- Bring-Your-Own Device "Improves Patient Care Given By Nurses" at Nursing Times: "A bring-your-own device (BYOD) policy for iPads and similar technology can help nurses deliver better patient care, a U.S. expert has claimed. If nurses are using their own personal mobile devices in the workplace they are more likely to know their way around them and use the devices to their full potential, said Judith Church, faculty member in the healthcare and healthcare informatics programs at American Sentinel University. Familiarity with a device can translate into improved patient care, she explained."
- Latest Technology Raises New Security Risks at PhysBizTech: "Google’s new wearable computer, Google Glass, is among a current crop of technologies that sound like science fiction; however, they present real privacy risks. Here are a few developments that healthcare privacy professionals and organizations should be thinking about now....The limited functionality of the device may limit its adoption in the near future, but the potential is there for hackers to see everything the wearer does, turning unwitting innocents into spies to stealing passwords and door-entry codes, as well as financial, medical and other personal information."
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