iPad – useful educational tool to all medical trainees?
Trainees at the Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, USA, were issued with a 16GB iPad 2 with Wifi and was instructed to “use their iPad both in and outside the hospital as they saw fit throughout the year”. At the end of the academic year, 86% of the trainees took part in the survey.
The results of the survey showed that only 18.1% of medicine-based trainees used their iPad on rounds compared to 6.7% of surgical trainees. Only slightly more reported that they usually consulted their tablets between rounds to review lab results, progress notes, images and other patient information. (The researchers counted OB/GYN residents as having a surgical focus).
With regards to writing progress notes a minimal 3.3% of surgical trainees said that using iPad in the hospital increased their efficiency in writing progress notes while the survey showed this percentage to be higher among medical trainees at 9.7%.
Perhaps the greatest difference demonstrated by the survey was the usefulness of the iPad as a “valuable educational tool” with 41.7% of medical trainees thought it was compared to only 6.7% of surgical trainees. “Though not addressed by this study, disparity may exist due to differences in clinical rounding styles as well as the working life of medical vs. procedural-based residents with different emphasis on data use and interpretation,” the researchers wrote.
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