Mobile technology is the latest leg in the healthcare industry’s ongoing digital transformation journey. CIOs and other technology executives are actively helping their healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs) adopt mobile technology to streamline clinical workflows, enhance provider productivity, and improve care quality. This lets HDOs augment traditional bedside workstations with shared mobile devices, thereby helping clinicians save time, reduce distractions, and improve patient interactions.
This is real progress. As clinical mobility continues to transform care at healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs), research shows it is having a profound impact on nurses, doctors, IT executives, and patients. The use of mobile devices by physicians has increased 47 percent since 2017, and 32 percent by bedside nurses. The growing use of mobile devices has delivered meaningful improvements for HDOs: 55 percent cite reduced cost of patient care, 72 percent highlight improved quality of patient care, and 61 percent report reduced medication administration errors.
The progress doesn’t stop there. Leading CIOs are increasingly extending healthcare applications to mobile users, a development that empowers providers to access EHRs, prescribe medications, and complete other workflows from any place, at any time. It’s all good, right?
Almost. Like most new opportunities, mobile technology also poses new challenges. For healthcare CIOs, these hurdles might include deploying and tracking mobile assets, authenticating and authorizing mobile users, and ensuring frictionless user experiences. Mobile technology requires a new balancing act between usability and security. HDOs need to unlock the full potential of mobile technology, while still safeguarding PHI and ensure regulatory compliance – without burdening users or impeding workflows. Solving this challenge typically falls to the CIO, who can help incorporate mobile devices into clinical workflows. At the same time, the CIO must protect and extend previous identity management investments and practices. How can CIOs help their HDOs fully optimize mobile technology without compromising security or impairing usability?
Make Digital Identity the Foundation of a Mobile Strategy
Digital identity is the foundation on which CIOs should build their mobile strategy. Indeed, digital identity is the surest way to make mobile devices a seamless and secure part of clinical workflows.
Healthcare requires a specialized digital identity plan to address the industry’s unique challenges. To succeed with digital identity, the healthcare industry and technology providers are working to develop solutions that meet the needs of providers and protect patients’ medical data. A modern digital identity solution favorably positions HDOs for success with mobile technology.
Specifically, CIOs should seek an advanced digital identity framework for healthcare that extends to mobile technology. This solution helps CIOs achieve the top-line goals for mobile:
- remove adoption barriers
- support other workflows
- accelerate time-to-value
- mitigate security and compliance risk
- reduce operations cost and complexity
Leveraging their digital identity management solution lets CIOs optimize usability and streamline workflows. The result: delivery of consistent user experiences, with fast and effortless access, across traditional devices (PCs, shared workstations, etc.) and shared mobile devices (smartphones, tablets). What’s more, the right digital identity solution will extend familiar authentication methods like one-tap badge access to shared mobile devices. Finally, it will use smartphones to achieve multiple goals, including: simplifying multifactor authentication (MFA); automating workstation logins and logouts; and avoiding password, one-time PIN, and hardware-token hassles.
Deploying the right digital identity management solution will also strengthen security and automate administration, enabling IT teams to issue, manage, and track mobile assets, while simultaneously containing operations expenses and freeing up IT staff to focus on core business tasks. It also enables secure access for providers using personal devices from home or the road – essentially, enabling borderless healthcare networks.
Digital identity also defends healthcare IT systems against security breaches and PHI leakage and ensures strict compliance with healthcare regulations and mandates such as electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS) – both inside and outside the enterprise.
Use the Right Mobile Management and Security Solutions
The right mobile management and security solutions help CIOs manage and secure shared and personalmobile devices, and securely extend healthcare applications to mobile users. This lets CIOs enhance user experience, simplify operations, limit exposure, and optimize the HDO’s mobile technology investments.
This requires CIOs to build accountability for shared mobile devices – such as enabling fast and efficient user authentication for Android devices and applications. This lets providers assign and personalize shared mobile devices with the simple tap of a proximity badge, and then quickly authenticate to their applications. Such a solution enables secure assignment of devices between uses to ensure data confidentiality and auditability, while optimizing clinician productivity.
Securing and managing shared mobile devices might also involve transforming an iPhone or iPad into a secure, shared healthcare device for both clinicians and patients. For patient care, this is more than having a TV set in each room – it provides patients the digital experiences they expect. HDOs can give patients their own device, personalized for their use throughout their stay. It also lets HDOs automatically provision, manage, and wipe iOS devices. The results? No persistence of patient data on the devices, more smiling faces and a more mobile, productive nursing staff – at significantly less cost.
The best mobile initiatives will also let providers use their personal mobile devices to securely execute EPCS workflows from inside or outside the enterprise. This flexible solution must support multiple authentication factors, while also meeting strict DEA MFA and authorization requirements. This improves clinician productivity and satisfaction while mitigating risk.
Balance Equals Success
As a CIO, your HDO must leverage the benefits of mobile technology without compromising usability or security. You can unlock mobile’s full value by picking the right solution, which will balance mobile device security and usability and help accelerate your organization’s digital transformation. Although mobile technology poses some challenges, smart CIOs can successfully manage the usability-security balance. Picking the right solutions will let you protect PHI and comply with healthcare regulations while avoiding slowdowns to either users or workflows.