Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -)

, Volume 183, Issue 4, pp 573–577 | Cite as

DOCSS: doctors on-call smartphone study

  • M. K. O’Reilly
  • G. J. Nason
  • S. Liddy
  • C. W. Fitzgerald
  • M. E. Kelly
  • C. Shields
Original Article



Smartphones have revolutionised our demands for constant access to information. The usage of smartphones in the clinical setting is becoming widespread. The aim of our study was to assess smartphone ownership and usage across a cohort of interns.


A voluntary novel questionnaire was distributed to interns in two university hospitals. Details regarding smartphone ownership and usage were assessed. Likert scales were utilised for analysis.


Sixty-one (74.4 %) interns responded to the survey. Sixty (98.4 %) owned a smartphone with iPhone® being the most popular (76.7 %). Fifty-five (91.6 %) interns have downloaded medical applications (‘apps’), while 29 (52.3 %) reported paying for them. Regarding smartphone use on-call, 30 (50 %) interns agreed it aids diagnoses, 26 (43 %) agree it helped in interpreting laboratory values, 31 (51.7 %) agreed it helped in dosing of medication and 33 (55 %) agreed it was of assistance in medical emergency protocols. Forty-two (70 %), 42 (70 %) and 46 (76.7 %) interns agreed or strongly agreed smartphones have a positive influence on them in terms of levels of stress, confidence and level of knowledge, respectively.


Smartphone usage is widespread among our intern cohort. The introduction of hospital applications with local guidelines would be welcomed; however, this may require informed patient consent regarding their use.


Smartphones Junior doctors On-call 



No source of funding, financial or otherwise.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. K. O’Reilly
    • 1
  • G. J. Nason
    • 2
  • S. Liddy
    • 2
  • C. W. Fitzgerald
    • 1
  • M. E. Kelly
    • 2
  • C. Shields
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMater Misericordiae University HospitalDublinIreland
  2. 2.Department of SurgerySt Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland

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