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Healthcare IT Decision Makers Falling Short of Confidence in Mobile Devices

Why are NHS IT decision makers not confident in using mobile technology?

By April Slattery

Less than half of all healthcare IT decision makers feel confident in their existing mobile device management (MDM) solutions, according to new research by Vanson Bourne released on Thursday.

The number of those confident using mobile devices has fallen by 10 percent since 2016, dropping to 49 percent, amid a series of healthcare data breaches.

“As mobile device initiatives continue to become more widespread across healthcare organisations of all sizes, it is worrying that healthcare IT decision makers are becoming less confident,” Joe Bloom, Product Manager at enterprise software specialists Jamf, said in a release.

He added: “Hospitals and clinics need a robust and secure MDM offering that can empower care giving staff to drive greater productivity that leads to higher patient satisfaction, to future-proof the industry.”

Challenges and Solutions

Respondents admitted a large cause of this drop was driven by security concerns.

They cited data privacy (54 percent cited), security and compliance (51 percent) and patching software (40 percent) as the key factors behind the growing unease. Almost half (49 percent) would want to see an improvement in their MDM solution’s security, before feeling fully confident in carrying out tasks.

NHS trusts across the country as a whole have invested over £1 million in preparation ahead of GDPR to ensure security and safety of data from May 25th, when the legislation becomes enforceable.

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“The NHS must address and replace outdated systems as a first step and quickly get their house in order, not only to meet the GDPR requirements but also to guard against the next ransomware attack,” Matt Lock, Director of Sales Engineers at Varonis, said.

To overcome the concerns that healthcare IT workers have, the NHS recently launched a ‘Mobile Tool Kit’, aiming to help CIOs, providers and their teams to use mobile technology. It includes examples and guidance on how to deliver mobile solutions and practical tools and resources to implement such solutions.

Benefits and Goals

Hoping to encourage and build confidence in the use of mobile devices, the NHS aims to expand mobile usage in clinical settings over the next two years to boost efficiency and services. Over half (54 percent) of organisations are looking to embed mobile solutions with clinical staff (59 percent), admin staff (54 percent) as well as for long-stay patients (47 percent.)

“Mobile devices enable caregiving staff to monitor patients on-the-go and log vitals in real-time. It also allows the NHS to cut out paper records, which can help the service in achieving its paperless goals,” Dave Alampi, Chief Marketing Officer at Jamf, told CBR.

Patient experience and satisfaction can also be improved through the use of mobile devices, the research found, with 32 percent of organisations stating their patient experience scores have increased since implementing a MDM solution.

“Patients too can enjoy the opportunities that mobile devices provide. For example, long-stay patients can watch shows and access their medical records on a mobile device,” Alampi said.

To continue enjoying these benefits that mobile devices brought to healthcare organisations, it’s critical that staff and patient mobile devices are managed with a robust mobile device management (MDM) solution, which gives the organisations piece-of-mind in knowing that devices are secure and that confidential data is protected.”

Another key driving force to encourage the use of mobile devices is the technology’s ability to drive huge cost savings for NHS organisations.

Research from the NHS said that mobile technology in the community could save up to £19,000 per clinician per year, with savings of £0.3 billion to be made across all trusts. Therefore, the initiative such as the NHS toolkit could be a key driving force to ensuring full confidence is built into MDM solutions.

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