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Mobile Device Management For Your Medical Practice

Mobile devices are an asset that most healthcare professionals would not want to — and likely could not — do without in a modern hospital, clinic, or practice setting. Tablets, smartphones, and other devices make accessing patient records and medication information, keeping in contact with staff members, and managing appointments, tests, and schedules simple and convenient.

With this new wave of change in the medical workplace, there come many benefits to healthcare professionals…

What Can Mobile Devices Do For Medical Practices?

Mobile devices have made it easier and easier to get work done while on the go, with smartphones providing a simple way to communicate and collaborate. Have you taken full advantage of what this technology has to offer?

Embracing mobile technology can offer benefits to both you and your staff.

  1. Organizational Benefits: Your staff should have access to data and communications whether or not they are sitting at their desk. Medical personnel need to be mobile, flexible and responsive. There is no better way to achieve this than through mobile devices. Unfortunately, with this convenience, comes HIPAA compliance concerns and regulations.
  2. Staff Experience: Many companies feel they have to supply the mobile device due to security. Although this is a valid business model, allowing your staff to use their own technology has benefits too. By bringing their own devices, there is no pesky learning curve to overcome. Instead of having to ensure your staff knows how to use the hardware at work, they can simply use the phone, tablet and/or laptop they are already familiar with. Mobile Device Management makes this possible at an affordable price.

It is no surprise that mobile devices are continuing to become a central and necessary part of the healthcare world. What might be surprising is how unprepared some practices are for the process.

Without the right planning, mobile device usage can put your practice at risk:

  • Lost or stolen devices can do major damage to your practice, leading to compromised patient data, lost work, and HIPAA violations.
  • Unsecured WIFI hotspots and other vulnerabilities allow intruders inside your private network.
  • Mobile devices are becoming bigger targets for cybercriminals, who use malware and other methods to attack smartphones and tablets.

That is why you need to plan effectively for how you and your staff use your mobile devices for professional purposes…

How To Effectively Implement Mobile Technology

  1. Develop Plans & Processes
    Implement Mobile Device Management and Bring Your Own Device policies that allow employees to use their own devices in combination with the organization’s – be sure to equally prioritize the convenience of access with security.BYOD is an organizational policy that dictates how your staff members use their personal devices for work purposes, prioritizing security above most other concerns. And do not limit yourself to desktops, laptops, and phones – there is more out there for you to take advantage of. Have you considered what the Internet of Things and wearable devices can do for workplace efficiency? Now is the time to get on board – up to 20.4 billion IoT devices will be online by 2020.
  2. Implement HIPAA Compliant Mobile Policies
    Your mobile policies need to take into account both best practices and HIPAA compliance guidelines and regulate when and how your staff uses these devices.

    • Make sure all mobile devices are password protected at all times.
    • Implement two-factor authentication to help keep information stored on or accessed from each device secure if a password is lost or stolen.
    • Enable timeout features on all devices to automatically log users out after a set period of inactivity.
    • Implement encryption technology, firewalls, and antivirus protection on each device, and take steps to ensure that these precautions are kept up-to-date and functioning properly.
    • Make sure any device that is used to access healthcare data can be remotely wiped or disabled if the device is lost or stolen.
    • Disable built-in file-sharing options on each device to help keep files secure, and maintain control over how data is being shared.
    • Place restrictions on mobile apps and downloads, and have a process in place to verify that they are coming from trusted sources and that you have a full understanding of their functionality before they are downloaded.
    • Make sure that you are following proper guidelines for deleting sensitive information before repurposing or disposing of any device.
  3. Keep Your Staff And Patients Secure
    Maintaining mobile security is not just about having the right apps – it means following the right procedures and protocols, to eliminate unknown variables and maintain security redundancies:

    • Review installed apps and remove any unused ones on a regular basis.
    • Review app permissions when installing, and when updates are made.
    • Enable Auto Update, so that identified security risks are eliminated as quickly as possible.
    • Keep data backed up to the cloud or a secondary device (or both).

Do not keep your medical practice in the past. There are so many benefits to be gained with IT support in Houston and embracing mobile technology for your staff and your patients – just make sure you do it properly.

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