Healthcare industry has experienced a revolution with the solutions that use cutting-edge technologies to serve doctors and patients alike. While it all started with a move to maintain electronic copies, it soon progressed to being more accessible through mobile devices or to say mobile communication. In America alone, a large share of doctors and clinics use mobility solutions for a variety of reasons that include: better record keeping, enhanced experience for patients, increased productivity of employees, easier retrieval of medical records and details, etc. The ability to enjoy so many benefits with a mobile device has been the primary reason for attracting more and more users to mobile communication in healthcare.
The Concern Areas
With the rise in users, the complexities or concerns have increased or maybe they have become more prominent. Here, we have compiled a list of concern the healthcare facilities have. These issues are based on survey conducted by trusted research companies.
- Compatibility:This is one of the major challenges that organizations face when it comes to migrating to mobile solutions. Most of the Software work well on different devices, thanks to responsive designs, but there are still issues because of differences in devices like pagers, wearables besides smartphones.
- Variations: This is an extension of the above point where hospitals and clinics have not yet figured out a standard medium of communication. While most hospitals rely on pagers, others prefer smartphones, some still prefer using fixed landlines. So, there is a need to have a standard medium with defined protocols.
- Security: The variety of mediums result in exchange of information through different devices, applications, etc. which is ultimately putting patient’s information at risk. The increase in policies like bring your own device (BYOD) to work or installing EHR apps on personal devices is further adding to this concern.
- Compliance: The compliance issue is bound to rise when you have concerns with security and compatibility. The point to ponder here is that the policies that require compliance need to define areas clearly rather than being vague and ambiguous. The policies should clearly outline what needs to be done and state how as well if possible.
- Contingency Plans: Technology is unpredictable and all organizations relying on such mediums should be prepared for downtime and have a back-up plan in place. Most organization fail to have a plan in place resulting in problems with the system which can affect the daily functioning and cause long-term issues because of ripple effect.
- Access: Modern mobility solutions enable administrators to define different levels of access which means that the information that doctor can access might be vaster than what nurses or executive can access. The rights extend to even ability to read only or modify as well. But, older solutions present this challenge and need to be addressed on priority for smooth functioning.
The important consideration here is to conceive and adopt policies that take care of each of these areas individually. A well-defined policy and a strict implementation of that policy is what can help you resolve such concerns. To illustrate this point, let’s consider how challenging it is for organizations to secure data when employees are bringing their devices to work. This can be easily handled by allowing devices only for employees who are not dealing with sensitive information. All senior level staff should be given company devices that keeps the information secure. The advanced mobility solutions take care of all these concerns to a certain level and provide better services. But, this does not rule out the possibility all together. Hospitals are required to use a blend of modern solutions and creative policies to protect the data and enhance services that are provided to patients. If you are healthcare professional or a patient with experience in mobile communication, share your experiences and apprehensions with us in the comments section below. Your feedback can help others choose wisely and be alert.