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Mobile device and app use in paediatric emergency care: a survey of departmental practice in the UK and Ireland


Introduction Mobile devices and medical apps are used by healthcare professionals in adult and paediatric emergency departments worldwide. Recently, there has been a drive toward increased digitalisation especially in the UK. This point prevalence survey aims to describe hardware and software provision and their use in paediatric emergency care in the UK and Ireland.

Methods A web-based self-report questionnaire of member sites of an international paediatric emergency research collaborative was performed. A lead site investigator completed the survey on behalf of each site.

Results Of the 54 sites, 46 (85%) responded. At 10 (21.7%) sites, the use of a personal mobile device at the bedside was not allowed; however, this was only enforced at 4 (8.7%) of these sites. Apple iOS devices accounted for the majority (70%) of institutional mobile devices. Most sites provided between 1 and 5 medical apps on the institutional mobile device. The British National Formulary (BNF/BNFc) app was the app which was most frequently provided and recommended. No site reported any harm from medical app use.

Conclusion The breadth of app use was relatively low. There was variability in trust guidance on app use and challenges in accessibility of Wi-Fi and devices.

  • general paediatrics
  • mobile apps
  • mobile devices

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