Ancillary providers, such as nurses and physician assistants, not only use EHRs and other digital technology significantly in their work, but they do so more than physicians, according to a new study by Manhattan Research.
The annual study of 1,019 advanced practice registered nurses, registered nurses and physician assistants found that they relied on EHRs, smartphones and other technology extensively in performing their duties.
The study found, among other things, that the ancillary providers spent more time online for professional purposes than do physicians, logging in 14-16 hours a week versus 11 for physicians. They were also more interested in using pharma features in their EHRs than physicians, with 83-76% expressing such interest versus 67% for physicians. The ancillary providers used their mobile devices 74% - 60% of the time when interacting with patients; only 40% of physicians did so.
"The digital channel is mainstream in the professional lives of nurses and PAs today," said Christina Anthogalidis, Principal Analyst at Manhattan Research. "Their extensive use of mobile at the point of care is only one of many striking examples of digital opportunities brands should be thinking of exploring in 2013."
The researchers suggest that nurses and physician assistants, with their extensive use of health IT, have the potential to influence other stakeholders' use and purchasing of EHRs and other digital products.
Other studies have shown that EHRs are becoming part of the daily practice of nursing, that nurses were increasingly satisfied with them as they got used to them and that they can improve patient care.