Black Book Rankings, the recognized source for neutral and precise customer satisfaction analysis in the healthcare IT industry, uncovered the meteoric trend in mobile device EHR application demand of nationally surveyed physicians. The Black Book user poll was conducted as a focused follow up to the sweeping 2013 electronic health record study, foretelling the “Year of the Big EHR Switch.” Nearly one in five physician users indicated the high likelihood of shifting systems after disappointing first vendor results. Several new EHR integrated mobile apps have been added to the list of physician must-haves in the replacement market demand.
“A mandate has been issued and progressive vendors are reacting,” reports Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book Research. “A full 100% of practices participating in the follow up poll expect EHR systems that allow access to patient data wherever physicians are providing or reviewing care.“
122 vendors responded to Black Book that they will introduce fully functional mobile access and/or iPad native versions of their EHR products by the end of 2013. Another 135 EHR product vendors claim to have mobile applications on their near strategic horizons.
Desire for mobile apps and their actual use remain two separate matters, as more programs are introduced, according to Black Book. Although 89% of primary care and internal medicine doctors use smart phones to primarily communicate with staff, and 51% of clinicians use tablets to perform independent medical reference and internet research, less than 1% estimate they are maximizing use of their mobile clinical and business applications
Currently, 8% of office-based physicians use either a mobile device for electronic prescribing, accessing records, ordering tests or viewing results. However, 83% indicated they would immediately utilize mobile EHR functionalities to update patient charts, check labs and order medications immediately if available to them via their current EHR.
In a separate Black Book poll of hospital CIOs with network physician practices conducted last month, mobile applications ranked above cloud computing and clinical analytics as well as business intelligence in upcoming technology urgencies. “The business priorities of operational results and reducing costs, combined with the digital management requirements for records, access, identity and risk have healthcare information executives seeking broader EHR solutions with useful mobile applications,” explained Brown.
Although authorities debate the advantages of virtualized versus native iPad implementations, current users of both mobile EHR application types note past flaws that require the most technological attention. Of the mobile app issues most criticized, 95% of physicians indicated the small screen of iPhone/Smart Phone/Android Screen Size as their biggest problem ; 88% indicate difficulties in the ease of movement within the chart; 83% do not want an EHR system replicated on their mobile device preferring simplified versions, and 71% do not appreciate non-optimized touch screens.
“The vast majority of all survey respondents favored mobile applications that focus on the patient data and core parts of medical practice most needed when the physician is away from the office setting,” noted Brown of the survey findings.
Ultimately, practice leaders and clinicians seek to enhance health care delivery and reduce medical liability through documentation of out-of-office practices including lost reimbursement. The highest ranked EHR mobile applications determined from client experience polling had ten common characteristics: the ability to remotely review charts, update charts, assign tasks, view schedules and appointments, send messages to practice staff, lab orders and result review, permit electronic prescribing, patient encounter documentation, input vital signs and access EHR data after office hours.
The highest rated vendors in physician user satisfaction were awarded to those few mobile EHR applications which adeptly link to patient portals, assure enhanced security access, billing, speech-to-text technology, real time features such as eligibility checks, and customizable templates for specialists. Vendor system certification for meaningful use was the unanimous prerequisite.
Primary Care and Internal Medicine physicians indicated a strong preference for electronic health record usability on their mobile devices. Of physician specialties, Black Book recorded the highest anticipated use of mobile applications reported from:
98% Primary Care/ General & Family Practice
97% Internal Medicine
92% Office-Based Physicians
Surgeons, particularly the specialties of orthopedics, ophthalmology, and ENT had lowest interest in mobile and iPad devices, currently at less than 14% on average.
The Most Popular Mobile devices currently used by Black Book surveyed physicians and practices:
59% iPads and Tablets
31 % Smart/Android Phones/Other
Black Book’s report on native and virtualized iPad applications also shines light on the performance disparity between vendors seeking to capture both new EHR and replacement physician practices and hospitals. The May 2013 report focuses on measuring user perceptions on the performance and functionality in several key areas and meaningful use readiness.
Mountain View, California-based drchrono, achieved the highest customer satisfaction scores in the for iPad EHR applications as determined by the responses of over 1,400 practices nationwide.
The mobile application market is expected to grow 500% by the end of 2014 primarily because of the government’s meaningful use incentive program, but the marketplace remains quite crowded, and overall physician usability and approval are the main factors that will keep vendors competitive.
Other top scoring vendors in the recent 2013 Black Book iPad and mobile device application survey in addition to drchrono include: MediTouch Health Fusion, Care 360 by Quest, MacPractice, Greenway Prime Mobile, NextGen Mobile, Practice Fusion, Cerner Physician Express, Nimble Clear Practices, Mitochon Systems, Point Click Care Mobile, GE Centricity, IClickDocs, Allscripts, IMedDoc EMR, Mediforms, Acumen EHR Mobile, One Touch EMR and eClinicalTouch.
Black Book Rankings, a division of Black Book Market Research is a global research firm surveying thousands of technology users including healthcare records professionals, physician practice administrators, and hospital leaders. Black Book’s mission is to provide information technology insights to users, media, investors, quality minded vendors, and prospective buyers software with a comprehensive comparison of the industry’s top respected and performing vendors. Founded in 2004, Black Book employs detailed key performance indicators targeted at ensuring high product and service performance through comparing vendors from the customer experience and client satisfaction. Black Book is renowned as the only independent and impartial measurer of qualitative client satisfaction of healthcare information technology, outsourcing and managed services.
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