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Bringing Technology to the Bedside: Using Smartphones to Improve Interprofessional Communication

WHITLOW, MALINDA LEE DNP, RN, FNP-BC; DRAKE, EMILY PhD, RN; TULLMANN, DOROTHY PhD, RN; HOKE, GEORGE MD; BARTH, DENISE MSN, RN

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000063
Feature Article
Abstract

The purpose of this project was to evaluate the impact of using Smartphones at the bedside on the quality of interprofessional communication and measure the response time between nurses and physicians compared with the usual paging device. Smartphones were provided to nurses and physicians on a 26-bed medical unit during a 2-month study period. Data were collected using Nurse-Physician Communication Questionnaires and Time and Motion data collection tools. Baseline data gathered from a convenience sample of general medicine nurses (n = 61) and physicians (n = 44) indicated that both nurses and physicians were dissatisfied with the current one-way paging devices and were frequently interrupted during patient care (P = .000). Postimplementation data suggested that the use of Smartphones significantly reduced patient interruptions (P = .021), allowed nurses to stay with patients (P = .002), and reduced wait times for a returned call (P = .001). Nurse travel time to answer a telephone call and time spent on hold by nurses and physicians also decreased by 100% from a range of 8 to 79 minutes down to 0 minutes. Staff reported improvement in quality of communication, and significant workflow efficiency was noted. Further research on the impact on patient safety and satisfaction is needed and other nursing units should consider implementing Smartphones within their medical centers.

Author Information

Author Affiliation: University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA.

This study was funded in part by The Pamela Cipriano Research Award & Rodriquez Nursing Student and Leadership Fund.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Malinda Lee Whitlow, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, University of Virginia School of Nursing, 225 Jeanette Lancaster Way, Charlottesville, VA 22903-3388 (Mlw7b@virginia.edu).

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.