BYOD: Is Mobile Device Management The Answer? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
11/19/2012
09:58 AM
Paul Cerrato
Paul Cerrato
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

BYOD: Is Mobile Device Management The Answer?

With so many doctors bringing their smartphones and tablets to work and patient data breaches reported all the time, IT managers need to make the right choices.

IW 500: 10 Healthcare IT Innovators
IW 500: 10 Healthcare IT Innovators
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Of all the issues that keep health IT managers awake at night, it's hard to find one more vexing than mobile device management. A recent survey of healthcare providers makes that painfully obvious.

Security and management concerns are top of mind for many these organizations, according to a KLAS report. The study, "Mobile Healthcare Applications: Can Enterprise Vendors Keep Up?", asked 105 respondents, most of whom were C-level managers, about their use of mobile technology in hospitals and found that securing personal devices via MDM software is one of their top concerns.

When the execs were asked what their organizations are looking to do to secure personal devices used at work, data encryption was the number 1 response. MDM was number 2, which, according to Eric Westerlind, the report's author, is telling. Since the use of encryption is already widespread, the high interest in MDM is promising, Westerlind says.

"[Providers] are concerned with making sure tablets are secure, and it's difficult because it's a personal device," he says. "Whatever they install can't be too intrusive, and sometimes that can be an issue with MDM. But when you're dealing with patient information, anything that contains data covered by HIPAA needs to be secured, and those devices need to be able to be wiped clean."

[ How can patient engagement help transform medical care? Check out 5 Healthcare Tools To Boost Patient Involvement. ]

Ken Kleinberg, a health IT consultant with the Advisory Board, told InformationWeek Healthcare that the operating systems of mobile devices have more robust security features than the legacy Windows systems found in hospitals. But he emphasizes that hospitals need strong BYOD security policies, including mobile application management tools. "It's not just that you're going to control the configuration on the device; you're also going to control what application can be loaded on that device," he says.

A hospital's IT organization can give doctors a list of the applications it has vetted, Kleinberg notes. If a doctor wants to use a document reader, for instance, the hospital might suggest one. If he wants to use a dosing calculator, it might suggest three apps and make them available on its application server.

During interviews with several IT pros, it became obvious that when the conversation turns to MDM, one size doesn't fit all. Rather than choose an MDM product, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has for now "settled on enforcing tight security policies through Exchange ActiveSync," says BIDMC CIO John Halamka. "It is highly likely we are capturing most, if not all, BYODs that access BIDMC resources, as email is by far the most frequently used application," Halamka says. "We really do not have other applications that have been customized to run on smartphones and tablets. Our applications are native to the Web, so the ability to install and manage mobile applications is not something we've encountered as a problem yet."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Slideshows
10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
News
Tech Spending Climbs as Digital Business Initiatives Grow
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  4/22/2021
Commentary
Optimizing the CIO and CFO Relationship
Mary E. Shacklett, Technology commentator and President of Transworld Data,  4/13/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll