Healthcare providers are relying on mobile technologies more than ever for doing work and communicating with practitioners, staff, and patients. Wireless networks and portable devices in the healthcare setting have their benefits, and IT staff must have controls like mobile device management (MDM) software to efficiently maintain and manage the security and privacy required by federal regulations.
Governments have established several regulations, such as HIPAA, to protect patient records, but mobile devices are posing a major challenge to these regulations. If companies violate the rules, they can be penalized with a fine as high as $1.5 million.
The largest compliance risk associated with the use of mobile devices is data leakage. The most common example of this is an employee keeping sensitive data or footage in his or her phone and then uploading it on social media. MDM mitigates this risk by allowing system administrators to set access and usage restrictions for data and applications so employees comply with the company’s security policies.
Many practices are adopting bring your own device (BYOD) policies, encouraging employees to use their own tablets, computers, and smartphones for work. MDM solutions make it possible for IT administrators to remotely monitor and control these devices. But more importantly, organizations benefit from the reduced overhead and hardware costs, since they don't have to purchase the devices for their staff.
Better device security
As long as the systems administrator uses MDM, it will be a challenge for hackers to gain access to any confidential information, regardless of where in the hospital the device is. The best MDM applications can encrypt files in a portable device and distinguish corporate data from the employee’s personal information. In the event that the employee leaves the company, the MDM software will remove corporate data on their devices, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access to protected health information. Meanwhile, if the device is lost or stolen, the MDM software can be used to fully wipe the device remotely.
One of the biggest challenges of mobile devices is it’s often difficult to keep software updates consistent throughout the company. What’s worse is that employees may put off updates because they’re on a tight schedule. However, these updates are essential in defending against the latest threats.
MDM addresses these problems with company-wide updates. When a security patch is available for business software, MDM makes it easy to track which devices are still vulnerable and lets system administrators automatically administer updates. This way, companies can secure any vulnerabilities in company-registered devices from a central location.
No changes to infrastructure
MDM applications will not demand a change in the Wi-Fi infrastructure of an organization, but if the system cannot handle all the devices logged in to the network, the support team will have difficulties managing all medical applications and individual devices. If a hospital has a strong wireless network, then there will be no need to make changes to the system.
These are just some of the advantages to having MDM in the healthcare industry. If you need more information on MDM, or if you have other technical concerns, feel free to get in touch with us today!