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iPad 2Just over half of ambulatory practice physicians (52 percent) use a mobile device to access patient records or reference data according to a new survey of more than 6,000 physicians from Black Book Market Research. Black Book Rankings, which publishes customer satisfaction survey results for a wide range of industries, does a mobile and EHR-focused survey each year.

While 52 percent of surveyed physicians say they use these mobile tools now, 70 percent intend to look to their mobiles for these use cases by the end of 2015. 

“As the transition to mobile devices has been rapidly occurring over the past five years, progressive EHR vendors have responded with clear plans and successful products to help expand the user experience,” Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book Market Research, said in a statement. “With more than half of physicians currently using a mobile device in their medical practices, these EHR vendors are allowing providers to choose which platform best fits in to their workflow in multiple healthcare delivery settings including highly usable mobile products.”

The survey also found that 31 percent of physicians used smartphones to manage patient care. Emergency room physicians, radiologists, obstetrician-gynecologists, and general and orthopedic surgeons were the most likely specialists to use smartphones.

Black Book also asked respondents about their experiences with particular mobile EHR systems. Drchrono was the top ranked mobile EHR for the third year running.

Back in 2013, 89 percent of primary care and internal medicine physicians told Black Book they used smartphones to communicate with other hospital staff, and a little more than half used their mobile to look up medical reference information. But only about 8 percent used a mobile device for ePrescribing, accessing records, ordering tests or viewing results. That said, 83 percent said they would use mobile EHR apps to update charts, check labs and order medications if their current EHR vendor made those features available for mobile.