PDA use by physicians: Where do they fit with emerging technologies and use of electronic health records in office practices?

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Abstract

This cross-sectional study explores physicians' attitudes and beliefs about the use of personal digital assistant (PDA) in the context of other health information technology (HIT) use and HITbased applications safety in ambulatory care practices. The relationship of PDA use and patient safety is also explored. Ambulatory care physicians in Nebraska and South Dakota were surveyed from July to November of 2007 using a modified Dillman technique. Respondents were in one of three groups: PDA Users (those using a PDA for patient care), Other Technology Users (those not using a PDA, but using other technologies for patient care), and Non-Users (those not using any technology for patient care). PDAs are used by 43% of responding physicians, who tend to be younger and salaried. PDA Users exposed to PDAs during training continued use in practice. PDA Users believed the device enabled them to provide more efficient and better care, reduce errors, and improve patient safety.

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