What is #BYOD?

And is it good or bad for healthcare?

One of the many reasons why the transition to electronic health records has been slow-coming is the challenge of budgeting new technology and having enough of it. The second challenge connected to that is making sure all of the devices and programs new in use are secure and flexible.

As a possible solution, hashtag BYOD has been a buzzphrase in the industry. BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device.

How does BYOD work?

It’s the health facilitys’ hope that having employees work on their own personal devices will increase productivity and reduce tech purchase costs. In this program, employees can access the same company resources that they use within their work devices on their own devices. BYOD is not exclusive to the health industry and apps for tasks such as note taking and scheduling are also included in the process. The apps are transferable in different industries.

How is it good for healthcare?

Mobility and working remotely is a probable trend in many work industries. To supply a such a transition, employees are encouraged to use their own devices that they’r already active on to engage in their work tasks. You can see the red flags immediately when “personal device,” “employee,” and “health data” are coupled in the same sentence.

BYOD benefits include remote patient monitoring for doctors. Practitioners would be able to communicate/see their patient from a remote location using their own personal device. Nurses or hospital staff may be more engaged in their patients’ care by having their device alert them when need be.

Is it harmful for healthcare?

Security. Strongly-enforced security mandates are absolutely necessary to make this viable. It’s impossible to make BYOD work for healthcare if security isn’t the number one priority. The information being accessed is sensitive for both the patient, practitioner, and end-user (employee).

Division of work-life balance. There would have to be set barriers for accomplishing tasks, receiving alerts, and working during hours that extend beyond one’s workday. This is especially important for physicians who may not want to telecommunicate with all of their patients all day.

Distraction. Perhaps BYOD can increase employee engagement but it would be difficult to measure whether an employee is using their device for work or personal use.

It will be interesting to see how companies integrate BYOD into the workplace. Remember, this is a program for employees. Patients can already use their own devices to access their health information and automate scheduling and ordering tasks through their phone’s health apps. We’ll just have to see how this pans out!

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