Medical staff and patients are increasingly turning to mobile health (mHealth) — using mobile and wireless devices to generate, collect and disseminate health information.
But traditional boundaries of clinical mobility and mHealth are blurring, and hospitals without a clear mobile strategy run the risk of reduced quality of care, lower efficiency, and higher dissatisfaction of employees and patients compared with other hospitals.
That’s according to market intelligence and advisory services firm International Data Corporation (IDC), which has put together a decision-making tool for hospital executives to help them define the vision, mission and strategic goals of their mobile strategy, as well as the technology architecture that can support their objectives.
Mobile technology offers a multitude of advantages in the healthcare sector, says IDC.
It can facilitate more accurate health data creation and collection (such as measurements, images and clinical notes) and make information available at the point of care to support decisions.
mHealth can also maximise the potential reach of medical professionals, helping hospital executives deal with shrinking resources.
And it supports the changing role of patients from passive to engaged, increasing the efficacy of prevention policies and improving quality of life.
However, according to IDC PlanScape: Mobile Computing Strategy for Hospitals, implementing a fit-for-purpose (and possibly future-proof) mobile strategy can be a daunting task.
“When it comes to mobility, disparate and disconnected functional efforts alone are no longer acceptable,” said Massimiliano Claps, research director for IDC Government Insights and Health Insights. “To take advantage of mobile computing effectively while complying with regulations, hospital IT executives must nurture the right capabilities, deploy architectural components efficiently, source the skills and funds, apply management best practices to align the architectural components with the services they have to deliver, and set up governance arrangements to make accurate and transparent decisions.”