With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are facing stringent readmission penalties, patient-centred care models and financial incentives focused on patient safety, satisfaction and outcomes. At the same time they are tasked with treating an unprecedented influx of new patients – often engaging with multiple medical specialties. At the front lines of this healthcare evolution is the nursing community.
According to a recent report by Spyglass Consulting Group, Healthcare without Bounds, Point of Care Communications for Nursing, nurses are the single largest healthcare professional group in the United States, with approximately 2.9 million members. Facing constant pressure to communicate, collaborate and coordinate across a wide array of team members, nurses often rely on their own personal mobile devices (i.e., Smartphones and tablets), to eliminate communication bottlenecks, streamline productivity and deliver improved patient care. While the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement has promoted the use of employee-owned mobile devices to achieve greater productivity and cost savings, many healthcare organizations lack a mobile governance strategy.
According to a findings report, a stunning seventy-eight percent of hospitals interviewed didn’t have a comprehensive mobile governance strategy outlining mobile usage policies. And seventy-three percent of hospitals interviewed lacked dedicated help desk personnel to support mobile end users.
Eighty-nine percent of hospitals interviewed expressed concerns that consumer grade Smartphones were not well suited for a hospital-based environment due to durability, usability and sterility concerns. Yet sixty-seven percent report that staff nurses are using personal Smartphones to support clinical communications.
Despite growing acceptance, hospitals often realize too late that not all Smartphones are created equal, and actually can’t withstand the rigors of 24/7 use. Furthermore, there are a limited number of enterprise-class Smartphone solutions available that provide real-time VOIP communications, HIPAA-compliant secure text messaging, FDA approved alert and alarm management, simple nursing documentation (i.e., vital signs/IO, pain scores, etc.) as well as bar coding medication administration.
This white paper addresses common consumer Smartphone ailments as well as five key areas that healthcare organizations should consider before adopting a BYOD policy with consumer grade Smartphones in the workplace. These include—Privacy, Security and Compliance, Integration and Management, Call and Phone Quality, User Distraction and Patient Safety and lastly, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).