Mobile integration with EMR slow at many practices

Physicians are using mobile technology more in their practices, but there continues to be a lack of integration between mobile device data and their practices’ electronic medical records, according to a new study by EHR Intelligence.

The top benefit to using mobile technologies reported by physicians is increased access to patient information and the ability to view information from a remote location, according to results of the 3rd Annual HIMSS Analytics Mobile Survey.

The survey found that 83 percent of respondents are currently using mobile technology. But only 22 percent said that most data captured by mobile devices was integrated into the organization’s electronic medical records (EMR).

Half of the 170 respondents to the survey had either none or less than 25 percent of the data capture in their mobile devices integrated into their EMR. The figures also show little growth over the previous year.

Funding limitations is given as the primary reason for a lack of mobile integration. Many practices are just beginning to integrate the technology.

For example, the study found that 69 percent use a mobile device to view patient information, but only 36 percent use mobile technologies to collect information at bedside. Pharmacy management was at the top of the list as the most likely use of mobile technologies.

Nearly 90 percent of practices are developing mobile plans. Sixty percent have a mobile technology plan in place, and another 29 percent are developing a plan.

Practices need to make more progress in developing a long-term financial approach to their mobile development, the study found. Only half of practices surveyed formally measure return on investment related to their mobile technology investments, and only one-third evaluate the total cost of ownership as it relates to their mobile strategy.

One-third of practices currently offer apps for patient and consumer use, up 13 percent from a year ago. The development of apps is handled primarily by a third party or healthcare information technology vendor.

It is estimated that 500 million smart phone users worldwide will be using a healthcare application by 2015, the report said.