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Use of personal mobile devices to record patient data by Canadian emergency physicians and residents

  • Kerry E. Walker (a1), David Migneault (a2) (a3) (a4), Heather C. Lindsay (a2) (a4) and Riyad B. Abu-Laban (a2) (a4) (a5)
Abstract
Objective

Use of personal mobile devices to record patient data appears to be increasing, but remains poorly studied. We sought to determine the extent and reasons that Canadian emergency physicians (EPs) and emergency medicine residents use personal mobile devices to record patient data in the emergency department (ED).

Methods

A national survey was distributed to Canadian EPs and residents between 27/02/17 and 23/03/17. This captured demographics, frequency, and purpose of personal mobile device use to record patient data in the ED. It also asked about obtaining consent, security of information, implications for patient care, and knowledge of relevant regulations.

Results

The response rate was 23.1% (406 participants). A third (31.5%) reported using personal mobile devices to record patient data. Most (78.1%) did so more than once a month, and 7.0% did so every shift. Reasons cited included beliefs that using personal mobile devices to record patient data improves care by consultants (36.7%), expedites care (31.3%), and advances medical education (32.8%). Consent was rarely or never documented and a minority of participants (10.9%) indicated they did not obtain consent. More than half of participants (53.2%) reported being unaware of applicable regulations.

Conclusions

This is the first Canadian study on the use of personal mobile devices to record patient data in the ED. Our findings demonstrate current practice may risk privacy breaches. Personal mobile device use to record patient data in the ED is common and Canadian EPs and residents believe that this practice enhances patient care.

Objectif

L'utilisation des appareils mobiles personnels (AMP) pour l'enregistrement de données sur les malades semble de plus en plus fréquente, mais elle a été peu examinée jusqu’à maintenant. Aussi l’étude visait-elle à déterminer l’étendue de la pratique et les raisons pour lesquelles les médecins d'urgence (MU) et les résidents dans le domaine, au Canada, utilisent les AMP pour enregistrer des données sur les malades au service des urgences (SU).

Méthode

Un questionnaire d'enquête nationale a été envoyé au MU et aux résidents en la matière, au Canada, entre le 2 février 2017 et le 23 mars 2017. On a ainsi recueilli des données démographiques, de même que des renseignements sur la fréquence de la pratique et les raisons motivant l'utilisation des AMP pour la collecte de données sur les malades au SU. Des questions portaient aussi sur l'obtention du consentement, la sécurité de l'information, la portée de l'acte sur les soins aux malades et la connaissance de la réglementation applicable.

Résultats

Le taux de réponse a atteint 23,1% (406 participants). Un tiers (31,5%) des répondants ont indiqué faire usage d'AMP pour enregistrer des données sur les malades. La plupart (78,1%) les utilisaient plus d'une fois par mois et 7,0%, à toutes les périodes de travail. Les raisons invoquées le plus souvent comprenaient l'opinion selon laquelle l'utilisation des AMP pour l'enregistrement de données sur les malades améliorait les soins par les consultants (36,7%), accélérait la prestation de soins (31,3%) et faisait progresser la formation médicale (32,8%). Le consentement était rarement documenté, voire jamais, et une minorité de répondants (10,9%) ont indiqué ne pas avoir obtenu le consentement des patients. Plus de la moitié des participants (53,2%) ont déclaré ne pas être courant de l'existence de règlements applicables.

Conclusion

Il s'agit là de la première étude sur l'utilisation des AMP au Canada pour l'enregistrement de données sur les malades au SU. D'après les résultats de l'enquête, la pratique pourrait comporter des risques d'atteinte à la vie privée. L'usage des AMP pour l'enregistrement de données sur les malades au SU est courant, et les MU comme les résidents sont d'avis que la pratique améliore les soins aux malades.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence to: Dr. Kerry Walker, University of British Columbia Emergency Medicine Residency Program, Vancouver Site, Diamond Health Care Centre, 2775 Laurel St. 11th Floor, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1M9; Email: kerewalk@alumni.ubc.ca
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Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1481-8035
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