Trust IT lags behind smartphone capability
This survey demonstrated that a significant proportion of clinicians use smartphones to share clinical information. While this rightly raises concerns over confidentiality and makes headlines in the press it is important to question why this situation has arisen. As Mobasheri and colleagues demonstrated, ownership is near ubiquitous among medical staff and this affords availability and immediacy of access. It is hardly surprising that medics should choose to use tools which improve their efficiency and the care they deliver to their patients. If there is a faster or easier way to answer a clinical question than using the legacy IT systems and software that many trusts provide then many will use it.
It would appear that the NHS lags behind the private sector in having the appropriate software tools and as a result many individuals find their own solutions. There is an abundance of software available, much of it free, which enhances productivity. Rather than limiting staff to safe but basic tools, hospital IT departments would do well to explore these available options and facilitate the use of modern collaborative software to optimise workflow and improve patient care.
Conflict of Interest: