The results of a Spyglass Consulting Group report show that 94 percent of physicians are using smartphones. However, 78 percent of physicians reported they have difficulty with timely smartphone communication with colleagues.
study by Menlo Park, Calif.-based Spyglass Consulting Group
revealed a fragmented smartphone
landscape among health care professionals, yet 94 percent of physicians are now
using the mobile phones.
have widely adopted smartphones yet still have difficulty communicating with
colleagues and patients in a timely manner, the report reveals.
the study "Healthcare Without Bounds: Point of Care Communications for
Physicians," released on July 23, Spyglass reported a 60 percent increase
in doctors' smartphone use from the 59 percent mark it reported in a November
the small sample of 100 physicians participating in the three-month study from
March to May 2010, 78 percent reported problems with timely smartphone
communication among colleagues.
a lot of doctors, they have the smartphone, but it's not integrated with
anything," Gregg Malkary, founder and managing director of Spyglass, told
eWEEK. "You need to have the right infrastructure in place to integrate
with many of the enterprise systems."
to Malkary, doctors are using multiple devices for various tasks, including
personal smartphones, business smartphones, push-to-talk units, pagers and VOIP
phones. Still, pagers remain the most reliable, he said, due to poor cellular
reception in large hospitals.
larger facilities, cellular penetration is poor, and if you're part of an
emergency-response team, you need to have reliable delivery," Malkary
said. "Paging provides much more reliability in delivery of
messages." To bridge the gap, smartphones with push-to-talk capabilities
are gaining momentum in health care facilities, he added.
the Apple iPhone is the preferred mobile product among physicians, despite
hospital IT departments not supporting the device and regarding the popular
Apple phone as unsecure, Malkary noted.
study showed a 44 percent preference for the iPhone compared with 25 percent
for the BlackBerry. Still, physicians are forced to pay for the iPhone out of
pocket because their organizations don't support them.
supporting the BlackBerry only," Malkary said. "They [health care IT
departments] don't want to put in the infrastructure to support a wide range of
smartphones." Supporting multiple smartphone platforms is a burden with
all of the patient information that needs to be secured and protected, he
today are not quite ready to provide that level of integration, especially with
the iPhone-based platform, which they perceive as unsecure," he said.
a director of informatics or a CIO in a
health care IT organization may be provided a BlackBerry device, Malkary said
that physicians are turning away from the BlackBerry toward the iPhone because
of its ease of use and because it is a status symbol.
carried out the survey to research the opportunities and challenges of
physicians in their communication with other doctors, nurses and patients. The
study also explored inefficiencies in workflow and barriers for widespread
firm cited the fee-for-service model of payment as an impediment to physicians'
ability to communicate via phone or e-mail with colleagues or patients.