Hospital Medicine Ipad Trial

Meeting: Hospital Medicine 2012, April 1-4, San Diego, Calif.

Abstract number: 97703


With the many workflow changes that the inpatient EHR will require of the clinical staff, the EHR Device Committee determined there was a potential need for a device that is more portable and has better battery life than a laptop computer. This is especially necessary for those colleagues who work in multiple hospital units during the course of one workday.


The Apple iPad® was selected for a pilot project based on its ease of use, light weight and outstanding battery life. iPads® can access inpatient clinical information through a Citrix® interface similar to the way users access the system from home.


The pilot started with twenty iPads® for users in Clinical Informatics, Information Support and the Department of Hospital Medicine. Five physician Super Users within Hospital Medicine and eight general users during any given 7–day workweek were selected. Educational sessions were held each Monday for one hour with a trainer to allow the users to quickly learn how to utilize the devices and interface. The trainer followed up with each user daily to make sure all questions and problems were addressed proactively. The pilot lasted 30 days to allow adequate use by 23 physicians and two departmental physician assistants.


The pilot had favorable results, with only three physicians deciding to forgo using the devices after the trial. Their challenges included difficulties with small font size, the Citrix® interface, switching between applications and mouse/keyboard emulation. Based on the survey results, the users felt the battery life and mobility were a major positive. Overall, the iPads® were rated four out of five for overall use. Other results from the pilot included the following: Ninety percent of respondents frequently or sometimes needed mobile connectivity. Ninety percent of respondents expressed a desire to increase functionality with native iPad® programs. Seventy percent of respondents felt that the hospital email and calendar would be a useful addition to the iPad®. Based on the pilot’s objective findings, the Department of Hospital Medicine will continue to use iPads®. We look forward to the additional functionality that native applications for our EMR will provide over the next twelve months. The EHR Device Committee is currently evaluating the utility of iPads® in other clinical departments.

Figure 1IPAD overall ratings.

Figure 2IPAD functionality benefits.

To cite this abstract:

Insixiengmay N, Finkel N, Helenius R, d'Amonville S. Hospital Medicine Ipad Trial. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2012, April 1-4, San Diego, Calif. Abstract 97703. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2012; 7 (suppl 2). Accessed April 6, 2020.

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