Hospital IT departments making inadequate mobile investments, doctors say

Hospitals are making inadequate investments in mobile computing and communications needs, according to a majority of physicians recently surveyed by the Spyglass Consulting Group. The new study also reveals that inefficient communications in critical clinical workflow costs the average U.S.-based hospital $1.75 million each year.

The study, "Healthcare without Bounds: Point of Care Communications for Physicians 2014," reports that seven in 10 physicians want hospitals to increase mobile healthcare and communications investments.

"Hospital IT departments are making investments to support mobile and protect the organization," Gregg Malkary, founder and managing director at Spyglass, tells FierceMobileHealthcare in an email interview.

But while such investment include mobile desktop virtualization tools, mobile device management solutions and secure messaging, they're not focused on enhancing caregiver needs.

"Unfortunately the investments do not address physician or nurse mobile computing requirements," Malkary says. "Clinicians find that mobile solutions are difficult to use, not well integrated with their workflow processes, and eek of big brother watching.  As a result, they refuse to use hospital IT supplied tools."

As FierceMobileHealthcare reported in December, more than 50 percent of U.S. hospitals are using smartphones and or tablets, and 69 percent of clinicians are using both a desktop/laptop and a smartphone/tablet to access data, according to the 2014 HIMSS Analytics Mobile Devices Study. Yet only 33 percent of clinicians believe they can access most or all of needed clinical systems technologies using devices.

The Spyglass report is a follow-up to research conducted in 2010. While there has been increased use of mHealth tools since then, according to Malkary, obstacles remain.

"We have seen a huge uptick in the use of text messaging among and between physicians and care team members," Malkary says. "Much of it focuses on SMS which of course is not secured and puts the organization and themselves at risk for a potential HIPAA violation."

For more information:
- read the announcement (.pdf)

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