In an evaluation developed in partnership with SMART and funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), KLAS Research spoke with clinical leaders at nearly 50 healthcare organizations about how they select and use clinical apps today, what they would like to see in the future, and the concerns they have around adopting apps.
- Around half of the healthcare organizations interviewed use apps at the point-of-care.
- Looking forward, many providers are interested in purchasing or developing apps around patient engagement, followed by EHR data visualization, diagnostic tools and decision support tools.
- Usability is the most important factor healthcare organizations consider when purchasing an app, followed by cost, clinical impact and integration with existing systems.
- Pilot programs and demos represent providers preferred way to evaluate apps, with peer recommendations, web content and video demonstrations also being popular.
- Privacy and security is by far the biggest concern around adopting apps, although app credibility, concerns regarding ongoing maintenance, and the need for integration with existing systems are also high on the list.
The role of apps in healthcare is growing, with many organizations looking to third-party vendors to supply niche solutions that improve patient care and organizational efficiency.
Increasing adoption of the SMART and FHIR application programming interfaces (APIs) by EHR vendors and health systems is streamlining the process of connecting these apps to clinical systems, and strong regulatory support requiring APIs in certified health IT is expected to continue driving this trend. With app discovery tools, such as the SMART App Gallery, making it easier for healthcare providers to find and evaluate apps, there is a bright future for connected apps in healthcare.