Survey: Smartphone use set to boom in home care

Among the approximately 40 percent of home care agencies that employ point-of-care computer systems in the field, laptops currently command two-thirds of the market. That, however, is set to shift to smartphones in the near future, according to a new survey by home care consulting firm Fazzi Associates.

The survey, which may reflect the fact that BlackBerry maker Research in Motion is a sponsor, indicates that 38.6 percent of agencies looking for new hardware are most interested in laptops, while 36.8 percent are taking a close look at handheld computers--PDAs and smartphones. Today, handhelds account for only about 6 percent of point-of-care hardware.

With 78 percent of home health aides currently documenting personal care on paper forms, handhelds are poised for a boom in that sector as the industry switches to electronic medical records, Fazzi reports. Nearly 75 percent of responding agencies say they will opt for handheld computers for documentation in the future.

The findings are from a preliminary analysis of a survey of more than 900 home care executives, represented by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and the affiliated Hospital Home Care Association of America (HHCAA). Fazzi Associates is working on an in-depth report to be released before the end of the year.

To learn more:
- read the NAHC press release
- download the report (.pdf)