Benefits of BYOD Schemes
When many CIOs and CISOs face with the choice of leveraging the benefits of Smartphones and mobile technology, they err on the side of caution because they are unaware of true benefits of BYOD schemes and perceive the security risk to be too high. The penalties for HIPAA violations can be severe, and criminals are looking to ways to gain access to the medical devices of healthcare professionals.
Securing Devices in BYOD Schemes
There are two serious security risks associated with mobile phones and other portable devices, no matter who owns them. They are portable; can often fit in a pocket or a purse, and they can be easily concealed. The equipment has a high value, and the data accessible through the devices can be even more valuable to thieves.
The second main issue is how insecure the devices are, especially on public Wi-Fi networks and using third party apps. Even text messages can be intercepted, and may be stored on numerous network providers’ servers. If a device is stolen, any data, including text messages, can be read.
Portable devices are a major security risk unless action is taken to secure the devices. If the devices lack the necessary security controls, the benefits of BYOD schemes will be lost amid court cases and HIPAA penalties.
The simplest way to ensure all work messages are kept separate and private is to only allow text messages to be sent via a secure messaging app. With policies in place controlling what other apps can be used, the risk of a HIPAA violation can be kept to a minimum level.
The Main Benefits of BYOD Schemes
Provided the devices are made secure – using data encryption for all stored healthcare data, secure encrypted email and a secure texting app – and the staff is trained on the permitted use of the devices and the security risks, there are numerous benefits to be gained which can have a significant impact on profits.
Secure Healthcare Mobile Devices Reduce Inefficiencies
Inefficiency in the healthcare industry costs billions of dollars. With the financial pressures facing healthcare providers to increase profits in a highly competitive marketplace, any extra advantage can go a long way. Improving efficiency means less wasted time by physicians and other medical professionals, while patients can benefit from the improved efficiencies and receive faster treatment times and more efficient and engaging consultations.
Productivity Improved with Faster Communication Channels
Impossibly slow methods of communication cause doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to waste hours of precious time. By harnessing the technology that medical professionals are using in their daily lives, communication within a care team can be greatly improved, and home care services can be provided much more efficiently.
Since everyone is familiar with their own phone or tablet, there is no lost time learning how to use a new device. The staff also only need to carry one device, rather than a work phone and a personal mobile. The difference BYOD schemes can have on staff happiness can be considerable, especially when many of the frustrations of the workplace can be removed with the devices.
There is also no cheaper way of harnessing all of the benefits of mobile technology than implementing a BYOD scheme. Get the security and privacy controls in place, and the benefits of BYOD schemes will be felt throughout your organization.
Disadvantages of BYOD Schemes
Improvements to productivity and efficiency do come at a price. Implementing a BYOD scheme can take a considerable amount of planning, and managing BYOD schemes can take up resources. Policies must be developed, the staff must receive training on Smartphone and portable device use, and security controls and hospital policies must be drilled into the staff and followed at all times. BYOD can be a persistent worry of a HIPAA violation, enough to cause many healthcare IT professionals to lose sleep.
It should be as difficult as possible to accidentally disclose PHI. Inadvertent disclosure, sending data through insecure networks or uploading data via insecure channels, must be restricted as far as is possible.