Tablet computers help resident work flow

Posted March 26, 2012

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Medical residents are more efficient when they use tablet computers for ordering tests, updating medical charts and doing other patient documentation, says a study in the March 12 Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers examined how access to mobile technology affected the work of 114 University of Chicago internal medicine residents who were given Apple iPads. Ninety percent said they used the tablet computers in clinical care, and three-quarters of those said they used the tablets daily. Seventy-eight percent of residents said the computers helped them be more efficient, and 68% said the computers helped reduce delays in patient care (link).

Researchers also analyzed patient orders the month before and four months after residents started using the computers. The iPads enabled residents to place more orders within the first two hours of a patient’s admission and increased the time they spent with patients.

“Although there can be no substitute for focused attention to patients, being by the bedside using a tablet seems to me better than being in a distant charting room,” Mitchell H. Katz, MD, Archives deputy editor, said in an editor’s note that accompanied the study (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at

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