Patient perception of smartphone usage by doctors

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Title: Patient perception of smartphone usage by doctors
Author(s): Kerry, G
Gokani, S
Ash, J
Zargaran, A
Rasasingam, D
Mittal, A
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Technological advancements have revolutionised modern medicine and smartphones are now ubiquitous amongst healthcare professionals. The ability to look up information promptly is invaluable to doctors and medical students alike, but there is an additional contiguous benefit to patients. Queries can be answered more accurately via finger-tip access to evidence based medicine and physicians have instant access to emergency care protocols. However, is consideration always extended to the patient’s perception of the use of smartphones by doctors? Do patients know why we use smartphones to assist us in their care? What do they think when they see a doctor using a smartphone? An independent question, conducted within a wider service evaluation (ethical approval not required, full verbal and written electronic consent provided by all patients) conducted at St Mary’s hospital, London, indicated that although the majority (91.0%) of patients owned a smartphone, many (61.6%) did not agree that the use of smartphones at work by doctors is professional. This highlights the potential for damage to the doctor-patient relationship. There is a risk that these patients will disconnect with care services with possible detriment to their health. Additionally, it is notable that a larger proportion of those patients aged over 70 years found the use of smartphones by doctors at work unprofessional, compared with patients aged under 70 years. Adequate communication between the doctor and patient is critical in ensuring that doctors can make use of modern technology to provide the best possible care and that patients are comfortable with this and do not feel isolated or consider the doctor ignorant. It is suggested that moves are made to educate patients of the importance of the use of technology by doctors and to ensure that patients are aware of the reasons for which doctors use smartphones at work.
Date of Acceptance: 18-Dec-2016
ISSN: 2253-1564
Publisher: Dove Medical Press
Journal / Book Title: Smart Homecare Technology and Telehealth
Copyright Statement: This paper is embargoed until publication. Once published will be available fully open access.
Publication Status: Accepted
Embargo Date: publication subject to indefinite embargo
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