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KLAS: Security Concerns Prevalent as mHealth Adoption Rises

October 25, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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According to new research from the Orem, Utah-based research firm, KLAS, healthcare providers are increasingly adopting mobile devices to access patient information, even though they are expressing data security concerns. The research from KLAS, titled Mobile Applications: Can Enterprise Vendors Keep Up?, looked at various issues surrounding the mobile health (mHealth) trend in the industry, using the insights of more than 100 providers.

“With the increased use of personal mobile devices in healthcare becoming more prevalent, providers are very concerned about controlling what data is accessed, where it is stored, and how the data can be protected,” report author Erik Westerlind said in a statement. “In addition, providers say that virtualization, encryption, and mobile device management applications are among the main solutions to combat some of these security concerns.”

Virtualization, which presents clinical information on a mobile device but stores the data elsewhere, was cited by providers as the most likely security solution, with 52 percent of respondents saying that’s what they use. Encryption (43 percent) and mobile device management (35 percent) were the second and third most common methods to securing patient data on a mobile device.

Along with securing patient data, providers cited other hurdles to mHealth adoption. This included difficulty or inability to input documentation, lack of optimization, limited functionality, and device displays that may be too small or are not configured to show critical patient information. In addition, KLAS found, providers are concerned that not all of the important patient information is being displayed due to the limitations of the form factor or the application view not being built to standards.

This hasn’t stopped adoption, though. Seven out of ten provider organizations are using mobile devices to access their EMR. KLAS also says every major EMR has customers in this report that are accessing data via a mobile device.  Also, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy has led Apple to dominant in this space, with most organizations (94 percent) in this study using their devices.

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