Recently you may have heard some industry buzz about the shift in healthcare mobility initiatives, and if you haven’t; you came to the right place. According to a recent Spok Survey, healthcare organizations are beginning to move away from the once heavily discussed Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) trend due to the challenges and risks presented by the use of personal devices in a healthcare environment. BYOD usage has dropped 15 percent down to 73 percent in 2015 meaning in 2014, 88 percent of respondents reported a BYOD policy, according to the study. Some are asking, “Where is it going?” Well, the network support isn’t going anywhere, and neither are the increasing number of devices and tablets; the change is in the ownership of these devices and tablets.
The Evolution of Healthcare BYOD
Just over five years ago the BYOD trend hit IT departments hard, and healthcare IT even harder. Ready or not, consumer grade technology was increasingly connecting to the network and the number of devices multiplied (and hasn’t slowed down since). Whether they liked it or not, IT departments couldn’t fight the influx of devices on the network so if you can’t fight ‘em, join ‘em, right? That’s when BYOD initiatives became the norm.
At first, there was initial hope that BYOD would benefit in cost savings of healthcare organizations not owning the devices for healthcare staff. Unfortunately, healthcare organizations quickly realized the threats and expenses brought by BYOD due to their higher security standards with patient privacy laws, data security issues associated with their network i.e. patient data, and how does IT provide for a device that they do not own.
These issues are in addition to the capacity, bandwidth, and management limitations caused by the surge of BYOD on the network. Needless to say, that initial hope of cost-savings was quickly lost due to the increased security and support concerns.
First Comes BYOD Then Comes….
Moving beyond the hype cycle of BYOD, healthcare IT professionals are now taking a ‘lessons learned’ approach to consumer grade devices in the hospital. Hospitals are increasingly making the shift in the device ownership for their mobility initiative from BYOD to choose-your-own-device (CYOD) or assign-your-own-device (AYOD). This shift means that the ownership of all devices moves back to the healthcare organization and out of the hands of the device user.
Thinking Outside The Box: 3 Ways Hospitals Are Evolving Their Mobility Initiative
- Assigned-Your-Own-Device (AYOD): Pick one product for a job function, say a floor nurse, and assign the appropriate device such as an Ascom Myco or Spectralink Pivot. These are purpose use devices that are assigned to a role vs an individual.
- Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD): Allow personally owned devices but enforce compliance with a MDM platform from vendors such as AirWatch or MobileIron.
- Choose-Your-Own-Device (CYOD): Certify a set number of devices that have been vetted for performance, application compatibility criteria, and has a documented support process.
Organizations first need to define what the hospital policy will be for the use of devices that have the potential to be used for personal use. The policy then sets the framework for the operational guidelines for IT. What types of devices will be supported? Which applications need to be remotely provisioned and monitored? How to best automate and match policy on both the WLAN and cellular networks?
Regardless of any option hospitals choose, or a combination of each, the operational and security challenges are still valid and need to be addressed before support can be delivered to the clinical community.