By Ken Bradberry, chief technology officer, Healthcare Provider Solutions, Xerox

It’s a nostalgic positive when I think back to when I brought it home: My new Pioneer-branded turntable. I loved it. Until the needle broke. Going to the “sound store” was a nightmare. Different models, shapes, serial numbers. I was looking for a mustard seed in a barrel of seeds.

And here we go again. Except today’s mustard seed is the mobile device; the bucket is your hospital’s technology enterprise. The quest to monitor, manage and secure smartphones, tables, PC, netbooks, notebooks (can we add Google Glasses to these?) seems infinite.The ubiquitous mobile device is roaming the halls of your hospital

The quandary crosses all industries and devices. Mobile device management (MDM) is an IT challenge for almost any organization. But it’s particularly challenging in healthcare to manage both hospital-owned and Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD.)

Why? Three reasons:

  1. Extraordinary government regulations
  2. The inherent autonomous nature of healthcare
  3. Intense and growing cost-control pressures

HIPAA strictly enforces privacy. Reform results in increased patient volumes—and devices. Hospitals are inherently “come and go” facilities for physicians, nurses, radiologists, patients, patients’ family members and more. This environment can make MDM seem like a blinding blizzard that is impossible to control.

Not so. Consider how a hospital works with physicians who are non-employees. There are specific physicians who offer specialties and expertise. They deliver what you don’t have. They give you flexibility in service and cost controls. They add to your success. They are invested in your success, and vice versa.

MDM and technology management work the same way. You build relationships with experts that you may not have. So, how do you find a MDM expert?

Five Characteristics of a Quality MDM Provider

  1. They are more than technologists. They are business people too.
  2. They know MDM and IT, but know hospitals—their operations, finance, IT, regulations, users, alliances and partners, disparate systems and devices, and more
  3. They share war stories, success stories – and currently serve hospitals and healthcare systems.
  4. They are of ample size, strength and stability. They are recognized by industry leaders and associations.
  5. They’re ready to work with you, not just sell software, hardware or consulting contracts.

The truth is, thousands of devices are likely roaming your hospital halls; being used in waiting rooms, checked at nurse’s stations and viewed at a doctor’s office. MDM is risk management. Allay your fears. Eliminate the risk. Manage it. How? We can help. If you’re at the HIMSS conference, visit us at booth 4511. We’ll share more.

 

Ken is really dating himself, but he always likes to talk about listening to “records” on vinyl and buying “albums.”