Much clinical information is computerised and doctors' use of mobile devices such as iPad tablets to access this information is expanding rapidly. This study investigated the use of iPads during ward rounds and their usefulness in providing access to information during ward rounds. Ten teams of doctors at a large teaching hospital were given iPads for ten weeks and were observed on ward rounds for 77.3 hours as they interacted with 525 patients. Use of iPads and other information technology devices to access clinical information was recorded. The majority of clinical information was accessed using iPads (56.2%), followed by computers-on-wheels (35.8%), stationary PCs (7.9%) and smartphones (0.1%). Despite having read-only access on iPads, doctors were generally happy using iPads on ward rounds. These findings provide evidence of the value of iPads as a tool to access information at the point of care.
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