The Effects of Mobile Phone Use in Clinical Practice in Cape Coast Teaching Hospital

Gabriel Keney, Emmanuel Kusi Achampong, Nathaniel Ofori Attah Snr.

Abstract


Background: Information technology has become an inevitable, constitutive element of the healthcare institution as well as health education. This study investigates the effects of mobile phone use in clinical practice at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital. The use of mobile phones to access health information by health professionals has the potential to improve the provision of health service to the population. In addition, primary care physicians can use mobile phones to communicate with their patients before and after they are discharged, thereby improving the health of individual patients and the population at large.

Method: The study adopted the cross-section survey design and obtained data using questionnaire from 100 medical students (medical, nursing and midwifery students) through purposive sampling procedure. Descriptive statistics and Pearson Chi-square were used for the analysis.

Results: The results show that 98% of the respondents owned smartphones, thus, they are receptive to and can confidently use their phones to access medical information (65%). It also emerged that, respondents can render effective and continuous service to clients (90%) with assistance from mobile medical apps. Respondents dispelled fears that it was unethical to always depend on mobile apps for medical information. However, there was no significant relationship between using mobile apps to access medical information and ensuring effective and continuous service to clients (p≤ 0.937).

Conclusion: In spite of high patronage of mobile phone, respondents maintained that accessing mobile phones during medical practice does not interfere with the service delivery, rather it facilitates effective and continuous service, speed up access to healthcare information and helps to increase knowledge as well as improve care giving skills. Mobile phone use can ensure quick communication between health facilities and health professionals which can help control diseases of public health concern thereby improving the health of the population.

Keywords: apps, smartphones, medical information, health professionals, medical practice

Abbreviations: Applications (Apps), Deloitte Global Center for Health Solutions (DGCFHS), Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH), University of Cape Coast (UCC), Clinical Teaching Centre (CTC), College of Health and Allied Sciences (CoHAS)

Correspondence: gabriel.keney@ucc.edu.gh*


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v10i2.9333



Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org