Doctors and Mobile Devices – Medical Nightmare or Medical Miracle?

We’ve all heard stories about doctors reportedly chatting on their smartphones or using their iPads in the middle of surgery. In fact, some hospitals have even attempted to put a ban on these devices altogether. But is that an effective solution given the multitude of benefits smart mobile devices are providing for healthcare professionals?

Smart mobile devices are now enabling doctors to more easily collaborate with one another, make better decisions and access patient records more quickly. In fact, 81 percent of physicians now report using a smartphone and the adoption rate for the iPad is five times greater for physicians than the general population.

These are just a few of the statistics outlined in a recent infographic we put together on medical mobility (below). In working with a number of IT professionals in healthcare facilities around the world, we’ve seen many customers and potential customers raise the question of whether or not the use of mobile devices in healthcare is a big benefit or a big burden. The aim of this infographic is to help answer that question. And so, you may be wondering, what is the answer? As in most cases when it comes to IT, it’s a case-by-case scenario, but overall, the benefits are many. For instance, putting patient information at a doctor’s fingertips (rather than buried in a file cabinet) could save critical time when making a diagnosis; and the capability to remotely connect with a colleague regarding his or her opinion could provide unique insight a physician may not normally have access to. The list goes on…

While the benefits of smart mobile devices in healthcare are significant, so are the risks…

According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, 71 percent of healthcare organizations suffered a data breach in the past year and three of the six largest data breaches came from healthcare organizations (affecting 8.2 million patients total). Can you imagine following up the not-so-fun experience of a hospital stay with a notification that your credit card or other personal information had been stolen?

But there is a way to ensure that such a scenario becomes far more unlikely. Healthcare IT professionals simply have to invest in the right procedures and tools. This means ensuring strict compliance with HIPAA and HITECH, along with extensive endpoint security measures. At a minimum, these should include the capability to remotely lock or wipe devices; jailbreak/rooting detections reporting and the ability to invoke native policies. While these actions are by no means comprehensive, they are a starting place for IT administrators to provide physicians with the simple-to-use, on-the-go functionality of mobile devices that they are already demanding. And based on our infographic findings, IT administrators should follow the doctors’ orders…

LANDesk Medical Mobility Infograpic

Putting patient information at a doctor’s fingertips (rather than buried in a file cabinet) could save critical time when making a diagnosis; and the capability to remotely connect with a colleague regarding his or her opinion could provide unique insight a physician may not normally have access to.

2 thoughts on “Doctors and Mobile Devices – Medical Nightmare or Medical Miracle?

  1. Pingback: MDM: The Next Generation | LANDesk Blog

  2. Pingback: “Medical Mobility: Benefit or Burden?” – A Guest Post | Mobile Ecosystem Topics – Wavelink Blog

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