BYOD Security Tops Doctors’ Mobile Device Worries
From: Information Week
Bring-your-own-device trend leads healthcare providers to question mobile device management and security effectiveness, KLAS study finds.
By Michelle McNickle
Security concerns and managing BYOD (bring your own device) tech is front of mind for many physicians, according to a recent report from KLAS. The study, “Mobile Healthcare Applications: Can Enterprise Vendors Keep Up?” asked 105 clinicians about their use of mobile technology in a hospital setting and found securing personal devices through mobile device management (MDM) is the most prominent concern.
The report aimed to “narrow the scope” for applications and focused specifically on their use in the clinical realm, said Eric Westerlind, report author, in an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare. Health IT ratings firm KLAS looked at mobile healthcare applications released by vendors including Allscripts, Cerner, eClinicalWorks, Epic, GE Healthcare, McKesson, MEDITECH and Siemens. “This is laying the groundwork to see what’s going on,” he said. “We narrowed it down to what [electronic medical records] systems we can find data on, and what we could find out about these applications [regarding] how they work on a smartphone or tablet.”
The report asked physicians and clinicians what they viewed as some of mobile’s biggest weaknesses when used in a clinical setting. One of the biggest gripes, the report concluded, was recording documentation on a mobile device. “The docs use the devices as an interaction [tool] with the patient and to consume data,” said Westerlind. “If you think about a tablet, it’s about the consumption of data, not creation of data. So it was difficult for [clinicians] to input their documentation or input an order entry.” Computerized physician order entry (CPOE), he added, remains difficult to do on mobile devices. “Vendors know that,” Westerlind said. “Epic performed well on usability, but they know you can’t enter documentation [using their platform] … Next year, a lot of vendors we talk to are looking to include more CPOE into devices.”
One last area of interest, said Westerlind, was how clinicians were using mobile when it came to viewing picture archiving and communication system (PACS) information. “Most of them said they don’t diagnose on [a mobile device], which is a hindrance,” he said. “If they could diagnose on those, that would speed up the process, but there are FDA requirements around the resolution of the screen.” Instead, clinicians share PACS film or an image with a patient as an educational tool. “That was the key for PACS … in this study, everyone said it’s all about interaction with the patient, and they can sit down next to them and have that personal touch instead of diagnosing off those images.”
Westerlind said the study concluded that no one vendor has the mobile space down. “I don’t think anyone does a fantastic job yet,” he said. “I think there’s a lot more work to do here, and I think it’ll continue to grow because of the benefits that are involved with mobile … like outcomes, speed of diagnosis and coordinating care with other physicians. Most vendors know their applications for mobile need to be improved, and they’re actively pursuing that and coming out with new applications.”