VMware Blog: Top 3 Mobility Concerns for Today's Healthcare Organizations

This post originally appeared on VMware's AirWatch blog and was authored by Scott Szymanski. Be sure to check VMware's blog for more great content.

 

mobilityMobile devices have been a huge hit for healthcare. In fact, a recent report from Research and Markets expects mobility in healthcare to grow from $24 billion this year to $84 billion in 2020. From accessing medical records to real-time translation services, doctors and nurses are seeing an incredible transformation in how they administer care using mobility.

While this is exciting for patients and doctors alike, healthcare IT teams must reconcile the government red tape and employee concerns inevitable with new technologies. These teams must meet HIPAA compliance and maintain patient trust without creating a labyrinth of security that medical staff find difficult to navigate regularly.

Fortunately, many healthcare organizations, including Florida-based Adventist Health System, have delivered successful mobile transformations across their teams. Watch the Adventist Health System video to learn how mobility is transforming healthcare. Then, take a look at the top three healthcare concerns to consider when researching mobility.

Security

There’s hardly anything more cringe-worthy in healthcare than security. From electronic medical records to staff communications, there is a lot of sensitive client and staff information that needs protecting. And if this information is left in the open, it could have devastating repercussions. According to IDC Health Insights, 50% of healthcare organizations will have experienced anywhere from 1-5 cyberattacks—and one-in-three attacks will be successful.

Luckily, security and mobility can work together. Look for enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions that can track devices, push applications, enforce security policies and more without getting in the way of physicians. Some solutions can even wipe lost or stolen devices remotely, ensuring IT can quickly react when problems arise. Keeping information safe starts with strong security.

 

Simplicity

While security is primary, don’t forget the importance of simplicity. Mobile devices are redefining how medical staff diagnose, treat and report on patient health, and the last thing doctors need is another “helpful tool” that hinders timely and effective patient care. Devices that are difficult to use generally aren’t used at all, and worse than that, they could be used incorrectly in ways that might circumvent the security you worked hard to put in place.

Remember: sometimes less steps equal greater success. Simplifying the sign-in process to devices and applications might encourage a doctor to check a patient’s records twice before ordering a prescription. Tablets and smartphones could reduce training and the number of troubleshooting incidents serviced by IT, leading to independent but connected physicians across your entire medical network.

 

Patient Engagement

No matter how you use mobility, remember who physicians care about most: patients. Delivering timely and accurate information to patients is one of the most important elements of quality healthcare. Patients want to know their treatments and why they are receiving them. Unfortunately, according to a study done at the North Shore University Hospital in New York, less than half of patients surveyed were able to state their doctors’ diagnoses, an issue that could affect patient health and trust.

With connected mobile devices, you could deliver up-to-date patient information to physicians in real-time. Not only could this contribute to more accurate diagnoses, patients might feel safer sharing information with their doctors, ultimately leading to better care. Mobile devices are also more interactive than traditional computers and paper charts, and they could help doctors better illustrate medical procedures or conditions in ways patients actually understand. More informed patients are happier patients, and mobility could be the solution in your organization.

 

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