Picture credit: https://flic.kr/p/qMkDvF
Picture credit: https://flic.kr/p/qMkDvF

According to new global research conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Jamf, security is the number one concern when managing mobile devices for staff, but more than a quarter of healthcare IT decision makers (27 percent) do not feel their organisation's current mobile device management (MDM) solution is up to scratch.

The lack of confidence does not bode well, as 40 percent of respondents say the primary reason to implement a mobile device strategy in the first place is to allow staff access to confidential medical patient records while on the move.

The independent research is part of a new report, ‘A Pulse on Mobility in Healthcare,' in which 550 global IT decision makers, within healthcare organisations of all sizes, were interviewed in the UK, France, Germany, US and Australia.

Dave Alampi, vice president, product management and marketing, Jamf, said: “Adoption of mobile devices like iPads by healthcare organisations is revolutionising how providers offer care and enhance patient experience. However, this research highlights the challenges surrounding the often fast paced implementation of mobile solutions – without the prioritisation of a more robust mobile device management strategy.”

As the NHS is challenged to go paperless by 2020, 83 percent of respondents' organisations currently provide mobile devices, such as smartphone or tablets to caregiving staff, including doctors and nurses, and 32 percent hope to expand this to patients receiving outpatient care in the next two years. However, security (83 percent), data privacy (77 percent) and inappropriate employee use (49 percent) are the top three concerns raised when managing staff mobile devices.   

Without the right investment in place, the report claims that managing mobile devices could become problematic. According to respondents, 25 percent of global healthcare organisations are most likely to spend their IT budget on IT support.

Interestingly, a quarter (25 percent) of healthcare IT decision makers in the UK felt their organisation prioritised the purchasing of hardware over IT support, while 29 percent of respondents felt security absorbs the majority of IT budget allocation in German organisations.

The research also highlighted the challenges of keeping data private and secure. With IT support taking up the largest spend of their organisation's IT budget, and organisations moving quickly to enable access to data on devices, only 54 percent feel very confident that they can make sufficient updates in order to quickly adapt to changing healthcare regulations.

The majority of healthcare organisations say they are most likely to be compliant with patient data regulations such as HIPAA (84 percent) and EU Data Protection Regulation (77 percent), however, respondents feel they are less likely to be able to update their systems fast enough to remain complaint, if any of the regulations require revision. This is particularly reflective in the UK, where almost half of respondents (46 percent) do not feel confident in their organisations' ability to adapt to the changing regulatory landscape.