Cloud-based EHR service provider athenahealth, which operates Epocrates, announced findings from the third annual Epocrates Mobile Trends Report (PDF download from here) that examines mobile technology adoption among health care providers.
According to the data gathered in May 2014, it appears the explosive adoption of mobile devices for professional use has plateaued.The company surveyed more than 1,200 health care professionals from across the Epocrates member base, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and for the first time – retail and hospital pharmacists, all of whom shared opinions on mobile device usage and its impact on the medical profession and clinical workflow.
According to the data gathered in May 2014, it appears the explosive adoption of mobile devices for professional use has plateaued. As a response to health care reform initiatives, the majority of providers and care teams surveyed are predominantly focused on fully implementing EHRs to meet Meaningful Use standards.
While there was an impressive 68% increase from 2012 to 2013 in “digital omnivores” — those using a tablet, smartphone and computer in their workflow — this year, a slight decrease was detected. This may be the result of the push towards EHR implementation in 2013, which has fueled an upsurge in time spent on computers, the dominant platform for EHR use. The lack of mobile EHR innovation is notable with only one-third of clinicians claiming their EHR is optimized for tablet or smartphone use. Most viewed traditional EHRs as time-consuming interferences and longed for more user-friendly and efficient options.
74% of clinicians surveyed expect to be digital omnivores by Q2 2015, suggesting the migration of tasks to mobile devices will likely continue to grow.Nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs) and pharmacists are found to excel at mobile, with PAs leading daily tablet usage among clinicians. NPs are following a close second, while over half of hospital pharmacists identified themselves as digital omnivores and point to mobile as having significantly improved their productivity while enhancing interactions with patients.
The report goes on to suggest that health care providers still consume a considerable amount of clinical content on mobile devices during the moments that matter. Smartphones remain a round-the-clock resource for quick reference. Looking to the future, 74% of clinicians surveyed expect to be digital omnivores by the second quarter of 2015, suggesting the migration of tasks to mobile devices will likely continue to grow.
“It’s clear there is an opportunity to help health care providers bridge the gap between desktop and mobile while minimizing some of the more exasperating EHR pain points,” said Dr. Anne Meneghetti, executive director of medical information at Epocrates. “Providers expect EHRs to be mobile-optimized, allowing them flexibility to coordinate administrative tasks anytime, anywhere.”