to give access in a matter usable on a
small touch-screen device and the software has to catch up.” Using the EHR on
an iPad has been possible but ine;cient,
as the device is great for looking up data,
but not for documentation. Some users
do document, using PocketCloud software from Dell Inc. ;e software creates
a virtual keyboard and mouse on a tablet,
along with a virtual desktop, but it’s a “
little clunky,” he adds. McConnell expects
Epic’s next version of the EHR to have
much more mobile functionality including touch screen features.
Still, the bene;ts of mobile computing already have become clear with
signi;cant work;ow improvement for
physicians and nurses, McConnell says.
Clinicians are back to using a form factor
similar to the clipboard they used before
thin clients and PCs were put in exam
rooms in 2009.
An iPad essentially is an electronic
clipboard with information much easier
to ;nd. And mobile users can respond
quicker to e-mails. As always though,
there is a downside, as e-mail availability
does increase interruptions.
;e payer view
Some health insurers also are ;nding the
need to develop mobile device management policies. Capital BlueCross in Harrisburg, Pa., “kind of backed into it” about
;ve years ago, recalls Andy Hardy, technology specialist.
Telecommunications ;rm Verizon
resells the Good Technology MDM products and sent 10 free licenses to the Blues
plan, which was seeing some personal
digital assistants with phone capabilities coming into the enterprise. But the
licenses went on a shelf until the ;rst
iPhones came out a couple of years later,
when some licenses were upgraded and
put on a few phones to see how MDM
Used to enable employees to access
corporate e-mail on their smartphones,
“The challenge for us is to give
access in a matter usable on a
small touch-screen device.”
the MDM software now has been licensed
for about 110 personal mobile devices
and 10 corporate devices for unit managers and higher executives, Hardy says.
;e software encrypts e-mail in tran-
sit and at rest, and can wipe corporate
data o; a missing device while leaving
personal data on it. ;e corporate users
have expanded and role-based read-only
access beyond e-mail use. ;ey can ac-
cess the internal wireless network and
additional corporate servers.
MDM USERS SHARE THEIR LESSONS
Organizations using mobile device management technologies have learned lessons
along the way. Here are a few:
• A core lesson is that there is never a static version of MDM software. Vendors
are constantly upgrading functionalities and performance on at least a weekly
basis to keep up with provider needs—such as supporting radiologists and home
health nurses—and ever-increasing security threats, says Jim Shellhamer: technical
systems analyst, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, Pa. Home care nurses,
for instance, no longer carry a three-pound laptop, but a 12-ounce iPad. They can
easily show patients their data, and data is encrypted when cellular transmitted or
at rest. “The technology is only going to get more prevalent in our lives,” Shellhamer
adds. “MDM vendors will have to work day and night to keep up.”
• It’s important to understand just how fast the MDM market changes on a continuous basis, says Alan Dabbiere, chair of vendor Air Watch. “Most people don’t realize
there is a new version of an operating system coming out every 15 days.” And every
new version has functionality designed for consumers and not an enterprise. There
is no way that health care organizations have the personnel or expertise to track all
these versions and figure out how to make them compatible in an enterprise MDM
environment. MDM vendors which make tracking and adapting to the changes their
problem are the ones to consider, he advises.
• Mobile device management, by its nature, restricts use certain functions on mobile devices, and providers must be prepared for the restrictions. Shellhamer suggests focusing on positive aspects of MDM, such as having mobile access to necessary patient information, while making sure users clearly understand they won’t
be able to email notes, take photos or put games on the devices. A lesson quickly
learned was that facility engineers need an exemption from some restrictions. They
need capability to take and transmit photos so that a problem is better understood
and a list of materials and an appropriate repair team can be quickly assembled.
• The big lesson for Fletcher Allen Health Care was that supporting mobile devices
turned out to be a larger challenge than anticipated, says enterprise architect John
McConnell. He has a good I. T. team, but they’ve spent most of their time working in a Windows PC environment and had a learning curve to master with mobile
devices. He suggests getting I. T. staff their own mobile devices earlier in the planning stages, giving them more time to learn the quirks of the technology and how to
support the devices.
• Cost was the lasting lesson of mobile device management for Capital BlueCross
in Harrisburg, Pa. The insurer is pleased with its MDM services from Good Technology, but licenses cost $140 per device. Buying 120 licenses has brought some
sticker shock, says Andy Hardy, technology specialist.