Nearly 70% of physicians surveyed said they use handheld computer devices as a reference before prescribing medications for their patients, according to a newly released survey of physicians and medical practice managers. About 40% of the 453 respondents also said they use handheld devices for scheduling purposes, and 28% use them to capture charges for billing. The technology has been slower to catch on for more sophisticated clinical purposes: 18% of respondents reported using it to take clinical notes, 12% to get information from hospitals through an electronic interface, and 9% to download laboratory test results. The survey was conducted in August by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Chicago. A detailed report is available at www.himss.org.-- John Morrissey
Handhelds become common physician accessory
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