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Increasing Efficiency With Mobile Tablet Computers

Increasing Efficiency With Mobile Tablet Computers

The ever-growing use of electronic health records (EHRs) and information needs of patients have increased time away from the bedside and the need to use computer workstations whenever they become available. Some medical centers have adopted tablet computers because they can process information much quicker and are less cumbersome than when they first came on the market. With more hospitals adding wireless internet access, physicians can use these mobile devices to access an increasing number of utilities and functions, including EHR systems. Putting Tablets to the Test In a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, my colleagues and I sought to implement and evaluate the deployment of personal mobile tablet computers (Apple iPads) on resident workflow efficiency and patient care. Nine out of 10 residents reported using the mobile tablet for clinical responsibilities at work, and nearly 75% reported using it every day. The number of orders per admission didn’t change after tablet deployment, but the timing of orders with respect to time of patient admission did. During the post-deployment period, 5% more orders were placed prior to post-call attending rounds. Also, 8% more orders were placed prior to the time at which post-call teams were scheduled to leave the hospital. More orders were placed within the first 2 hours of patient admission following tablet deployment. The majority of residents (78%) reported being more efficient on the wards when using their tablets, stating that they saved about an hour per day. More than half (56%) reported being able to attend more conferences by using their tablet computers. Of all house staff, 66% reported that patient care delays were...
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