The NY Times article on how devices are distracting doctors certainly rings true as hospitals push patient safety and preventing data breaches. New devices, specifically smart phones and tablets (especially the iPad) are becoming pervasive in hospitals and outpatient settings often outside of the control of hospital IT departments. Medical schools as well attempt to increase awareness of the risks while evaluating the advantages of these devices.
One aspect of smart devices yet to be addressed is, does the app model in iOS and Android devices fit with medical practice. Part of the purpose of integrated EMRs is to bring all of the information to the user in one place. This increasingly includes CPOE and embedded clinical decision support tools. But an app model requires the user to jump from one app to another to acquire the information needed. This is a classic dilemma of an integrated application/portal (EMR) versus a better user experience (apps). Which works best for physician workflow? When will EMRs look more like apps?