What Clinical Information Is Valuable to Doctors Using Mobile Electronic Medical Records and When?

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Background: There has been a lack of understanding on what types of specific clinical information are most valuable for doctors to access through mobile-based electronic medical records (m-EMRs) and when they access such information. Furthermore, it has not been clearly discussed why the value of such information is high. Objective: The goal of this study was to investigate the types of clinical information that are most valuable to doctors to access through an m-EMR and when such information is accessed. Methods: Since 2010, an m-EMR has been used in a tertiary hospital in Seoul, South Korea. The usage logs of the m-EMR by doctors were gathered from March to December 2015. Descriptive analyses were conducted to explore the overall usage patterns of the m-EMR. To assess the value of the clinical information provided, the usage patterns of both the m-EMR and a hospital information system (HIS) were compared on an hourly basis. The peak usage times of the m-EMR were defined as continuous intervals having normalized usage values that are greater than 0.5. The usage logs were processed as an indicator representing specific clinical information using factor analysis. Random intercept logistic regression was used to explore the type of clinical information that is frequently accessed during the peak usage times. Results: A total of 524,929 usage logs from 653 doctors (229 professors, 161 fellows, and 263 residents; mean age: 37.55 years; males: 415 [63.6%]) were analyzed. The highest average number of m-EMR usage logs (897) was by medical residents, whereas the lowest (292) was by surgical residents. The usage amount for three menus, namely inpatient list (47,096), lab results (38,508), and investigation list (25,336), accounted for 60.1% of the peak time usage. The HIS was used most frequently during regular hours (9: 00 AM to 5: 00 PM). The peak usage time of the m-EMR was early in the morning (6: 00 AM to 10: 00 AM), and the use of the m-EMR from early evening (5: 00 PM) to midnight was higher than during regular business hours. Four factors representing the types of clinical information were extracted through factor analysis. Factors related to patient investigation status and patient conditions were associated with the peak usage times of the m-EMR (P<.01). Conclusions: Access to information regarding patient investigation status and patient conditions is crucial for decision making during morning activities, including ward rounds. The m-EMRs allow doctors to maintain the continuity of their clinical information regardless of the time and location constraints. Thus, m-EMRs will best evolve in a manner that enhances the accessibility of clinical information helpful to the decision-making process under such constraints.
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