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Hospital Data Security Top CIO Priority for Mobile Workflow

A recent survey found that many CIOs have hospital data security as their top goal, while the majority also plan to implement a secure texting solution.

When it comes to mobile workflow investments, the majority of CIOs list hospital data security as a key driver, according to a recent Spok, Inc. survey administered by the College of Healthcare Information Management (CHIME).

Hospital data security measures should consider secure messaging concerns

Specifically, 81 percent of surveyed CIOs said that strengthening data security was their top business goal for the next 18 months. Sixty-seven percent reported that "care team coordination for treatment planning" was a key concern for making improvements with better tools.

For the survey, CHIME interviewed more than 100 CIOs about their big-picture goals and the use-cases that drive their mobile app selections. The health IT leaders were also asked about common workflows that they hope to improve upon.

Seventy percent of respondents listed increasing patient satisfaction as a top business goal for the next 18 months, while 65 percent said they hoped to improve physician satisfaction.

In terms of making investment decisions for communications-related needs in the hospital, 82 percent of those surveyed stated that finding solutions that meets both clinician and organizational needs was essential. Eighty percent said that they factor in the ease of use for the end-user, such as a physician or nurse, while 75 percent reported the ability to integrate with current systems was the top priority.

Healthcare secure messaging and secure texting options were also discussed in the survey, with 68 percent of respondents stating that implementing a secure texting solution was a current project. Furthermore, 84 percent of CIOs said that secure messaging and communications among their care team was a top driver in their selection and deployment of mobile applications.

Spok, Inc. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Andrew Mellin said that healthcare IT leaders are trying to find the right balance between meeting security regulatory requirements and meeting physician expectations with technology.

“Adoption of new technology requires change management to be most effective,” Mellin said in a statement. “The organizations we’ve seen with the most successful secure text messaging rollouts first identify key clinical challenges and workflow frustrations for end users and then deploy the technology alongside process improvement and change management activities to demonstrate value to the provider, care team, and patient.”   

Physician adoption or stakeholder buy-in was the most common challenge when organizations roll out a secure texting solution, with 60 percent of respondents citing it as a key issue. Forty percent of respondents said that technical setup and provisioning was the most common challenge in setting up secure texting.

Just over three-quarters - 78 percent - of those surveyed also said that physician adoption rate will be the measurement of success for their secure texting implementation project.

Mobile device security issues have consistently been top worries for hospitals and healthcare providers. Earlier this year, 82 percent of IT and healthcare professionals said in a Spyglass survey that they had grave concerns about their ability to support and protect mobile devices, patient  data, and the hospital’s technology infrastructure as a result of the growing threat of cybersecurity attacks.

Surveyed hospitals said they were worried about both personally owned mobile devices and hospital-owned and managed devices.

“Despite increased investments in mobile device management solutions and secure text messaging solutions, cybercriminals have become more sophisticated and knowledgeable about the capabilities and vulnerabilities of existing security products, and the strategies and tools used by hospital IT to detect a potential intrusion,” Spyglass Consulting Group Founder and Managing Director Gregg Malkary said in a statement.

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