Laptops or tablets 'could save doctors an hour a day'

A doctor could save an hour each day by using a laptop or tablet instead of paper for hospital rounds, research has suggested.

Laptops or tablets could save doctors up to an hour a day, research found. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Medics spend around 56% of ward round time filling out paperwork, but this could be reduced to around 41% if doctors made use of technology, the study found.

An electronic system was used by experts at the Birmingham Women's Hospital's neonatal unit after they decided to run the pilot in order to rectify problems with handover data and the length of time filling out paperwork during rounds.

Rounds on the intensive care and high dependency wards took an average of four hours and 58 minutes with paperwork but reduced to four hours and one minute with an electronic system, researchers said.

Doctors, who are famed for their illegible scrawl, will also be able to read other medics' notes, regardless of handwriting style, the authors said.