Mobile technology has the potential to empower healthcare workers with unprecedented access and availability to health information in a number of different environments, supported on a wide array of devices. This can lead to faster decision making, better collaboration and improved patient engagement at the point of care. But how can Health-IT best enable their clinical end-users to take advantage of these capabilities? How can mobile solutions support collaborative workflows in a safe and secure manner without compromising end user experience?
I recently co-authored a paper titled: Using Mobile Point of Care to Improve Healthcare Delivery. The paper outlines some of the key considerations when developing a strategy for clinical mobility:
Device Model: Matching the right device with the right clinical workflow is essential. One size does not fit all. While some tasks such as viewing information in the patient record can work very well on a mobile device such as a tablet, others such as diagnostic quality medical imaging may not be appropriate for these types of devices. Involving end-users in the device selection and evaluation process is also critical.
Service Delivery Model: Many healthcare organizations are turning to desktop virtualization in order to reduce IT complexity and to more easily support a variety of client device types. There are many different types of desktop virtualization. Selecting the right service delivery model(s) requires careful analysis of the clinical workflows that need to be supported to ensure a good end-user experience.
Device Management Model: Devices that are provided to end users by IT must be easily provisioned, managed, and decommissioned. Devices brought in by end users (BYOD) need to be safely incorporated into the IT environment.
Security: Sensitive information must be protected at rest and in transit. In order to minimize the chance of a breach, controls such as encryption, remote wipe, and DLP (data loss prevention) should be strongly considered. Regular training for end users on proper use of mobile devices and associated technologies in a clinical environment is highly recommended.
End User Experience: Ideally, IT will be invisible to clinical end users. If infrastructure “gets in the way” of clinicians providing care to patients, they will actively search for alternate solutions (which may or may not be conformant with organizational policy). Providing a good user experience is one way to help mitigate this concern.
What questions or thoughts do you have about clinical mobility? If this is an area that is relevant to your job or is of special interest to you, I encourage you to take a look at the paper provided at the link above. You can also follow me @CGoughPDX on Twitter.