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Wolters Kluwer Health Survey Finds Nurses and Healthcare Institutions Accepting Professional Use of Online Reference & Mobile Technology

Survey Says: 65% of Nurses Use Mobile Devices Professionally at Work; 95% of Healthcare Institutions Allow Nurses to Access Websites for Clinical Health Information

Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading global provider of information and point-of-care solutions for the healthcare industry, today announced results of a new survey that looks at the mobile device, Internet, and social media usage habits of nurse practitioners.  According to the  findings, nurses are increasingly relying on mobile devices, social media and the Internet.  The findings indicate that 65 percent of nurses surveyed said they currently use a mobile device for professional purposes at work.  The study also found that, according to the practitioners, 95 percent of healthcare organizations allow nurses to consult websites and other online resources for clinical information at work.

The survey uncovered that 83 percent of nurses perceive that their organization's policy allows patient care staff access to public web sites, including social media, to access general health information that will help them with patient conditions.  The findings reveal that 65 percent of nurses are using mobile devices for professional purposes at work at least 30 minutes per day, while 20 percent use them for two hours or more.  Also notable, these same results indicated that the vast majority of organizations strictly prohibit actual interaction with patients through the technology.

"These findings largely mirror what we are seeing outside the hospital, that use of mobile devices to access online information, the Internet and social sites are becoming part of the social fabric both personally and professionally," said Judith McCann, Chief Nurse, Lippincott Solutions, Wolters Kluwer Health, Professional & Education.  "Although these findings may not reflect the actual policies of these institutions, what's interesting are the perceptions of the nurses who work there, and what we learned is that nurses are frequently incorporating the use of mobile devices, online resources and, to some extent, social media into their daily workflow."

Although many institutions are embracing mobile devices, McCann cautions that not all information is created equal.  This is especially true in healthcare where what is acceptable and current can change quickly.  According to McCann, even hospitals that had strict policies against mobile device use are finding that they can offer enormous benefits when they provide access to secure, trusted content.  "It is important that nurses are not using their mobile devices to get just any questionable answer that they find." added McCann.  "It has to be the 'right' answer, so it's paramount that they are turning to evidence-based clinical information that has been vetted and is consistently updated."

A few more highlights of the survey and the nurses' perceptions include:

  • 89 percent of healthcare organizations allow nurses to use online search engines at work
  • 60 percent of respondents say they use social media to follow healthcare issues at work and 86 percent say they follow healthcare issues on social media outside of work
  • Roughly one-half of the respondents saying that their organization blocks access on company networks to social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube
  • Within the 95 percent who say they access health information at work, 48 percent of respondents say their healthcare institutions encourage nurses to access online resources; 41 percent allow for occasional use; and 5 percent only as a last resort
  • Among those who use mobile devices at work, Nurse Managers, at 77 percent, are more likely to use them than Staff Nurses, at 58 percent

These results are similar to the results of a 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health  physician survey that found a majority of physicians are now using mobile devices in their daily practice, including 80 percent reporting using a smartphone and 60 percent using a tablet.  According to this research, physicians are more likely to use smartphones to access drug information and for communication purposes, while tablets are more commonly used to gain access to medical research and medical records, as well as access to reimbursement and billing information.

Nurses are also using mobile devices as a preferred means to access trusted drug information.  According to McCann, more than 445,000 clinicians downloaded the popular Nursing Drug Handbook Apps since they first launched in 2012. 

The latest survey was sponsored by the Lippincott Solutions product team within Wolters Kluwer Health.  Lippincott Solutions is a series of comprehensive, integrated software applications that includes advanced online workflow technology, current evidence-based clinical information, and professional development tools for the practicing clinician. The web suite of products helps healthcare provider organizations make evidence actionable at the bedside by supporting evidence-based practice, standardizing care, saving time, streamlining workflows, and fostering clinical excellence.

The survey results are published on the Lippincott Solutions  website at  For more information about how Lippincott Solutions helps healthcare organizations with the latest evidence-based clinical information, visit, and follow Lippincott Solutions on Twitter  @NurseSolutions.

About Wolters Kluwer Health
Wolters Kluwer Health is a leading global provider of information, business intelligence and point-of-care solutions for the healthcare industry. Serving more than 150 countries worldwide, clinicians rely on Wolters Kluwer Health's market leading information-enabled tools and software solutions throughout their professional careers from training to research to practice. Major brands include  Health Language ®Lexicomp ®Lippincott Williams & WilkinsMedicom®Medi-Span ®MedknowOvid ®Pharmacy OneSource®ProVation ® Medical and  UpToDate ®.

Wolters Kluwer Health is part of  Wolters Kluwer, a market-leading global information services company. Wolters Kluwer had 2013 annual revenues of €3.6 billion ($4.7 billion), employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide, and maintains operations in over 40 countries across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands. Its shares are quoted on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY).

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