Nurses and assistants use more IT than physicians

By Jeff Rowe
08:49 AM

It’s just one report, but based on the results of a recent study by Manhattan Research, policymakers may want to make sure that the array of programs designed to facilitate the use of EHRs and other health IT are aimed at the right healthcare professionals.

In a study that included 1,019 advanced practice registered nurses, registered nurses and physician assistants, researchers found that these professionals relied on EHRs, smartphones and other technology more than physicians.

Let’s just look at the numbers:

The study found that compared to physicians, PAs, APRNs and RNs:

• Spend more time online: PAs, APRNs and RNs spend more time online for professional purposes than physicians.
o Average time online per week for professional purposes in 2012:
1. RNs, 16 hours
2. APRNs, 14 hours
3. PAs, 14 hours
4. Physicians, 11 hours

• Leverage mobile more at point of care: PAs, APRNs and RNs use smartphones more often than physicians during patient consultations.
o Use smartphone during patient consultation:
1. 74% of PAs
2. 67% of RNs
3. 60% of APRNs
4. 40% of physicians

• Show more demand for digital pharma resources: PAs, APRNs and RNs use pharma or biotech websites more frequently than physicians and are more interested in using pharma features on electronic health record systems (EHRs).
      o Use any pharma or biotech websites (weekly):
1. 37% of RNs
2. 30% of PAs
3. 26% of APRNs
4. 23% of physicians
      o Interest in using pharma features on EHR system:
1. 83% of PAs
2. 79% of RNs
3. 76% of APRNs
4. 67% of physicians

So here’s the obvious question for policymakers: Based on these responses, are your programs, particularly those designed to train current and incoming medical staff, focused on the right people?


Jeff Rowe blogs regularly at

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