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Productivity and patient care: New research on mobile device programs in healthcare

New research illuminates the challenges faced by IT, IT security staff, and clinicians in healthcare. The data highlights the need for stronger strategies and more robust mobile capabilities to improve security, user experience, and productivity. 

IT, IT security staff, and clinicians lose precious time when forced to deal with mobile device issues, and in the healthcare industry, wasted time has a direct impact on patient care. The Ponemon Institute report, “Unlocking the cost of chaos: The state of enterprise mobility in life- and mission-critical industries” details new research on the overall state of enterprise mobile programs, as well as the unique experiences of healthcare organizations. Included within are insights from 1,795 IT and IT security practitioners in the United States, Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Mobile devices in healthcare

Only 40% of healthcare respondents say that their mobile program delivers a satisfactory user experience. This is of major concern in the healthcare industry, where most mobile users are clinicians. For clinicians, a good user experience is essential to being able to provide high quality patient care. In fact, capabilities related to user experience – such as an optimized EHR experience – are crucial for avoiding or reducing clinician burnout.

Another key to a satisfying user experience is quick access to mobile applications without repetitive, manual authentication – something only 40% of healthcare respondents say their mobile program offers. Moreover, the ability to quickly access patient information can have life-critical consequences. In this industry, every second counts. Clinicians simply cannot afford to be fumbling with complex passwords to access devices and applications when a patient needs help, quickly.

Healthcare and cybersecurity

Being able to personalize shared devices is important to user experience, but for the sake of cybersecurity, mobile programs should be equally good at depersonalizing devices between each use. Unfortunately, only 32% of healthcare respondents have mobile programs that can depersonalize devices with minimal time and effort.

Furthermore, only:

  • 44% of respondents say their organization’s strategy enables secure access to mobile devices without the use of shared pins
  • 40% protect data and privacy by locking down devices between every use
  • 28% feel able to secure devices and access to sensitive and confidential data

If that weren’t enough, 20% of respondents say that their mobile device program does none of the above. That reality makes it less surprising, but still alarming, that 54% of respondents reported experiencing a data breach stemming from unauthorized access to an employee mobile device.

Lost mobile devices in healthcare

Lost mobile devices levy a high financial toll. The average cost of merely replacing a missing healthcare device is $822. Healthcare organizations spend an annual average of $136,135 on IT help desk support related to lost mobile devices. Out of the three industries most heavily represented in this report – healthcare, manufacturing, and retail – healthcare experiences the highest average costs related to idle time and diminished productivity due to lost mobile devices, at $719,120 per year.

But the ultimate cost soars even higher considering how data breaches are often linked to lost or stolen devices.

Auditing healthcare mobile devices

Auditing is an essential capability for all mobile device programs. But auditing is more challenging when your organization uses shared mobile devices. Among the industries surveyed, healthcare respondents find audits the most challenging, with 60% finding it very difficult to audit usage information on shared mobile devices. This is a significant issue, as compliance with healthcare regulations requires detailed audit reports.

Mobile device security in healthcare

All industries handle sensitive data, but healthcare arguably deals with the most – it’s not just businesses at risk, but individuals and their protected health information (PHI). So, it’s unfortunate that only 20% of healthcare respondents believe their mobile device programs can secure devices and access to sensitive and confidential data. However, when asked more specifically about access, less than half (43%) of healthcare respondents report being highly effective at controlling access to applications and data on shared mobile devices.

With so much sensitive data being handled, it should be no surprise that healthcare spends the most on IT security support, at an average of $750,270 per year. Some good news, though: the healthcare industry also reports the most success at maintaining control over who can access which device, and when, at 55%.

What’s the state of enterprise mobility?

The Ponemon report presents a lot of valuable data and food for thought. We learn that even when healthcare does “the best” in a specific area of mobile device management, less than half of organizations actually meet that level of success. Most healthcare organizations acutely feel the risks enterprise mobile devices present, and clearly need a stronger strategy and more robust capabilities.

Luckily, there are solutions that not only secure mobile devices, but also strengthen and simplify the access, use, and management of mobile devices. And in healthcare, quick, efficient, and secure mobile workflows engender more productivity, greater profits, and superior patient care.

To see the data discussed here and more, download the Ponemon research report today.

Maximizing Your EHR Investment
HIMSS24 highlights: Innovation takes center stage at Imprivata

Here are some of our highlights and takeaways from HIMSS24, including customer stories, mobile experiences, and the latest advancements in vendor security. 

If there’s anything Imprivata showed at HIMSS 2024, it’s that we’re more than solely the “tap-and-go” company. From revolutionizing shared mobile experiences to enhancing patient safety with facial biometrics, Imprivata's innovative solutions sparked lots of excitement on the show floor and from the feedback we heard, it’s clear we’re helping drive meaningful change in a new era of healthcare’s digital transformation. Let’s dive into some of the highlights from the week.

Customer stories inspire us

One of the most exciting parts of the event was meeting with so many customers and seeing some give presentations in our booth. A big thank you to those who took the time to present! More than a dozen presentations covered topics like protecting patient privacy, enhancing third-party security, improving mobile experiences, maximizing EHR investments, navigating the shift to cloud, enhancing patient safety, and strategies for collaborating with clinicians. As we hear these customer stories, it reminds us how continued innovation is making a difference for healthcare organizations.

Imprivata and HCA Healthcare on the HIMSS stage

Sherri Hess, VP and Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at HCA Healthcare, and Claire Reilly, VP of Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at Imprivata, partnered for a thought-provoking and lively presentation on “Empowering and Retaining Nurses to Improve Patient Experiences” on the HIMSS stage. The presentation highlighted the importance of empowering nurses as a key strategy for enhancing patient experiences. They highlighted the role of technology in nurse satisfaction, burnout, and patient outcomes, emphasizing the need for cross-functional collaboration when making IT decisions.

The presentation sparked meaningful conversation among the more than 100 attendees. We heard nurses and healthcare leaders from different organizations discuss their approaches to the complex issue of clinician burnout and nurse retention. Sherri Hess described how HCA Healthcare purchased the Galen College of Nursing to pave the way for the next generation of nurses by providing a clear pathway for career advancement. Other attendees shared their strategies for partnering with clinical to develop a strategy that ensures nurses feel listened to and supported when new technologies and processes are being implemented. One attendee shared that their organization started a Hackathon to better understand the specific needs of clinicians and the problems they want solved. The conversations could’ve continued for hours, and we really enjoyed seeing this session provide a platform for collaboration.

The future of cloud in healthcare

Imprivata also held a focus group on “Charting the Path: Identity, Cloud, and the Future of Healthcare.” As healthcare organizations begin to transition to cloud, we wanted to ask IT and security leaders about their approach and the biggest challenges and considerations. The group discussed cloud strategies, migration experiences, and security implications in healthcare. Many expressed their preference for a hybrid cloud model to ensure business continuity and data security. In addition, as ransomware incidents like the Change Healthcare attack pose cyber threats, participants also discussed the need for transparency from the vendors they work with, including access to security risk analysis from cloud providers.

Attendees also shared their preferences for deployment models, benefits of cloud solutions, and concerns about data security. The group explored the role of identity and access management in the cloud and expectations from cloud vendors. As Imprivata continues looking for ways to innovate, it was important to hear this insight directly from healthcare IT professionals.

Revolutionizing shared mobile experiences

The prevalence of mobile devices continues to grow in healthcare, and so does the interest in solutions that can improve mobile devices. Attendees were excited by the capabilities of Imprivata Mobile Access and Control (formerly GroundControl), which not only provides exceptional experiences on shared mobile devices but also helps IT teams manage and monitor them.

Enhancing patient safety and simplifying workflows

Clinicians attending HIMSS were also excited about Imprivata Biometric Patient Identity (BPI). Patient misidentification is a tremendous issue. A lot of organizations are looking for solutions to tackle this issue, and attendees recognized the potential of BPI to improve patient safety with positive patient identification through the use of facial biometrics.

Improving vendor security and thwarting cyber threats

Imprivata Vendor Privileged Access Management (formerly SecureLink Enterprise Access) also sparked interest. As supply chain attacks threaten healthcare organizations, cybersecurity remains a top priority. Customers were excited to hear about the new capabilities and how these are helping address evolving business needs.

Continuing Innovation at Imprivata

In between customer meetings, presentations, and focus groups, we had the pleasure of connecting with analysts from Frost & Sullivan and KLAS Research, as well as our partners including Zebra, iGEL, and more. As we look forward to HIMSS25, we’re excited to see how these innovations will impact the healthcare industry and beyond. As Imprivata continues to drive innovation, the future looks promising for improved patient experiences, streamlined mobile workflows, and enhanced security. Learn more about one of our most recent innovations, Biometric Patient Identity, by watching this video.