Smartphones Gain Traction as a Health IT Solution, Despite Concerns
Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are increasingly used by nurses in hospital settings, despite security and privacy concerns.Just over one-half (51 percent) of hospitals are evaluating enterprise-class nursing smartphone solutions to support collaborative team-based care over the next 12 to 18 months, according to a Spyglass Consulting Group health care study, "Point of Care Communications for Nursing 2014." Despite hospital policy restrictions, 67 percent of hospitals interviewed report that staff nurses are using personal smartphones to support clinical communications and workflow. The report suggested next-generation solutions based upon the smartphone provide hospital IT with a vendor-neutral and scalable architecture to address current and future application requirements that are tightly integrated with the hospital's PBX, clinical information, systems, biomedical devices, and nurse call system. "Despite advancements in mobile devices and unified communications, hospital IT has underinvested in technologies and processes to support nurses at point of care," Gregg Malkary, managing director of Spyglass Consulting, said in a statement. "Nearly 42 percent of hospitals interviewed are still reliant on pagers, noisy overhead paging systems and landline phones for communications and care coordination."
The report also indicated hospital IT is concerned smartphone usage poses a security risk, with 88 percent of hospitals interviewed expressing concerns about the recent HIPAA Omnibus Ruling and the risk of unprotected mobile devices on the hospital's network, which could introduce malicious attacks, malware and viruses.