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Friday, July 26, 2013

Healthcare leaders must engage clinicians on BYOD

Category:   Secure File Transfer

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It's no surprise that the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend has been widely embraced by the healthcare industry. Hospitals and other healthcare providers are rapidly adopting electronic health record (EHRs) systems, both to ensure compliance and as a means of improving the quality of their operations. With EHRs in place, physicians and nurses can gain instant access to medical histories, prescriptions and other information that is critical for providing optimal treatment.

When combined with BYOD, clinicians are able to maintain constant data access despite moving from room to room and patient to patient throughout the day.

But as with any BYOD deployment, there are risks to such practices. Personally owned devices are difficult to protect, as the IT department does not have the same level of access to employees' smartphones and tablets as it does to corporate-provided devices. And any insecure practices by BYOD participants may expose patients' sensitive data.

Secure file sharing solutions can prove invaluable in this regard. These tools can ensure that messages sent between clinicians in a BYOD environment remain protected at all times.

However, these and similar data protection strategies depend entirely upon BYOD users' participation. A healthcare organization may invest in the most sophisticated, reliable file sharing protection system available, but this resource will only provide protection if it is actually utilized by the healthcare practitioners.

To accomplish this goal, it is imperative for healthcare leaders to engage with clinicians and all other BYOD participants directly and honestly. Instead of imposing secure file sharing and other solutions on these personnel, leaders should work directly with clinicians to find the right tools. Doing so can guarantee the selection of tools that work well with physicians' daily responsibilities while maximizing data protection.