Using mobile technology to support physician and student learning as part of patient care

Janette R. Hill, Michelle A. Nuss, Ronald M. Cervero, Julie K. Gaines, Bruce Middendorf, Supriya D. Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The third-year clerkship is an exciting yet challenging time for medical students (Cooke, Irby, & O'Brien, 2010). For the first time, students spend significant time in clinical settings (e.g., hospitals) assisting in the daily care of patients. Obtaining just-in-time and point-of-care information and resources (Author, 2009) is one challenge faced by supervising doctors and students. Technology has been used extensively in point-of-care decision-making (Burke & Weill, 2008), and mobile technology adds value to this activity. In this study, we explored how mobile tablets (e.g., iPads) were used to support supervising doctors and medical students in three ways: (1) to help supervising doctors learn the practice of academic teaching, (2) to help medical students learn the practice of internal medicine, and (3) to support supervising doctors' clinical decision-making for supervising. Results from this two-year study indicate that both faculty and students benefitted from and were challenged by the use of iPads in clinical settings. Benefits included ready access to a teaching tool, access to medical records at the point of care, and to multiple resources that support clinical decision-making. Challenges included the need to keep track of the tablet, inconsistent network access, and the slow speed of the network. Implications for improving practice and recommendations for future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-44
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Interactive Learning Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical decision-making
  • Medical education
  • Mobile technology
  • Third-year clerkship


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