Providing iPads to hospital residents improves their efficiency, thereby allowing more time to spend with patients and reducing delays in patient care, CMIO recently reported.
The University Of Chicago School Of Medicine gave iPads to 115 internal medicine residents--90 percent of them reported that they used the hand held devices "routinely" as part of their clinical responsibilities, 78 percent said the iPads made them more efficient, and 68 percent reported that they averted patient delays.
A review of the school's electronic health records data confirmed the residents' responses, according to researchers, who published their findings in the American Medical Association's Archives of Internal Medicine.
"Besides saving time by eliminating the search for open computers in physician medical charting areas, tablets can encourage residents to do more of their order writing and charting while sitting at the patient bedside. Order writing and charting can be incorporated into the physician-patient encounter, as when a resident discusses with a patient what tests he or she will have that day as the tests are ordered," the authors stated.
Mobile devices such as iPads have become popular for the purpose of distracting patients during treatment and meeting Meaningful Use requirements. This is one of the first studies to show that their use has a measurable clinical benefit, as well.