Just 6% of health providers access EHRs with mobile devices

August 14, 2012

While the majority of physicians and health providers would like to use mobile devices to access their electronic health records systems, very few are actually doing it.

Although the vast majority of physicians and other health providers would like to use mobile devices to access their electronic health record (EHR) systems, very few are actually doing it.

Only 6% of healthcare professionals are using their mobile devices to connect to EHRs or e-prescribe, despite the fact that 72% of them access those same devices for work purposes, according to a survey from health information technology (HIT) company Vitera Healthcare Solutions.

Among types of health professionals, physicians were the most interested in accessing mobile EHRs, at 91%. (At the time of this posting, a company representative was unavailable to comment on the size and scope of the survey.)

The key features health providers are looking for in a mobile EHR system are the ability to review and update a patient's chart, as well as order prescriptions, according to the survey.

Among survey respondents, the most-used mobile devices were iPhones (60%), iPads (45%), and Android smartphones (38%).

Chloe Georgia, MD, a Boston, Massachusetts-based internal medicine physician, told Medical Economics earlier this year that she begins her workday at home by checking her Epic EHR system via her iPhone.

"I can see if someone walked in or cancelled," Georgia said. "I know how much time I have to grab breakfast, or [can] spend more time with my daughter at daycare, before I need to rush back to the office."

Georgia acknowledged that mobile technology makes it more difficult for her to leave separate her work life from her personal life, but she said the added convenience makes it worth the tradeoff.

Although the survey reveals that few physicians are taking advantage of mobile EHRs, there is no shortage of vendors selling them.

HIT companies that offer mobile EHRs include Greenway Medical, NextGen Healthcare, Practice Fusion, and Aprima Medical Software.