Survey reports PDAs enhance patient care

Global Physician Survey Reports Mobile Devices Help Doctors Provide Better Patient Care.

HAYWARD, Calif., April, 2002 - Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are helping the vast majority of physicians with devices today to provide better care through timely, relevant information and boosted productivity, according to a recent survey conducted by AvantGo. The global study also cites the future PDA functionality that doctors believe will make them even more efficient and effective.

The physicians surveyed felt that mobile devices could significantly improve patient care. Specifically, 92% of physicians with PDAs are using their devices multiple times per day to keep calendars, access drug reference guides and read medical journals. These doctors would also like to be able to use their PDAs to access medical reference websites (48%), write and transmit prescriptions (33%), access pharmaceutical manufacturers websites (28%) and keep records of clinical trials (27%), while fully 93% of respondents claim that this additional information would enable them to provide improved patient care and make them more productive.
92% of physicians with PDAs use it multiple times per day

The survey results also indicate that PDAs are an effective tool for pharmaceutical companies to add value to and build relationships with physicians. In the survey, 84% of doctors felt that the time they spent with their pharmaceutical representatives would be more valuable to them if the representatives had immediate access to important drug or clinical trial information on their PDAs. Additionally, 86% felt the value they derived from pharmaceutical companies would be dramatically increased if pharmaceutical companies offered an on-device channel that would provide them with the latest information, including product collateral on new drugs, clinical trial results and industry news.

"These results are consistent with what we have experienced at Harvard Medical School, where we provide value-added services that help medical students use their PDAs more effectively, improving physician workflow and reducing our costs," said Dr. John Halamka, Assistant Dean of Harvard Medical School and CIO of Caregroup, Inc. in Boston. "We have deployed a PDA solution that in just six months has eliminated $150,000 in paper costs and reduced the need for data entry personnel, as well as significantly improved our paper-based process. The solution has provided us with higher quality data and increased our form completion compliance from the usual 20%, delivered up to six weeks after the completion of a course, to 80% delivered in near real-time."

The physician survey was completed by 3,482 self-identified physicians responding on their PDAs using the AvantGo mobile Internet service. The on-device survey was conducted over a four-week period.

Fully 86% of the doctors surveyed felt that if their affiliated hospitals supported mobile devices, it would significantly improve the quality of in-hospital patient care. Yet, only 20% of the affiliated hospitals currently offer this support.


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