Survey: Majority of nurses use smartphone apps at work

By Aditi Pai
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Female Doctor with TabletSome 95 percent of nurses own a smartphone and 88 percent use smartphone apps at work, according to a survey of 241 nurses conducted by InCrowd. The research firm conducts two- to five-minute online microsurveys.

Around 73 percent of nurses used apps to look up drug information, 72 percent used apps to look up different diseases and disorders, and 69 percent used smartphones, though not an app, to communicate with their colleagues in the hospital.

Nurses also reported that in some cases their phones led to less communication with colleagues -- 52 percent said they used their smartphone to help them answer a question that they would have asked a colleague. Respondents stressed that smartphones "enhance but don't substitute" the need for a physician consult prior to administering care.

Just 32 percent of respondents said they used their smartphone to answer a question instead of asking a physician, but they did so when they wanted to make an educated suggestion to a doctor or when they needed answers quickly without making many phone calls.

In a followup survey, InCrowd found that 87 percent of nurses said their employer does not cover smartphone-related costs and only 9 percent said they were reimbursed for their monthly bill. Just 1 percent of respondents were reimbursed for the smartphone and 3 percent of nurses received reimbursement from their employer for both the cost of the smartphone and monthly bill.