Survey: 83 percent of doctors would use mobile EHR apps but don't have access

By Brian Dolan
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The survey found drchrono to be the highest rated EHR among those docs surveyed about mobile EHR apps.

Black Book Rankings, which publishes customer satisfaction survey results for a wide range of industries, shared the results of national surveys of EHR vendors, hospital CIOs, and physicians in the US that found a very strong demand for mobile apps for EHRs.

The survey is a follow-up to last year's, which the firm called "Year of the Big EHR Switch" since it found physicians were unhappy with their first EHR and were likely to make a switch. Mobile access to an EHR might be one important determining factor.

According to the report, 122 vendors told Black Book that they had plans to launch fully functional mobile access or a native app for their EHR offering by the end of 2013. An additional 135 vendors wouldn't commit to year-end but said such a move was in their near term plans.

Black Book says that 89 percent of primary care and internal medicine physicians use smartphones to communicate with other hospital staff and a little more than half use their mobile to look up medical reference information. Only about 8 percent use a mobile device for ePrescribing, accessing records, ordering tests or viewing results, Black Book states. That said, 83 percent said they would use mobile EHR apps to update charts, check labs and order medications if their current EHR vendor made those features available for mobile.

Almost all physicians surveyed (95 percent) said their smartphone's small screen was their biggest issue with using mobile apps for EHRs, while 88 percent said the ease of movement within the chart was their biggest barrier. Interestingly, 83 percent of physicians said they would prefer a simplified version of their EHR in mobile form, not the full system.

Based on another poll of hospital CIOs last month, Black Book found mobile apps to be a more urgent need than cloud computing, clinical analytics, and business intelligence.

Ultimately, practice leaders and clinicians seek to enhance health care delivery and reduce medical liability through documentation of out-of-office practices including lost reimbursement. The highest ranked EHR mobile applications determined from client experience polling had ten common characteristics: the ability to remotely review charts, update charts, assign tasks, view schedules and appointments, send messages to practice staff, lab orders and result review, permit electronic prescribing, patient encounter documentation, input vital signs and access EHR data after office hours.

Read more of the survey results here.

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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly checks out the Microsoft HoloLens aboard a space station on February 20, 2016. The device is part of NASA's project Sidekick, which is exploring the use of augmented reality to reduce crew training requirements and increase the efficiency with which astronauts can work in space. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)