Deakin University
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Healthcare professionals’ use of mobile phones and the internet in clinical practice

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journal contribution
posted on 2013-03-01, 00:00 authored by N Koehler, O Vujovic, C McMenamin
Background: Over the last few years mobile phone applications have been designed for healthcare professionals. However, little is known in regards to healthcare professionals’ use of and attitudes towards using smartphones (and applications) within clinical practice. Thus the aims of the present study were to enumerate the number of healthcare professionals that use mobile phones within clinical practice and their attitudes towards using them. Furthermore, given that the internet preceded smartphones, we also established healthcare professionals’ attitudes towards internet use in clinical practice as a comparison.

Method: Forty-three healthcare professionals from a range of disciplines and specialities who were predominantly working in Australia completed an anonymous online survey. 

Results: Ninety-one per cent of healthcare professionals owned a mobile phone of which 87% used it during clinical practice. No healthcare professional was supplied with a smartphone by their clinical/healthcare workplace. Consequently they used their privately owned device. For ten out of eleven analogous statements healthcare professionals had significantly more positive attitudes towards internet than mobile phone use in clinical practice. However, attitudes for eight of the ten statements pertaining to mobile phone use were positive. Mobile phones were perceived negatively in regard to confidentiality. Furthermore, healthcare professionals’ also had the perception that patients may think  that they are using their mobile for non-medical purposes.

Conclusion: Mobiles, including smartphones, are commonly used within clinical practice and at present most healthcare professionals use their privately owned device. Despite healthcare professionals having more positive attitudes toward internet use, their attitudes towards mobile use were largely positive. Our results suggest that mobile phone use, in particular smartphone use, within clinical practice is likely to increase in the future. 



Journal of mobile technology in medicine






3 - 13




Washington, D. C.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2013, Journal of mobile technology in medicine

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