5 Steps to Building Your Healthcare Mobility Strategy
Hospitals and other healthcare organisations can encounter many challenges when trying to deploy mobile technology. That’s why it’s important to develop a carefully planned mobility strategy.
Here are 5 Steps to help build your Mobility Strategy:
1.Map the Ways Your Staff is Communicating
By carefully assessing your current capabilities through surveying staff throughout your facility, you can learn about the devices and applications currently in use. In many cases, staff are still using pagers and overhead paging systems as well as consumer-grade smartphones to communicate with each other. Unfortunately, breakdowns in communication are all too common. Your mobility strategy should examine:
- Is there an enterprise-wide system?
- Does it work well?
- Does your system allow for both voice and data communications?
2. Identify Your Key Requirements for Mobile Communications
Determine your must-haves for communication among staff at your hospital. Your requirements should include elements such as:
- Reliability and roaming, so there are no dropped calls as staff and devices move throughout the facility
- Establishing an enterprise employee user group directory to help facilitate seamless team member identification via text messaging or phone calls
- A plan for technical and workflow-related security measures to ensure that employees are always following patient privacy guidelines.
It is strongly recommended that hospitals would consider employing a third-party mobile device management (MDM) system or provider that can help ensure a HIPAA-compliant mobile environment. An effective MDM solution provides central control of all mobile devices in your network so that patient data is never at risk, with remote management capabilities, application control and reporting tools.
3. Pinpoint the Applications and Systems Needed to Enable Key Workflows
Determining the mobile technology needs of your main users also includes identifying the systems and applications they access:
- Will you need to interface with your voice network systems (PBX systems)?
- Will the new mobile device traffic need to access your hospital’s nurse alert and alarm systems?
- Will your devices need to connect with an existing communications platform?
With mobile devices, your staff will be able to access EHR data in real time. Your mobility strategy will need to provide ways to facilitate staff access to that EHR data and improve the use and sharing of that data. In developing your strategy, determine which EHR applications will need to be enabled on your staffs’ mobile devices.
4. Determine How You Will Manage 4 Alerts and Alarms
Hospitals are overrun with multiple patient monitoring technologies. Workers are struggling to manage the constant barrage of alarms and alerts on top of their normal daily duties.
Whilst alarms like these have been essential in saving lives, they have also resulted in an unexpected side effect: Alarm fatigue. Mobility strategy’s should include plans for an alarm management system that ensures alerts are sent to mobile devices in a way that ensures patient safety but also prevents alarm fatigue. It should include ways to differentiate between critical and noncritical alarms.
- Do you have an application to integrate the nurse call system?
- Is that system interoperable?
- Which devices should interact with patient monitoring technologies?
You should then consider employing a company to manage the efficiency of the alarm management system for efficiency.
5. Plan How You Want Your Rollout 5 to Proceed
Once going through the above steps, you can set short, medium and long-term goals to deploy your new mobility strategy. This can be done with either instantaneously, implementing the new systems across all aspects of the business, or you could consider a phased approach with a specific group of users to trial the system before deploying it to other areas.
By planning ahead, you’ll be able to integrate mobile devices that are purpose-built for healthcare into a centralized system – and better support your staff with fewer and more effective resources.
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