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The EHR Platform Wars: Mobile vs. Desktop

Until a few years ago, the computer was the predominant method of accessing and using electronic systems. Unfortunately, computers tend to be bulky and have limited mobility even if laptops are used. Taking advantage of the increased capabilities of mobile devices, many EHR developers have launched mobile apps for their products with some companies even offering separate mobile only versions of their software.


But the question remains if mobile access makes for greater user satisfaction or a better experience. A recent survey confirms what many have long suspected – that satisfaction for users who access EHRs on their mobile devices is higher than their counterparts who only use computers (Survey commissioned by Software Advice, October 2014). 58% of mobile users said they were very satisfied with their EHR and only 39% of mobile users said that they experienced significant EHR challenges. In contrast, only 28% of computer users were very satisfied with their current system and nearly 58% faced challenges during adoption.


There are several factors behind these numbers. By design, mobile devices are far more intuitive and accessible when compared to desktops. In addition to that, most medical professionals already use their mobile devices for a range of other purposes. This makes using an EHR on a phone more familiar and presents fewer challenges than navigating it on a computer.


The increased mobility of phones and tablets also means that users are more likely to take them home and familiarize themselves with the EHR software. Using an EHR on the computer with the patient in the room reduces the time for face-to-face conversations but the smaller mobile devices do not get in the way when interacting with the patient.


Nevertheless typing on a mobile device can quickly become tedious and is often time-consuming because of the lack of a keyboard. Even for those who primarily use the EHR on their mobile devices, it is often necessary to enter clinical notes and other long form text fields later using a regular computer. As such doctors may be best served by choosing an EHR that is available for both computers and mobile devices.


Given the rapid changes in mobile technology compared to the relatively stagnant field of PC computing, it is likely that EHR use on mobile will increase at the expense of alternatives. Dovetail dental software aims to give users the best of both worlds. By utilizing a cloud-based paradigm which allows access from any browser, our clients can choose to access their records from whatever computing device they have at hand: tablets, laptops or desktops.





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