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Personal Mobile Computers Improve Resident Efficiency

Last Updated: March 14, 2012.

The use of personal mobile computers (Apple iPads) by internal medicine residents improves efficiency, according to a research letter published in the March 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

WEDNESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- The use of personal mobile computers (Apple iPads) by internal medicine residents improves efficiency, according to a research letter published in the March 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Bhakti K. Patel, M.D., from the University of Chicago, and colleagues investigated the impact of deployment of personal mobile computers to 115 internal medicine residents on resident workflow efficiency and patient care. Residents were surveyed in the month before deployment and four months after; 99 percent responded post-implementation. All patient care orders placed in the first 24 hours of a new patient's admission were compared for a three-month period pre- and post-implementation.

The investigators found that 90 percent of the residents used their iPad for clinical responsibilities, with 75 percent using it on a daily basis. Seventy-eight percent noted they were more efficient, saving about an hour a day. More interns reported improved efficiency with iPad use than residents (89 versus 71 percent; P = 0.03). In addition, 56 percent of residents said they would attend more conferences, while 68 percent reported that patient care delays were averted with use of the iPads. The number of orders per admission did not change after implementation of iPads, but the timing of orders did, with more orders placed prior to post-call attending rounds, before departure of the post-call team, and in the first two hours of admission.

"It seems that personal mobile computing can help improve perceived and actual resident efficiency in an era of increasing work compression," the authors write.

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