The Importance of Mobile Application Management in Healthcare Organizations
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) recently reported on the rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs within healthcare organizations. They site the Ponemon Institute which reports 81 percent of healthcare providers have adopted some form of BYOD policy within their organization. These devices are being used for a variety of uses from colleting patient data at the bedside to monitoring medical device data to using barcode readers on mobile devices.
BYOD programs are resulting in increased mobility, greater access to information, better communication and even potential cost savings. However these benefits pale in comparison to the risks presented by BYOD due to the level of regulation and patient information with such acts as the Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPAA). That is to say if proper security measures and data protection steps are not taken. HIMSS quotes Guillermo Moreno, vice president and managing director of the Experis Healthcare Practice, as saying “”The challenge is that mobile technology and all its related benefits have become the norm in real-time communication in our society. When applied to the healthcare space, however, a person’s privacy and security must be considered equally as important as convenience and cost.”
So what are the proper security measures and solutions that need to be implemented in order to meet all the regulation that the healthcare organization must meet? HIMSS points to encryption as a large combatant of the risks presented by BYOD programs. They write that “According to a 2012 HHS analysis, almost 40 percent of large HIPAA rule violations involved lost or stolen devices. HHS stated: ‘had these devices been encrypted, their data would have been secured.’”
One solution that healthcare organizations should look into is a Mobile Application Management (MAM) solution. With such an overwhelming amount of healthcare organizations implementing BYOD programs issues related to application usage will most certainly come up. Whether they are approved applications for clinical use that need to be managed as they store or access patient data or personal applications that need to be blocked, there needs to be a large focus on the applications being used.
Click here to read the full HIMSS piece.