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Nurses, Physicians Use Personal Devices Even When BYOD is Prohibited

September 21, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Some seven in 10 (71 percent) hospitals now allow BYOD (bring your own device) in the workplace, according to a new survey, which also found that some healthcare professionals use personal devices for work even when BYOD is not allowed.
The research, from Spok, Inc., included responses from more than 350 healthcare professionals. The 2017 research indicated that 71 percent of hospitals allow BYOD, compared to 58 percent in 2016. The researchers said, however, that the apparent increase may be an artifact of participant self-selection to take a BYOD-specific survey, but it does match their industry experience and interactions with customers where they see the majority of hospitals allowing physicians to use their personal devices.
Healthcare organizations around the U.S. continue to wrestle with whether staff are allowed to use their personal mobile devices for work. For those that don't have BYOD policies, data security is the top reason why, according to the research. Nonetheless, 41 percent of nurse respondents and 63 percent of physician respondents said they use personal devices for work even when their organization has a policy that prohibits it. 
Hospital-issued devices are preferred by 59 percent of nurses and 38 percent of physicians, the findings showed. The top reasons for using them in the healthcare work environment are ease in communicating with other care team members, cost savings, and workflow time savings, per the survey's results. 
Meanwhile, on average, physicians use four different work-related technology applications,while nurses use three on average, according to the research. Electronic health record (EHR) mobile applications specifically were ranked a 3.5 out of 5 by respondents when it comes to reliability. 
What's more, the top three challenges for BYOD environments are the same challenges reported for mobile device usage at hospitals in general: Wi-Fi coverage, data security, and cellular coverage.

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