With the ever-growing positive contributions of mobile devices and applications in literally every field of work in the world today, the healthcare industry is a recent one to adopt mobility strategies in their day to day workings. Healthcare mobility means the use of mobile devices and applications for exchanging and communicating medical data securely within the closed circle of different end users, be it the payers, the patients or the providers.
Mobility Solutions enable the staff working under the healthcare system to access all kinds of information, to control risks and steer the costs. With the use of mobile strategies, the information can be transitioned among different healthcare structures, eradicating the need for hospital read missions and thus resulting in better patient outcomes.
What are the functions of mobility strategies?
Today, almost 65% of the healthcare organisations across the U.S have their documented mobile strategies: a number almost double than that of 2012, when only 34% of the healthcare organisations had a documented mobile strategy. This increase obviously shows the efficiency of the mobile strategies proven in those five years in between in various problem areas of the healthcare system, including, increase in costs, rising rate of errors, decrease in profit and the lack of Good Quality Healthcare.
Who makes the policies?
Though framing a formal mobile strategy is a step forward in the right direction, it is hardly enough. A mobile strategy is effective only as long as it is relevant in the quick to evolve environment. Once a formal strategy is in place, the healthcare organisations are then required to update this strategy from time to time to keep up with the changing technology as well the altering needs of end-users. The primary needs for tweaking the strategy every once in a while rises from the changing requirements of the end-users, the availability of upgraded mobile devices in the market vendors providing new capabilities, to name a few.
Who owns the strategies?
Even though the IT department, along with the telecom and parent organisations are responsible for designing mobility strategies for an organisation, with the advancing years, the participation of medical professionals in the process of planning has increased from 51% to 60%. The presence of clinical representatives allows the plan to take real life issues and workflow into account, because at the end of the day, these medical professionals are the end users themselves and they are the ones who fall under the mobile policy guidelines.
As said earlier, the IT department is the predominant participant in the planning process of the mobile policy. However, not a lot of professionals believe them to be completely an IT initiative. In fact, majority of professionals associate mobile strategies with communications, while some do believe it to be a clinical initiative, whereas several others view it as a security project in accord to the HIPAA Compliance. This corresponds to majority of the organisations having a security team to monitor and enforce the strategies, while a few of them have, for enforcing the policies, individual mobile strategy departments or no particular department at all.
There is no doubt in the fact that healthcare industry has made a great deal of advancement in inculcating mobility strategies into their means of functioning. That being said, there is still a lot of scope to improve the system overall through revisions and upgrades. By making the planning process more and more inclusive to medical representatives, it will be possible for organisations to tackle real life hurdles better. Something that will surely make the strategy system more effective is formally monitoring the success of the mobile policies in meeting their desired ends and making amends accordingly.
Matt Wilson – A Healthcare Expert, working with Aegis Health Tech as senior developer from last 5 years. He has extensive experience in Patient engagement solutions, EMR & EHR Development, Implementation and Integration.