Mobile Health Technology a Key Concern for Health Care Providers

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2013-12-20
 
 
 

Despite privacy and security concerns in the health-care industry, the rise of a mobile workforce continues to grow and technological advances are adapting to regulations faster than ever, according to a survey of more than 1,500 health-care customers by online fax services provider eFax.

With health-care company employees on the go, compliance is an ever-present concern--44 percent of health-care organizations surveyed said mobile fax (the ability to fax from a mobile device) will be important or very important to their organization in the coming year.

More than one-quarter (27 percent) cited mobile solutions as their top technology priority for 2014, and more than one-quarter of health-care providers view online fax services as the most-effective technology for helping with HIPAA compliance security.

When it comes to protecting the large amount of sensitive data that health-care organizations generate and manage, 37 percent of health-care organizations surveyed rank financial liability due to regulatory noncompliance as their biggest concern--not identity theft or data privacy.

Just 18 percent of respondents cited exposing sensitive data to the wrong eyes due to risks from emerging trends such as bring your own device (BYOD) as their leading concern.

In addition, 42 percent of respondents said online fax is the most effective technology solution for helping with HIPAA compliance security, and 37 percent see online fax as the most undervalued technology with respect to security and business needs.

"With new legislation in place, penalties are increasing for HIPAA noncompliance, and enforcement will be more aggressive than in the past," Ross Leo, HIPAA compliance specialist and instructor at Training-HIPAA.net, said in a statement. "Regardless of cause, the high cost of violations will be a painful reality for health-care concerns of all sizes, and even higher for avoidable violations."

HIPAA noncompliance outranks document management and information security as the top concern, with the majority (54 percent) of organizations surveyed cited HIPAA compliance as their top concern, even more important than document management, organization and record keeping.

"With an increasingly mobile workforce relying on tablets and mobile devices to stay connected, document management and compliance will be top priorities in 2014," Leo continued. "Ensuring the security of sensitive information handled through these devices will be among the highest priorities."

Surprisingly, 12 percent of health-care organizations surveyed ranked email in their two least-used methods of communication for exchanging critical information with non-employees.The survey indicated despite privacy and security concerns in the health-care industry, the rise of a mobile workforce continues to grow, and technological advances are adapting to regulations faster than ever.

For example, 46 percent of respondents have already started rolling out company-sponsored tablets to employees, and 14 percent said they plan to initiate a tablet program in 2014. A further 16 percent plan to roll out tablet programs in the next three years.

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