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Personal Tech-Wielding Docs Challenge IT Leaders

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, July 12, 2012

With a mix of employed and nonemployed physicians, it's possible that Maimonidies might be able to reduce its burden to purchase, implement, and maintain client devices, Davidson says. A study dating back to the 2006 HIMSS conference found that hospitals need one device per active person using devices. But referring to the Allscripts client he saw, Davidson notes that it only solves the tablet problem for one application. "It doesn't solve access to all the other applications in the hospital that people have to use."

At Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a 916-licensed-bed facility in Nashville, BYOD is "a journey," says William W. Stead, MD, associate vice chancellor for health affairs and chief strategy and information officer.

"Our bias is that we have to incorporate whatever consumer technologies people have, rather than trying to stop that," Stead says. The medical center's increasingly virtualized clinical desktop is the enabler, he adds.

Another advantage of BYOD is it lets clinicians move all their personal messaging off the Vanderbilt email system and into a more appropriate system such as Gmail, Stead says. "I can still see messages as they come into both [mailboxes], interleaved as they arrive.

"Prior to that, either everybody put everything into Vanderbilt [messaging] whether it needs to be there or not, or they forward everything Vanderbilt out, so nothing's secure. So once you begin to use some side by side and use the technology to knit them together so they look like one to the user, you create a win for the user, and you actually increase your ability to secure the part that needs to be maintained securely."

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