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With mobile technology becoming widespread, hospitals need to build strategies and policies about its usability within the infrastructure and by the staff. According to Spok’s 2018 Mobile Strategies in Healthcare Survey, more than 50 percent of hospitals have documented mobile strategies.
While a smart strategy promoting mobile usage can enable a better patient care and satisfaction, it is also important to remember that any form of mobile communication is vulnerable to security risks. The extensive policies for mobile communications should include instructions on essential topics like infrastructure assessment, security and management, integration with EHR (Electronic Health Record) system, device selection, and clinical workflow evaluation.
Addressing mobile barriers
Wi-Fi and cell coverage-related infrastructure issues: Although using smartphones to communicate and collaborate across the facility sounds useful, the benefits are limited if there exist areas where the internet connection is spotty or if calls do not connect. You need to fix them by discussing ways with your IT department who would look at those areas and decide strategies accordingly. In addition, since the communicating devices may be transmitting private health information, your policy should prioritize data security concerns, to avoid significant breaches.
Hosting regular training sessions on mobile policy is important to ensure employees take data security measures like never sharing passwords. This could form the difference between a serious security breach and a smooth mobile usage, while it might take a little additional time and efforts.
Although you might have mobile policies in place, they surely would need improvement, especially when it comes to connectivity. Mapping and upgrading routers, and installing additional access points for Wi-Fi could be some of the tasks your IT department should undertake.
Most importantly, a consistent review of mobile policies ensures a protected and up-to-date hospital mobile IT system.
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