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Research: Hospital Mobile Device Initiatives Increase Patient Satisfaction

April 11, 2018
by Heather Landi
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New research from Jamf, a mobile device management software company, indicates that there is a direct correlation between hospital mobile device initiatives and patient satisfaction.

Global research conducted by Vanson Bourne, an independent third-party agency, and commissioned by Jamf, based on a survey of 600 healthcare IT decision markers, found that 96 percent of healthcare IT leaders who are currently implementing a mobile device initiative saw a positive impact on patient experience and satisfaction since rolling this out, with 32 percent reporting a significant increase in patient experience scores.

While one of the primary benefits of implementing a mobile device initiative is to improve patient care, healthcare organizations implementing or planning to implement mobile device initiatives expressed concern around how the devices would impact security and data privacy, and a lack of satisfaction and confidence in their current mobile device management (MDM) solution, according to the research.

Jamf surveyed healthcare IT leaders in both private and public healthcare organizations of all sizes in the Netherlands, France, Germany, United Kingdom and United States to better understand the opportunities and challenges around mobile device initiatives and management.

Among respondents who have implemented a mobile device initiative, these healthcare IT leaders noted a number of tangible benefits from the use mobile devices. Half of respondents cited improved communication across staff and departments as a result of the program, while nearly half said having a mobile device initiative yielded more efficiencies when transferring information and improving communications between patients and staff.

The adoption of mobile devices in healthcare organizations is very high, with 90 percent of organizations implementing or planning to implement a mobile device initiative. And, this is set to increase in the near future. For those currently or planning to implement a mobile device initiative, mobile devices are or will be commonly used in nurses stations (72 percent), administrative offices (63 percent) and patient rooms (56 percent). However, over half of all respondents believe that mobile device usage will further expand to both clinical care teams (59 percent) and administrative staff (54 percent), and nearly half (47 percent) plan to increase the mobile device use over the next two years.

The research also indicates that the influx of mobile devices is having a positive impact on experience. Public sector healthcare organizations who have implemented a mobile device initiative (39 percent) experienced a significant jump in patient experience scores, closely followed by private healthcare (29 percent). 

However, the research also points to a systematic disconnect within healthcare organizations, as only 16 percent of those currently implementing or planning to implement a mobile device initiative have seen or would expect to see increased patient satisfaction.

Mobile device implementations are not without their challenges. Of those surveyed, 10 percent said their organization does not plan to implement a mobile device initiative. They cited a lack of resources and support headcount as their primary barriers.

The research also examined organizations’ mobile device management strategies. Only 78 percent of organizations surveyed currently have a mobile device management solution in place, however less than half of respondents (45 percent) are very satisfied with their organization’s MDM solution. This is a significant drop from 59 percent of healthcare IT decision makers who responded the same way in a 2016 survey.

What’s more, this year, security was cited as a top concern, with nearly half (49 percent) demanding to see an improvement in their MDM solution’s security.

“Security breaches in general are growing exponentially in the healthcare industry. As mobile device initiatives expand in healthcare for use-cases such as patient engagement and clinical care, it is worrying that healthcare IT decision makers are becoming less confident in their mobile device management solution,” Adam Mahmud, healthcare alliance manager, Jamf, said in a statement. “Hospitals and clinics need a robust and secure MDM offering to support their mobility initiatives aimed at increasing caregiver efficiencies and improving the patient experience.”

As confidential patient data is shared among caregiving staff and healthcare organizations on a regular basis, security is clearly a key priority for healthcare organizations. However, almost all (95 percent) healthcare IT decision makers believe that their current MDM solution could be improved. In addition, nearly one-third (31 percent) of respondents who are not implementing a mobile device initiative are avoiding this because of concerns around their ability to meet the security requirements.

Global healthcare organizations are working to protect confidential patient data and ensure compliance with industry regulations, and are also looking to dispatch patch software to mitigate security risks. When asked about their challenges around implementing a mobile device initiative, data privacy (54 percent), security/compliance (51 percent) and/or regularly patching software (40 percent) were highlighted to be the key focus areas.


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LabCorp Joins Apple Health Records Project

November 5, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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LabCorp, a provider of clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services, has announced that it has enabled Apple’s Health Records feature for its patients.

This iPhone feature aims to make it easier for LabCorp patients to access their LabCorp laboratory test results, along with other available medical data from multiple providers, whenever they choose, according to officials.

In January, Apple announced that it would be testing the Health Records feature out with 12 hospitals, inclusive of some of the most prominent healthcare institutions in the U.S. Since that time, more than 100 new organizations have joined the project,  according to Apple.

LabCorp test results are viewable in the Apple Health app for LabCorp patients who have an account with the company, and enable integration with the Health Records app. In addition to their LabCorp test results, patients will have information from participating healthcare institutions organized into one view, covering allergies, medical conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals.

Patients will receive notifications when their data is updated, and the Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID, according to officials.

“LabCorp on Health Records will help provide healthcare consumers with a more holistic view of their health. Laboratory test results are central to medical decision making, and broadening access to this information will help patients take charge of their health and wellness, and lead to more informed dialogues between patients and their healthcare providers,” David P. King, chairman and CEO of LabCorp, said in a statement.

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HIMSS Analytics Introduces Infrastructure Adoption Model for Health Systems

October 25, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, announced the introduction of the Infrastructure Adoption Model, or INFRAM, which is designed to measure the technical infrastructure used within a health system.

The INFRAM focuses on five technical subdomains, allowing organizations to benchmark how their infrastructure operates within the following areas: mobility; security; collaboration; transport; and data center.

Similar to HIMSS Analytics’ well-known Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, or, EMRAM, the INFRAM is an eight-stage model (0 – 7) that allows healthcare IT leaders to map the technology infrastructure capabilities required to reach their facility’s clinical and operational goals, while meeting industry benchmarks and standards.  The final stage, Stage 7, guides organizations towards optimized information integration, contextualization and orchestration essential for the delivery of higher order local and virtualized care processes.

For reference purposes, Stage 0 on the model represents that an organization does not have a VPN, intrusion detection/prevention, security policy, data center or compute architecture. Stage 3 signifies that an organization has an advanced intrusion prevention system, while Stage 5 represents having video on mobile devices, location-based messaging, firewall with advanced malware protection, and real-time scanning of email hyperlinks.

HIMSS officials note that by identifying specific benchmarks for organizations to reach before they go live with EMR, systems, the INFRAM aims to ensure that a health system’s infrastructure is stable, manageable and extensible. Through this, organizations can ideally improve care delivery and create a pathway for infrastructure development tied to business and clinical outcomes.

 “The INFRAM is a welcome addition to our maturity model suite and addresses a longstanding need – guiding healthcare organizations in securely implementing the infrastructure with which their EMRs are built upon,” Blain Newton, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics, said in a statement. “We have seen health systems engage with advanced clinical applications, only for them to ‘glitch’ under infrastructure that isn't powerful enough to support their tools. With the INFRAM, healthcare providers can develop a detailed, strategic technology plan that defines their organization's current state, desired future state, and each stage in between to achieve their clinical and operational goals.”

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Eisenhower Health, a west coast-based Magnet Hospital, implemented an enterprise-wide solution enabling mobile communications and collaboration across all care teams, linking the entire enterprise, advancing its communications capabilities, creating access to an enterprise directory, and improving care team response and turnaround times.

Additionally, the system provided extensive and comprehensive reporting with data analytics showing where and to what extent response improvements were made, but also providing the information the hospital needed to better utilize the system and make adjustments to improve results.

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