Survey: 90 percent of healthcare organizations use or plan to use mobile devices

By Laura Lovett
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More mobile devices equal happier patients, according to a survey commissioned by Jamf, an Apple-focused mobile device management company.

The survey, which was conducted by third party research group Vanson Bourne, found that 96 percent of healthcare IT decision makers that implemented a mobile device initiative saw a positive impact on the patient experience. 

The survey also revealed that more than 90 percent of survey takers plan to implement or are currently implementing a mobile device initiative as a way to improve patient care, facilitate efficiencies within care teams or both. 

“The 90 percent of healthcare organizations that have implemented, or are planning to implement, a mobile device initiative within the next year expect to see improvements in their internal communications, have more visibility into patient records and obtain the ability to share resources with patients in a more timely manner,” authors of the survey results wrote. 

A total of 600 IT decision makers from the US, United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands responded to the study. 

Not only are mobile apps being implemented but many IT professionals plan to increase their usage. According to the report, on average 47 percent of healthcare organizations plan to increase mobile device usage within the next two years. 

Most of the survey takers (91 percent) said that clinical care teams could benefit from a mobile device initiative, 73 percent answered that administrative staff could benefit. 

But there are concerns from healthcare IT professionals around the role of mobile in the hospital. The top concern reported was not having the head count or time to allocate a mobile device initiative. Other concerns included expense, leadership not seeing it as a priority, infrastructure obstacles, and security requirements. 

Currently 78 percent of organizations in the survey have a mobile device management solution in place, but 30 percent of those don’t feel confident in the plan they have. In fact, 95 percent of responders said their current plan has room for improvement. 

Enhanced security, cost, quality of training, and better support were the top areas where IT professionals said they would like to see improvements.

IT professionals are also concerned about data privacy and security compliance when it comes to implementing these mobile programs. Other worries include inappropriate employee use, patching software regularly, and access or device failure. 

“One of the primary benefits of implementing a mobile device initiative is to improve patient care, but healthcare organizations continue to express concern around how the devices would impact security and data privacy,” researchers wrote. 

The top drivers in implementing mobile programs were the ability to communicate among a patients care team, deliver educational apps and materials around care, and give access and the ability to edit patients records while on the go.

“Whether implementing mobile devices for staff, patients, or both, decision makers say the transparency of information, improved communications, and better access to applications that come with a mobile device initiative were key drivers in their decision to implement a program,” authors of the survey wrote.