Survey: 82 percent of clinicians to use both smartphones and tablets next year

By Brian Dolan

According to a survey conducted by athenahealth subsidiary Epocrates, almost 50 percent of all clinicians in the US are using smartphones, tablets, and desktops -- all three of these devices -- in professional capacities throughout their workday. This second annual survey included responses from 1,063 clinicians in May.

In a similar survey that Epocrates conducted last year, the company found that about 28 percent of clinicians were using all three of these devices at work. That figure jumped to 46 percent by May of this year and Epocrates expects it to hit 82 percent by June 2014. Tablet adoption similarly jumped from 34 percent last year to 53 this year and is expected to hit 85 percent of physicians next year.

Epocrates Digital Survey

Clinicians use the three devices at different times. Epocrates found in its most recent survey that personal computers were used mostly during standard workday hours -- 7 AM to 5 PM. Tablet and smartphone usage is taking up about 40 percent of the average clinician's screen time at work. Epocrates found that physician assistants and nurse practitioners are the heaviest users of mobile devices during the workday, but all clinicians spent the majority of their screen time after work on smartphones and tablets.

Epocrates also found that those clinicians who do use all three devices (computers, smartphones, tablets), that group relies on their mobile devices much more "for communicating with colleagues, visiting professional resources, email and reading journal articles than their peers."

Many more statistics and findings from Epocrates latest survey can be found in the full text here (PDF).