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Healthcare Information Security: When Will Thermometers and Mobile Devices Go Hand-in-Hand

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What do nurses really want from their jobs? That’s the question that researcher, K. Lynn Wieck, Ph.D., RN, set out to answer when she surveyed more than 1,500 nurses across 22 hospitals. More money? Less stress? Well, yes, but those wish-list items didn’t top of the list. The number one incentive for staying in a nursing job: working in a cohesive environment.  

So, I set out to do my own survey – albeit quite informal – asking friends on Facebook, who are currently nurses, just how cohesive an environment they work in when it comes to mobile technology. I was curious to find out how technology has changed the way nurses work and was a bit surprised to discover that mobile access to patient information and critical administrative paperwork at many hospitals is fragmented at best. Here is some of what I heard:

“In intensive care, everything is on time and well documented but when a patient goes to ward, there is no continuity.”

“We have been promised a mobile device for the past five years, but nothing…”

“In many health centers, we have to share one computer among four staff. As you can guess, documentation is a pain in the…”

So, nurses are looking for more cohesiveness from their employers, yet many hospitals aren’t taking advantage of mobile technology and mobile file sharing to provide seamless and immediate access to needed information. However not doing so can be a very pricey alternative, with the average cost of turnover for a bedside RN ranging from $36,000 to $48,000 according to a survey by NSI Nursing Solutions, resulting in the average hospital losing $3.74-$4.98 million. Plus, the same survey found that the vacancy rate for registered nurses on the rise and expected to climb, with twice as many hospitals (37.1%) reporting a vacancy rate of higher than 7.5%.

Therefore, hospitals should be doing everything possible to retain and attract good employees and deliver on nurses’ desires for cohesive operations. That includes providing straightforward, around-the-clock access to patient information, training materials and other healthcare data from anywhere via any type of device – while keeping personal health information safe and secure.

Thanks to NHS England, NHS Trust organizations have the opportunity to obtain money from the Nursing Technology Fund to purchase technology to support such mobile initiatives, making nurses’ and midwives’ jobs more efficient, while improving patient care. Imagine providing nurses with secure collaboration, easy patient file transfer and mobile access to internal enterprise systems – all via devices as easily accessible as a thermometer. See for yourself how Accellion and MobileIron are helping NHS Trust organizations deliver a cohesive mobile productivity solution to medical staff today: download the South Devon case study to learn more. 

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