BYOD To "Infect" Healthcare Sector

By CIOReview | Tuesday, February 11, 2014
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Fremont: After making significant inroads into the business and IT worlds, Bring Your Own Device also is now headed to the healthcare sector.

Healthcare centers are now looking forward to adopt BYOD as it makes their work process easy. This not only creates a happier and more efficient workforce, but also reduces the number of physical devices that should be managed by healthcare IT administrators. Healthcare admin can now focus their attention to data, workloads and the infrastructure instead of worrying about end-points.

But the adoption of BYOD by healthcare seems difficult because of the HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) of 1966 (the act gives the right to privacy to individuals from age 12 through 18. The provider must have a signed disclosure from the affected before giving out any information on provided health care to anyone, including parents) and security issues involved in BYOD. However, BYOD can thrive in a healthcare environment if properly used.

“It depends on what you are using the device for. As an example, device security really is the thing most providers and administrators are going to be concerned about with BYOD. If the data isn’t residing on the device, I think it’s a lot easier to have a BYOD environment,” says Daniel Cane, CEO, Modernizing Medicine, a healthcare IT Company.
“I believe BYOD is achievable in a healthcare environment with certain requirements on behalf of those who want to use their own device. One of the challenges of BYOD is maintaining the privacy and security of PHI (Personal Health Information) exchange between covered entities” said Julee Thompson, chief healthcare executive, Sprint, a United States telecommunications holding company that provides wireless services.

“In order to overcome these challenges, Healthcare institutions can find a partner which can help them manage BYOD. Partner services might increase the IT staff by supporting them in procuring, dispersing, and refreshing of devices within an organization, outsourcing mobile device management and mobile application management,” says Thompson.

“Hospitals and healthcare practices that want to adopt BYOD need to find the right mix of compliance tools, management technologies, and partners to ensure the security and privacy of patient’s PHI (Personal Health Entities) and financial information while balancing the productivity of the healthcare practitioners in their employ,” stated Cane.