Survey: Mobile device access to EHRs boosts doc satisfaction

A majority of physicians are still struggling with interoperability, but mobile device users were happier overall with their systems, according to Software Advice's latest annual electronic health record UserView survey.

Methodology is questionable, though, as Software Advice--a Gartner software advisory company--says some responses were obtained as a result of posting the survey on social networking sites, "including Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus."

The survey, which garnered participation from close to 600 physicians, found that 56 percent were finding integration with other systems a major or moderate challenge. Only 26 percent of respondents said that their EHRs coordinated "very well" with those of other providers. Other top challenges included slowed productivity and customization issues.

The survey also found that three-fourths of respondents were using a desktop or laptop computer to access their EHRs.

However, while only 26 percent were using a tablet or smartphone to access their systems, users of mobile devices to do so were more likely to be "very satisfied" with their EHRs, with more than half (58 percent) very satisfied compared to 26 percent of desktop/laptop users. Those who accessed EHRs via mobile devices also reported fewer challenges.  

The study found that "familiarity and portability of mobile devices seems to go a long way towards ensuring doctors' ultimate satisfaction with their EHR." It suggested that this higher satisfaction rate by mobile device users may be due to the fact that 47 percent of  the physicians are already using mobile devices for clinical work and that the physicians can take their devices home with them and learn their EHR system better after work hours.   

The top benefits of EHRs included access to records, more robust/legible records, and drug interaction alerts. The capital investment respondents were most likely to make in the near future was the addition of a patient portal, needed to meet Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program.

The survey doesn't reveal any surprises, but does corroborate other studies that indicate concerns with data sharing and mixed views by physicians towards the use of EHRs.

To learn more:
- read the survey