Noting that first EHR vendor results were disappointing and that nearly one in five users indicated high likelihood of switching systems, researchers from Black Book Rankings polled physicians to examine mobile device EHR application demand.
According to the survey, 122 vendors reported that by the end of 2013 they planned to introduce fully-functional mobile access and/or iPad versions of their EHR products. A further 135 vendors reported that mobile applications were on the near horizon. Although most (89 percent) primary care and internal medicine doctors used smartphones to communicate with staff and about half used tablets for independent medical reference and Internet research, less than 1 percent believed that they were maximizing use of applications. Few office-based physicians (8 percent) currently used their mobile devices for electronic prescribing, accessing records, ordering tests, and viewing results; however, most physicians (83 percent) would immediately utilize additional functionalities, including updating patient charts, checking laboratory tests, and ordering medications, if available via their current EHR. The most popular mobile devices currently used were iPhones (68 percent), iPads and tablets (59 percent), and smart/Android phones/other (31 percent).
"The vast majority of all survey respondents favored mobile applications that focus on the patient data and core parts of medical practice most needed when the physician is away from the office setting," Douglas Brown, chief executive officer of Black Book Market Research, said in a statement.