Cruising the Web to check out a U.K. paper Brian Dolan over at MobiHealth News blogged about (the upshot: For iPad EHR implementations, the IT authorities do not recommend “Bring your own device” policies) led to our exploration of the country’s National Health System’s (NHS) IT guidance site, Connecting for Health (CfH).
Roughly equivalent to our own Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, CfH offers “good practice guidelines” documents cataloging IT advice for small practices up to large hospitals, with an emphasis on governance and security – which loosely line up with the privacy and security ideas of the U.S. HIPAA law. For instance, HIPAA might not offer much in the way of guidance for health information risk management, although the law mandates it. NHS has a whole section devoted to it.
Some of the documents have a distinctly NHS flavor – as in, germane to a government-run, single payer monopsony – and therefore might not directly apply to the U.S. mélange of private, public and mixed payers. But, for instance, the Mobile Working Knowledge Centre lays out some pretty solid advice for anyone tackling the extension of their wired health IT networks to wireless computers, iPads or smartphones – down to the recommendation that IT staffers interface with human resources departments to establish policies for working outside of shift hours and away from the office, now their smartphone and iPads can access patient data.
“This should consider any legal implications, for example compliance with health and safety regulations, equal opportunities and diversity,” the CfH advises. “It may be necessary to change Terms and Conditions or contracts of employment, for example changing an employee’s base location from office to home. Other factors to bear in mind are policies around travel and expenses, possible insurance implications, flexible working arrangements (for example changes to core working hours) and minimum attendance at team meetings, etc.”
An interesting detail that may or may not have occurred to you en route to deploying Epic to physician iPhones, no? Explore the site; there’s a lot more to help walk you through these times of rapid health IT deployments – including case studies of individual health systems and their own deployments as well as sample policy documents like this PDF of one health system’s mobile devices policy.