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A Physician's Perspective: Meaningful Use of Health Technology

Nov 15 2012   10:47PM GMT

The evolving world of BYOD in mobile healthcare



Posted by: DrJosephKim
cpoe, mhealth, mobile health

Bring your own device (BYOD) is still a hot mobile health care topic in many hospitals because a growing number of doctors, nurses, and students (both medical and nursing) are bringing their own devices into hospitals. Even if they don’t try to access patient data on these devices, they may be using them to send emails or text messages about specific patients. That’s a major problem because email and short message service (SMS) are not encrypted or secure ways of communicating personal health information (PHI). I doubt that most of these doctors and nurses have secure messaging apps on their personal devices.

Some hospitals are still using Blackberry as the enterprise mobile OS, which is another factor contributing to the BYOD headache. We’re now finding more doctors bringing their own iPhones and iPads into the system because Blackberry has lost so much favor among medical professionals (though they’re still carrying their Blackberry devices).

A mobile device management (MDM) solution “secures, monitors, manages and supports mobile devices deployed across mobile operators, service providers and enterprises” (from Wikipedia). There are some MDM capabilities built right into Apple’s iOS as well.¬†According to Wikipedia,¬†¬†Gartner recognized five vendors to be leaders in the “Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software” market overview of 2012. These include MobileIron, AirWatch, Zenprise, and Good Technology.

A growing number of primary care doctors no longer work in hospitals. They spend 100% of their time treating patients in an outpatient setting, so they don’t have to deal with CPOE systems or any other inpatient issues. Does this mean that they don’t need to worry about MDM solutions because they’re not accessing enterprise level data? They’ll need some type of MDM solution if they’re using their mobile devices to access any type of PHI, even if it’s through their outpatient EHR. Otherwise, all that outpatient patient data is at risk.

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