Slideshow 6 Tips on Hospital BYOD Policies

  • January 21 2015, 4:07pm EST
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6 Tips on Hospital BYOD Policies

Spok, a major communications vendor formed by the merger of USA Mobility Wireless and Amcom Software, offers a guide to hospitals that walks through the critical points of putting together a Bring-Your-Own-Device policy. (Photo: Fotolia)

Who Pays for What?

Users generally are expected to pay for their own personal devices, a primary cost-saver to the hospital over employer-supplied devices. There may be exceptions to consider, such as paying part of an upgrade cost for a device if necessary to be compatible with certain hospital-approved or purchased apps. If a personal device is essential to an employee’s job, hospitals may consider paying a flat stipend, paying a percentage of the bill, or monthly reimbursement based on work-related usage. Reimbursement decisions may be influenced by Wi-Fi capability in the hospital and how much data the devices use. (Photo: Fotolia)

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IT Support Levels

Hospitals must decide which devices IT will provide apps and enterprise access, as well as the level of help end users will get to register the device, install apps and troubleshoot problems. A recent survey by Spyglass Consulting Group found only one-third of responding physicians had access to a dedicated help desk with expertise in mobile issues. Hospitals may want to consider that if a device cannot be encrypted, it cannot be brought into the facility. (Photo: Fotolia)

Defining Effective and Acceptable Use

Clinicians think effective use means a device improves efficiency by cutting wasted time from a workflow or making a process easier, as well as improve care. Hospitals believe acceptable use is as important as effective use. Acceptable use involves enhanced security and risk management to protect health information. This may entail requiring physicians to declare in writing that they understand HIPAA and how to keep their devices protected, which would include unique passwords and device-wiping capabilities. If the hospital buys mobile device management software, tell users what information will and will not be able to be accessed from a device by the hospital, such as prohibiting access to personal photos, Web searches and private email accounts.

Security Disconnect

In a recent survey, only 15 percent of responding physicians said their hospital IT department has a mobile strategy to support team-based care. That’s why 96% of physicians report using unsecured texting to coordinate care, according to Spyglass Consulting. So, hospitals need secure text apps. Not all such apps are the same, however; those designed for healthcare are easier to integrate with the staff directory and on-call scheduling systems to help team members quickly reach each other. (Photo: Fotolia)

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Multiple Locations

Many physicians regularly work at more than one practice or hospital, or within one delivery system. Secure text apps built for clinical workflows will more readily support physicians at multiple locations. Registering a device at each location enables creation and maintenance of separate profiles with data for each profile securely stored on servers at each location. Clinicians going to another facility can select the appropriate profile and be authenticated for accessing messages at the facility. (Photo: Fotolia)

Start Early

When planning a BYOD policy, start earlier than you think you need to because the process will take a long time, and learn from others who have implemented their policy. Consultants also can help you figure out the clinical workflows that best support BYOD and assist in training. (Photo: Fotolia)

A free copy of the guidance is available here. Brief registration is required. (Photo: Fotolia)