Mobile devices are transforming how healthcare providers operate in primary care, ICU, hospital, homecare, and emergency settings. Healthcare mobility solutions allow providers to have readily available tools and applications to quickly access data and communicate with team members. As a result, the patient experience is enhanced, and lives are potentially saved.
Tablets and smartphones are utilized by clinicians to do everything from diagnosing illnesses to remotely updating patient records to communicating with colleagues around the world. Home healthcare workers are also using connected devices to access and update care plans in real-time. Telemedicine eliminates lobby wait times, lowers care costs and makes it easier to check in on patients, which can reduce readmission rates.
But, users shouldn’t just fire up a device, login to a network, and begin accessing patient records and healthcare apps. It’s critical to have a solid strategy behind healthcare mobility solutions to ensure connected devices are fully functional and provide the services and tools providers need.
Healthcare Mobility Strategy
Before healthcare organizations deploy mobile devices, they need to consider what they’re going to use the devices for, who is going to be using them, what devices are supportable, and how HIPAA compliance and security will be managed. Organizations must also consider the network infrastructure implications that may be associated with adding these devices.
As mobility platforms become more complex and the number of devices continue to skyrocket, management, compliance, and governance processes must keep pace to create an exceptional user experience.
In addition, organizations must think about how these valuable resources will be deployed, managed, and supported for hundreds or thousands of people.
Device Option Breakdown
End-users don’t want devices that are difficult to use or simply don’t work as well as the devices they already own. Not to mention that some users find it inconvenient to carry more than one device for personal and use. However, it’s important to recognize that supporting all devices for all people isn’t realistic. Fortunately, there are several options available when deciding what devices will be supported in a healthcare mobility solution:
- Bring your own device (BYOD): BYOD (bring-your-own-device) is the practice of allowing employees to use their own computers, smartphones, or other devices for work purposes. BYOD enables organizations to save money; however, IT has less control over how the devices may be used. Unsupported or suspicious apps can be downloaded which can compromise security. Shadow IT is also common with BYOD devices.
- Company-owned, business only (COBO): Devices are chosen for the user and can only be utilized within the organization. No personal data or unsupported apps are allowed on the device. This may be the most secure option, but having to carry two devices can lead to shadow IT.
- Choose your own device (CYOD): A CYOD approach requires employees to choose from a limited range of devices. The user owns the device, but it can be easily secured and integrated into the network. CYOD is also only effective if the organization actively updates their list of preapproved devices.
- Company-owned, personally enabled (COPE): COPE allows organizations to buy and provides computing resources and devices to be used and managed by employees and is how most organizations provide handheld or portable devices/gadgets to their employees. The organization has full control over the device, which is secure and compatible with the network, but users may be concerned about personal privacy because their employer’s IT department has full access to the device.
To narrow the decision, organizations should decide which operating system (OS) to support. If multiple OSes are to be supported, utilizing a managed mobility service (MMS) will make it easier to manage multiple types of OSes and devices. It can also help bridge the gap between disparate OSes, like Android and iOS.
MMS + Automation = Successful Healthcare Mobility Solutions
Healthcare IT administrators need complete visibility to control their mobile network and manage costs. This visibility allows IT and mobile support staff to know what devices are being used, who is using them, and how much they cost.
MMS applications establish and maintain the catalog and inventory record of all mobility assets, including corporate-liable lines of service, mobile devices, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) assets, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and other endpoints. It also syncs inventory to the business and users and provides role-based visibility and actions. It can also enable and process all Move, Add, Change, and Delete (MACD) actions to keep inventory current.
MMS can also help solve the vexing challenges surrounding order management. Order management is simplified via a highly configurable user interface that allows the procurement, fulfillment, and management of mobile devices, accessories, and airtime (plans, features, and special offers). Advanced MMS technology can provide a multi-carrier, web-based ordering application. Organizations can use a mobile application to acquire: new wireless services, new devices, replacement devices, plan changes, feature changes, and accessory orders from carriers under current customer carrier agreements.
Reporting and Analytics
MMS is also invaluable when it comes to reporting and analytics. A mobile application provides scheduled and on-demand reporting for authorized users to provide visibility to all global inventory, support, and billing data in one central application. This allows for self-service mobility workflows as well as access to select program information (inclusive of individual inventory, billing, and usage data).
Mobile Logistics Services
MMS programs often include Mobile Logistics Services which enable organizations to deploy, provision, configure, kit, and manage global IT assets from one centralized location. Tangoe’s Mobile Logistics also provides full device repair, asset value recovery and environmentally sustainable recycling capabilities.
Mobile Help Desk
Support for mobile devices can also be managed through MMS. At Tangoe, users of our mobile application can resolve many of their wireless problems using the self-service resources available in the solution, including chatbot, Smart Walk-thrus, and static documentation. However, should the self-service resources not resolve their issues, they can take advantage of help desk services provided in Mobile.
MMS also provides a key component in automation. Automation replaces labor intensive and manual tasks including invoice processing, inventory management, procurement, and provisioning.
Winning the Healthcare Mobility Solutions Game
As the complexity and mobile device footprint of healthcare organizations grow, the expertise required, and increased workload, can overload internal staff. Outsourcing the management of mobile devices to a trusted MMS provider can allow teams to focus on providing exceptional patient care.
Ready to see how Tangoe can help your healthcare organization support a next-generation mobility strategy at your office, hospital or care facility?