Setting Up Healthcare Mobility Solutions for Long-Term Success

Mobile devices have the ability to improve efficiencies and outcomes, by enabling virtual rounding and telehealth visits, among all their other capabilties.

The growing need for optimized team communications has driven the decision made by healthcare organizations, to deploy clinical mobility technology.

The developing requirements and circumstances of our time has illuminated the efforts intended to re-evaluate clinical workflows and supporting tools. COVID-19 has highlighted these challenges and shown how the high value mobile devices can bring to providers and patients alike.

The concentration of communication and collaboration tools on a single device is represented by clinical mobility solutions, however, video capabilities are not always included in the standard solution set.

Hospitals had to take the initiative to integrate virtual care platforms within their existing technology investments, due to spread of the pandemic. Some hospitals purchased more mobile devices and tablets, enabling the expansion of virtual rounding and telehealth as a rush of high-risk COVID-19 patients overtook hospital beds and put a strain on the supplies of protective equipment.

These devices have proved benefical in boosting the speed and accuracy of care, especially at the time of shift change, when information is most likely to be lost in translation.

Adapting new technology comes with its own set of challenges. The provisioning of new devices and deployment of video platforms among them. However, mobile device management solutions have proved invaluable, enabling organizations to progress faster.

What to Take into Consideration When Starting a Healthcare Mobility Program

Launching a clinical mobility initiative requires a strategy that addresses current obstacles and keeps the safety of users (and their data) on the frontline.

Are enough devices available? How will leadership teams drive adoption?

The first crucial step is to begin with the end in mind. The leaders in healthcare should make a clear outline of the outcomes they are looking to improve and confirm that the existing clinical mobility platforms and investments are suitable for a given purpose.

It is paramount for management and governance processes to be on same page in order to create a unified and shared user experience, especially as the amount of devices continue to multiply and mobility platforms become more complex. This is a crucial factor, regardless of whether a BYOD or shared-device policy is in place.

Another step to take is to replace manual provisioning processes with automation, when this is applicable. With automation, IT teams can wipe lost or stolen devices remotely in order to protect patient health information and other sensitive data.

Replace manual provisioning processes with automation wherever possible. If devices are lost or stolen, IT teams can wipe them remotely to protect patient health information and other sensitive data. 

Keeping Device Compliance, Cleaning and Security, at the Forefront

Through a combination of administrative controls and procedures, healthcare organizations can address their priorities. One of these priorities is infection prevention, always relevant in a hospital environment, especially cross-contamination between caregivers and patients.

It is not surprising that healthcare organizations are concerned with the subject of shared devices. Their approaches include anti-microbial device cases, UVC cleaning solutions and meticulous wipe-downs at shift changes. To ensure the preventive steps are taken consistently, hospitals must manage their processes effectively.

Another concern hospitals have is the security and compliance concerns around the data managed by mobile tools. A significant challenge which has become even more complex by the growth of sophisticated and multiple cybersecurity threats during the pandemic, is meeting the HIPAA and regulatory standards.

Multifactor authentication and device encryption supporting data at rest and in transit are considered table stakes. Healthcare organizations must make sure that their video collaboration tools meet the same requirements so no weak links exist in a mobility deployment. 

There is no doubt that mobility solutions save lives but their work is far from over. One certainty is that IT and clinical leaders must continue to collaborate as the global health situation evolves.