By Katie Wike, contributing writer
Study: Hospitals relying on outdated paging systems, nurses have adopted smartphones
A new report from Spyglass Consulting, Point of Care Communications for Nursing 2014, found nurses are relying on their own smartphones to communicate at work. In fact, 67 percent of nurses use their personal devices to support clinical communications and workflow.
“Despite advancements in mobile devices and unified communications, hospital IT has underinvested in technologies and processes to support nurses at point of care,” said Gregg Malkary, Managing Director of Spyglass Consulting Group. “Nearly 42 percent of hospitals interviewed are still reliant on pagers, noisy overhead paging systems, and landline phones for communications and care coordination.”
With hospitals adopting EHRs and wearable devices at an ever-increasing rate, why are nurses being left out? According to Malkary, “They're underappreciated." He told mHealth News, "Nurses are looked upon as the single largest line item on the balance sheet," while doctors are considered the revenue-generators and the face of the healthcare institution.
One justifiable concern providers expressed was BYOD security, or rather lack of it. “Eighty-eight percent of hospitals interviewed expressed concerns about the recent HIPAA Omnibus Ruling and the risk of unprotected mobile devices on the hospital’s network, which could introduce malicious attacks, malware, and viruses.” Not to mention another survey which found 3 out of 4 providers consider their own employees a security concern.
The Spyware study found 51 percent of the hospitals interviewed plan to invest or evaluate enterprise-class smartphone solutions over next 18 months. "Consumer-grade apps don't fit the bill," Malkary said, pointing out that tailor-made solutions for nurses work well but aren't being recognized by hospital executives as a necessary service. "This is not a technology issue. The technology exists, but we need to adapt it to fit into healthcare.”