Nurses, Doctors Disagree on Tablets

Doctors are embracing tablets, but nurses balk at lack of native apps, data entry limitations.

Tablet use among doctors is accelerating rapidly with almost half of physicians using them in clinics and offices, according to some estimates, yet nurses are rejecting the devices. A recent study shows nurses disparaging the use of tablets for bedside nursing, citing frustrations over durability, data entry and native apps.

This reluctance from nurses stands in sharp contrast to doctors and consumers. About 50 percent of doctors are using tablets and 80 percent of consumers want doctors to use mobile health solutions, according to a report sponsored by HIMSS, the nonprofit Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and Qualcomm Life.

Nurses may have a different take on tablets, but they are on the same page with doctors when it comes to phones. More than two-thirds — 69 percent — are using mobile phones on the job, according to another recent survey conducted by Spyglass Consulting Group.

The Spyglass report revealed nurses’ skepticism about using tablets in the hospital, including 96 percent opposing the use of first-generation tablets for bedside nursing. The concerns raised about using tablets focused on limited data entry capabilities, durability, infection control and a lack of native applications.

The report also noted that nurses singled out the Apple iPad specifically with their concerns. Here again, the nurses’ view differs from doctors, who have embraced the iPad, which is the dominant tablet platform among physicians, according to a study conducted earlier this year by healthcare market research firm Manhattan Research.

The Spyglass “Point of Care Computing for Nursing” report was based on interviews with more than 100 nurses working in acute care settings across the United States, representing a variety of different-sized hospitals and a range of specialties.

 
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Nurses, Doctors Disagree on Tablets

Doctors are embracing tablets, but nurses balk at lack of native apps, data entry limitations.

Tablet use among doctors is accelerating rapidly with almost half of physicians using them in clinics and offices, according to some estimates, yet nurses are rejecting the devices. A recent study shows nurses disparaging the use of tablets for bedside nursing, citing frustrations over durability, data entry and native apps.

This reluctance from nurses stands in sharp contrast to doctors and consumers. About 50 percent of doctors are using tablets and 80 percent of consumers want doctors to use mobile health solutions, according to a report sponsored by HIMSS, the nonprofit Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and Qualcomm Life.

Nurses may have a different take on tablets, but they are on the same page with doctors when it comes to phones. More than two-thirds — 69 percent — are using mobile phones on the job, according to another recent survey conducted by Spyglass Consulting Group.

The Spyglass report revealed nurses’ skepticism about using tablets in the hospital, including 96 percent opposing the use of first-generation tablets for bedside nursing. The concerns raised about using tablets focused on limited data entry capabilities, durability, infection control and a lack of native applications.

The report also noted that nurses singled out the Apple iPad specifically with their concerns. Here again, the nurses’ view differs from doctors, who have embraced the iPad, which is the dominant tablet platform among physicians, according to a study conducted earlier this year by healthcare market research firm Manhattan Research.

The Spyglass “Point of Care Computing for Nursing” report was based on interviews with more than 100 nurses working in acute care settings across the United States, representing a variety of different-sized hospitals and a range of specialties.

 
Related stories