Using handheld computers to document family practice resident procedure experience

Roger Garvin, Frank Otto, Deanna McRae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: We examined the use of inexpensive handheld computers in documenting resident procedures. With a handheld computer, data is entered at the time of the procedure, eliminating the problem of double entry. Methods: Connectivity and ease of use were important factors considered when choosing a handheld computer. All residents received a handheld computer for data entry. Residency staff downloaded the data to a desktop computer. At the same time, data useful to residents was placed on their devices. The process of generating individual and program reports required 2 hours of staff time each month. Survey data regarding use and acceptance by residents was collected. Results: Eighty-eight percent of residents collected data on their handheld computer. Those residents responding to a survey felt that the handheld computer was 'very useful,' and 73% reported daily use. Initial costs were $310 per resident. Conclusions: Handheld computers streamlined the collection of procedure data for family practice residents. Handheld computers assisted in producing timely and useful procedural reports for both residents and the residency program. Additional uses of handheld computers were beneficial to the program and the residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-118
Number of pages4
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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