Medical professionals want better mobile tech in the workplace, study shows 

Smartphones and tablets have been deployed in hospitals across the country in an attempt to improve workflow and efficiency for medical professionals. However, according to hospitalists, the current mobile technology needs a revamp to best address workflow issues, a Jan. 4 study reported.

The study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research Human Factors, followed 12 medical professionals from an urban teaching Veterans Affairs hospital in Indiana for three months. The researchers asked the participants which tasks they deemed as redundant, frequent or difficult and how these tasks affected their workflow. They also asked the participants about their use of mobile apps and where they best saw opportunities for intervention.

Chart reviews, orders and documentation of patient visits on EHRs were the top tasks deemed cumbersome by the participants. The research participants made it clear that their frustration around such tasks stemmed not from lack of knowledge or expertise, but instead by a lack of support and access to usable technology.  

The hospitalists expressed frustration with the state of the current technology despite high usage, with 92 percent of participants reporting usage of some sort of mobile technology. 

They instead recommended task-specific apps that would make tasks like reviewing charts and documents from anywhere in the hospital easier. They also stressed the need for smart apps with features like automatic form-filling or dictation to optimize data entry.

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