According to a new survey, 95 percent of nurses own a smartphone and 88 percent of them use smartphone apps in their daily work to improve patient care—a higher percentage than physicians.

The survey of 241 nurses, conducted by market research firm InCrowd, found that bedside access to drug interactions and clinical data were the most popular uses of smartphones by nurses.

“Nurses reported using their smartphones for fast access to patient care information across a wide range of daily nursing tactics, from receiving patient photos of a rash to setting a timer for meds administration,” stated InCrowd. 

Also See: Survey Finds Mixed Nurse Perceptions about EHRs

Survey respondents also credited their smartphones with helping them to stay in touch with colleagues in their hospital (69 percent). At the same time, while those surveyed stressed that smartphones “enhance but don’t substitute” the need for a physician consult prior to administering care, 52 percent of nurses indicated that they use their smartphone instead of asking a question of a nursing colleague. In addition, 32 percent of nurses reported that they use their smartphone instead of asking a physician, as a way to save time.

“The hospital gets very busy and there isn’t always someone available to bounce ideas off of,” said one nurse. “It’s often easier to get the information needed using my smartphone—I don’t have to wait for a response from a coworker,” said another nurse.

When it comes to employers covering the costs of smartphones, in a follow-up survey 87 percent of nurses said that their employer did not cover any of the costs related to their smartphone. Nine percent were reimbursed for the cost of the monthly bill while 1 percent received coverage for the cost of the smartphone itself. However, only 3 percent of nurses had the cost of both a smartphone and their monthly bill covered by their employer, and less than 1 percent reported that their hospital prohibited nurses from using smartphones during their shift.



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