Survey says PDAs improve physician practice

March 1, 2004

Physicians who use personal digital assistants (PDAs) cite greater efficiencies in their practice and improved quality of care and safety, according to a survey of more than 800 physicians. Among the findings, which were reported in Modern Physician (12/15/03):

  • Nearly nine out of 10 physicians (88%) said their PDAs allowed them to provide better care in less time.

  • About four out of 10 physicians (41%) said that their PDAs enabled them to increase the number of patients they saw per day or per week.

  • Half reported that the devices helped reduce mistakes by 4% or more.

The survey also found that, in addition to personal information, most physicians have software references such as drug and clinical tools on their PDAs and 21% said they have integrated formulary information.

But the leap toward integrating their PDAs with other applications or hospital information technology systems has not yet been made: 62% said their PDAs are not integrated with electronic applications such as billing software and more than 80% "do not experience tighter integration with hospital IT infrastructure by virtue of their PDAs," according to the survey, which was conducted by Skyscape, a Massachusetts-based developer of mobile software for health care.