The health care sector has had to overcome a wealth of challenges when it comes to IT security, service management and delivery in the past few years, with so many new tools and solutions quickly gaining a vital designation among leaders. From telemedicine and mobility to big data and electronic health record system management, the average medical firm is using technologies that were not even available only a couple of decades ago.
For the purposes of this blog, the focus will be placed on enterprise mobility, which has been a proverbial battleground for security professionals and health care practitioners of late, and many of the news stories were less than desirable. BYOD has been found to be sliding backward in the medical sector, with fewer hospitals allowing the use of personal smartphones and tablets today than last year, and this has been the direct result of security and functionality issues.
With more robust technologies and services such as a secure cloud, medical firms can begin to enable a range of mobility initiatives without taking on quite as much risk, but it is up to leaders to come up with the right strategies to govern information and users in relevant activities. Mobility remains as one of the most important trends in computing today, especially given the demands of the modern workforce, and cannot be sidestepped should a medical firm hope to optimize its operational performance.
A recent mHealthIntelligence article discussed some of the ways in which leaders in the IT security discussion, and health care technology markets at large for that matter, are beginning to argue that mobility is indeed the "biggest liability" facing the medical sector. Although this might seem like hyperbole, it is actually quite true, as such a large portion of recent data breaches have been attached to lost, stolen or otherwise compromised smartphones, tablets and other portable gadgets.
Again, health care decision-makers cannot truly balk at this trend due to security trends, but instead must embrace it head-on and armed with the right tools to protect their data, systems and users from breach. According to the news provider, the attention placed on mobility in medical industries has fueled plenty of research and best practice frameworks for leaders to digest and leverage in their own strategy creation procedures.
Referring to a recent post published in the Journal of Ahima by former U.S. Magistrate Judge Ron Hedges, the source pointed toward the need for significant expansion in the average information governance strategy to get the security job done right in the mobility arena.
"In the context of litigation, IG (information governance) must encompass the means to deal with litigation that is either in process or reasonably anticipated when the duty to preserve relevant information arises," Hedges explained, according to mHealthIntelligence. "IG is important in this context, as a healthcare provider cannot preserve anything appropriately unless the provider knows what information they have, where the information is, and how to preserve the information correctly. All of these things are necessary for effective IG as it relates to legal considerations for a provider."
Balancing speed and control in these types of deployments is often difficult, and can be close to impossible when the firm does not have an IT department filled with experienced and skilled individuals. However, this balance is critical to simultaneously ensure continuous performance improvement is achieved and compliance is maintained, which is why leveraging the support of a managed service provider will often be the right move for medical firms.
With secure cloud and other protective solutions provided by a reliable vendor, medical firms can take the bull by the horns in their mobility strategies.