News Feature | July 9, 2015

Nurses Use Smartphones, Apps More Than Doctors

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Tablets Improve Care Coordination

Survey Shows 95 percent of nurses own a smartphone

Nurses both own and use smartphones as a way of improving patient care than doctors according to an InCrowd study.

iHealth Beat reports 95 percent of nurses surveyed owned a smartphone and 88 percent of them used smartphone apps in their daily routines. InCrowd reports these figures are higher than recent findings that 78 percent of medical residents owned a smartphone and67 percent used it in clinical care.

Nurse smartphone use was dominated by access to drug interaction information, clinical data, drug information, and researching variousdiseases and disorders. Nurses also used smartphones to keep in touch with colleagues (69 percent) or for fast access to patient care information across a wide range of daily nursing tactics, including receiving patient photos of a rash or setting timers for administration of medications.

And more than half of those surveyed (52 percent) reported they often use their smartphone instead of asking colleagues for information, particularly in cases where medication, illnesses, or symptoms were unfamiliar. Thirty-two 32 percent of RNs reported using their smartphones instead of asking a physician, as a time-saving effort.

“The hospital gets very busy and there isn’t always someone available to bounce ideas off of,” said one respondent. “It’s often easier to get the information needed using my smartphone – I don’t have to wait for a response from acoworker,” said another nurse.

Nurses are using smartphones even when employers do not cover their expenses with 87 percent of those surveyed responding their employers did not cover any of their smartphone-related costs. Only 9 percent were reimbursed for their monthly bill, 1 percent received coverage for the cost of the smartphone itself, and 3 percent were reimbursed for both the cost of the smartphone and their monthly bill. Significantly, less than 1 percent of nurses said their hospital prohibited smartphone use by nurses on shift.

“There’s a lot of untapped potential in the use of mobile apps for nursing,” Judy Murphy, IBM’s chief nursing officer told mHealth News