The iPad continues to be an impressive tool that has vastly improved the technological efforts in various fields especially healthcare. Recently two papers presented at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) annual symposium in Chicago suggested that the iPad is a very popular tool for physicians. In fact physicians even stated that they would not use the Electronic Medical Records system unless they could access it on iPads.
With the number of Doctors in the workforce decreasing, doctors are feeling the pressure to be more efficient at work and are certain that iPads are the answer. In fact, 85 percent of emergency physicians interviewed already owned an iPad. The general themes that surfaced from these papers were that physicians expected iPads to improve their interaction with patients, make their workflow smoother, and improve communication. When the average physician-patient appointment time is less than 8 minutes, it makes sense that doctors strive to be as resourceful as possible. The iPad helps with this efficiency because it allows doctors to carry around one device instead of having to log on to a desktop computer in every hospital room. Some of the doctors even went as far to say that the iPad is advantageous to keeping a clean and sterile hospital. Typical desktop computers have fans that can blow dust and airborne germs around, iPads would eliminate this risk. Physicians also stated that iPads are easier to clean and disinfect.
With so many benefits of iPads for physicians it seems that it is only a matter of time before the major hospitals start allowing doctors to use iPads instead of desktops. With this new switch in technology it is also important for physicians and hospital staff to look into secure priority messaging that can be sent and received through iPads. Many doctors today are still carrying around traditional pagers which severely limits their communication efforts. A pager replacement application for the iPad and Smartphone’s would allow a physician the convenience of only having to carry around one device!
When working in the healthcare field and dealing with high risk situations it is extremely important that physicians are given the best tools. Although it may be expensive to replace all of the computers in a hospital with iPads it will be worth it in the long run when doctors can increase their communication efforts and as a result enhance their patient interaction.