Survey: Drug info is physicians' top use for mobile

By Aditi Pai
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WoltersKluwerA Wolters Kluwer survey of 300 practicing physicians found 55 percent use both smartphones and tablets in their daily practice and of those, 72 percent primarily use smartphones for accessing drug information.

The survey, conducted in April 2013 by private research firm Ipsos, included physicians in the fields of primary care, family medicine and internal medicine.

While over half of physicians use both smartphones and tablets in their daily practice, eight in ten use smartphones and six in ten use tablets. The most common use of tablets and smartphones after accessing drug information is accessing medical research; 43 percent for smartphones and 63 percent for tablets. In addition, mobile apps are being used by 24 percent of physicians, making this the top digital/social media channel used for work purposes.

Physicians were asked  to predict important areas of focus for the next three to five years. The survey found increasing patient efficiency is the number one focus area for physicians, at 48 percent, followed by exploring different business models such as mergers, becoming part of a hospital system, and ACOs at 34 percent, and adopting technology to improve clinical decision making and support evidence-based medicine at 31 percent.

The survey was first conducted in 2011. At the time, the survey found the top challenge for physicians was a lack of time with patients, with 78 percent of survey respondents naming this the top barrier to good doctor-patient communication, while 90 percent of physicians wish they had more time with patients. This year, lack of time with patients was the third most important challenge at 88 percent.

Last year, another survey conducted by Wolters Kluwer Health’s Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) found 71 percent of nurses are already using smartphones for their job. The survey included responses from 3,900 nurses and nursing students. About 66 percent of those nursing students surveyed said they use their smartphones for nursing school.