Mobile devices help reduce medication errors in nursing homes, doctors say

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Using mobile devices as part of medication management reduces the number of adverse drug events in nursing homes, according to a survey of physicians.

A team from the University of Pittsburgh surveyed 800 doctors about this topic at the 2010 American Medical Directors Association annual symposium. About 560 said they use a mobile device as part of prescribing drugs in a nursing home setting. Of these, 88% said they believed their use of drug reference software on a mobile device had helped prevent at least one adverse drug event in the preceding month, according to the researchers.

Doctors use mobile devices in nursing homes less often than in other clinical settings, the researchers noted. However, younger physicians are significantly more likely to use this type of technology, they found. Those with 15 or fewer years of clinical experience are 67% more likely to be a mobile device user than doctors with more than 15 years of experience, according to the survey results. 

Physicians who are using mobile devices for medication management in nursing homes are doing so frequently, with 98% saying they average one or more drug lookups per day.

The findings appear in JAMDA.

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