Introducing personal digital assistants to family physician teachers.

Family medicine

PubMedID: 12564866

Topps D, Thomas R, Crutcher R. Introducing personal digital assistants to family physician teachers. Fam Med. 2003;35(1):55-9.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
In our previous projects, students and residents have readily adopted personal digital assistants (PDAs), but faculty have generally been reluctant. The objective of the project reported here was to maximize adoption of PDAs by our faculty, using a combination of strategies.

METHODS
Through cost-shared funding, we provided full-time and community teachers with PocketPCs or Handspring Visors, along with preinstalled medical software. Use patterns and satisfaction were assessed by structured questionnaire and focus group discussions.

RESULTS
For the calendar, address book, and pharmacopoeia, we found that 83% of faculty use these two to three times per day. Cost sharing and software preinstallation were popular. Device synchronization and e-mail showed potential but caused problems. Easy access to technical support from peers and a variety of information-sharing structures eased maintenance issues. Point-of-care data access was important to faculty.

CONCLUSIONS
With the right support structures, faculty adopt PDAs in clinical and teaching settings.