Survey: More Physicians Using Smartphones but Feeling Overwhelmed

Ninety-four percent of physicians said they use smartphones to manage personal and business workflows and to access medical data, a report from Spyglass Consulting Group found, Health Data Management reports (Health Data Management, 7/26).

According to the report, growth in smartphone use is driven by physicians' desire to:

  • Improve communication and collaboration;
  • Streamline productivity; and 
  • Improve patient care and safety (Dolan, Mobi Health News, 7/26).

The number of physicians who said they used the technology in 2010 has increased by 60% from 2006, when Spyglass conducted a similar survey. In 2006, 59% of physicians used smartphones.

According to Gregg Malkary, managing director of Spyglass, physician use of smartphones is growing more rapidly than use by the general public (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 7/23).

Smartphone Drawbacks

Roughly 80% of physicians surveyed said they faced difficulties responding to colleagues in a timely manner with smartphones.

Physicians also expressed concerns with the lack of financial incentives for clinician use of the devices.

In addition, respondents said they were overwhelmed by the volume of incoming messages they received on the phones (Health Data Management, 7/26).

Fifty-six percent of respondents said they were concerned that the lack of standardized guidelines for transitioning care between colleagues could lead to errors in patient care.


The survey was based on telephone interviews of more than 100 physicians working in ambulatory and acute care environments conducted over a three-month period, beginning in March 2010 (Healthcare IT News, 7/23).

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