Physicians Like EMR-Connected Apps

Posted on February 18, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare editor and analyst with 25 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or www.ziegerhealthcare.com.

A new survey by vendor eClinicalWorks has concluded that the vast majority of physicians like EMR-connected apps, and many cases, believe that apps can improve patient care.

Of course, the research is a bit self-serving. The study announcement comes alongside news that the company plans to invest $25 million on patient engagement tools over the next 12 months, starting with a free mobile app for patients available on iOS and Android. Still, it’s worth a look anyway.

The study, conducted online, collected responses from 2,291 healthcare professionals in mid-January, reports SearchHealthIT.com.  Of that total, 649 respondents were physicians.

Researchers found that nearly all doctors responding (93 percent) think it’s valuable to have a mobile health app connected to an EMR, the site reports.  The same number of doctors said that mobile health apps can improve a patient’s health outcome, and 80 percent said they were likely to recommend a mobile health app to a patient.

So what do physicians hope to gain from such apps, specifically?  According to SearchHealthIT.com:

* 58 percent of physicians were particularly interested in the ability to provider automatic appointment alerts and reminders. (Six out of ten physicians said that at least half their patients would like getting appointment reminders from an app, too.)
* Almost half of doctors felt giving patients access to their medical records was a key benefit
* Many suggested that using apps to make appointment scheduling easier would be very helpful

The study also concluded that apps could help with patient wellness. Sixty-five percent said they could improve medication adherence, 54 percent diabetes care and 52 percent preventative care, the site reported.