IT | Security

BYOD Supports Nursing to Improve Healthcare

By: Absolute Editorial Team | 8/29/2013

In our Healthcare Makes Headway with BYOD survey last month, we revealed that healthcare organizations are increasingly integrating BYOD programs with 56% of hospital and health systems believing that personal mobile devices increase productivity. According to a similar study released by Spyglass Consulting, 69% of hospitals indicate that nursing staff are using personal smartphones for work, noting that BYOD support extends beyond hospital administrators and doctors to other vital areas of the healthcare network.

Nurses are using personal smartphones to fill in "critical communication gaps with existing technologies provided by hospital IT," which may be difficult to use or limited in functionality. According to the survey, nurses were rejecting tablets as their preferred bedside device, instead opting for smartphones. The portability of smartphones has allowed nurses the ability to access clinical reference materials or easily coordinate care with other clinicians. Aside from improving medical care, nurses who use their own devices feel greater autonomy and a better work-life balance.

HealthTechZone posits some additional benefits of BYOD being adopted hospital-wide, including the ability to page nurses and co-ordinate care, transmit alerts throughout the hospital, communicate results and reports, and place orders for tests.

Our survey indicated that 36% of hospital and health system employees use personal devices to access patient data. Despite the access to data and the current adoption of BYOD programs, 63% of hospitals and health systems do not yet have a formal policy for BYOD. Our survey indicated that compliance and the risk of data breach are the top concerns related to mobile security, perhaps rightly so given the lag between adopting BYOD and fully supporting it.

While there are many benefits to be found from integrating BYOD programs into the healthcare system, it is important that a BYOD policy be designed specific to the needs and legal requirements of the healthcare sector. To learn how to better manage BYOD in healthcare, visit our healthcare solution page or read our guide on How to Implement a BYOD Policy in 3 Simple Steps.