The healthcare industry is among the many sectors benefiting from modern smart technology.
Today, we have a host of medical devices that perform a better, more accurate job of monitoring individual patient’s health.
Of course, these smart devices also come with a need for secure device management.
Wearable units such as smartwatches can instantly measure heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels.
They can also act as portable pedometers and sleep monitors.
Meanwhile, medical professionals use smart devices such as phones, tablets, and computers for telehealth and emergency treatments.
These let health workers remotely and instantly exchange critical information with other agencies, such as government centers and insurance companies.
However, smart devices in the medical field are prone to data theft and compromised accounts without proper device management.
As a result, patients and health organisations alike can fall victim to identity theft, medical fraud, or other criminal practices.
The Benefits of Mobile Device Management in Healthcare
Unlike devices used in other industries, healthcare devices often carry a sense of urgency.
Emergency treatments cannot proceed without knowing a patient’s medical history, such as allergies or drug resistance.
But thanks to smart devices, the patient’s local records can be transmitted immediately to the attending doctor.
Because smart healthcare devices are critical to patient care, they must be constantly updated to the latest software versions.
Mobile device management (MDM) ensures this is always the case.
Supports Patient Recovery
An application or device is only as good as its last update. You can’t leave critical monitors and sensors outdated for too long.
Patients dependent on these devices for their timely recovery can’t risk units to stop working due to faulty software.
Device management software can alert hospital administrators if a patient’s device needs updates.
Admins can then install the updates remotely, so a patient doesn’t have to come into the hospital.
As a result, patients can continue their recovery with minimal interruption.
Access to Patient Records
Smart healthcare devices also give every patient care team member instant access to their records and histories.
This ensures that no one misses an important detail, such as an allergy or medication.
Administrators can grant access to the files on a case-by-case basis to protect patient privacy.
As doctors or nurses rotate off a patient’s care team, admins can simply revoke their access to the records with one click.
Instant Updates to Files
With the right device management tool, when one doctor updates a patient’s digital chart, the changes immediately go into effect on all devices.
These instant updates keep everyone on the care team in the loop so they can adjust treatment as needed.
Given the urgency of medical situations, device-wide changes ensure doctors and nurses can track the patient’s care and condition in real-time.
How Device Management Keeps Data Private and Confidential
Of course, one of the healthcare industry’s main challenges is the need to keep each patient’s medical information private.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), enacted in 2004, sets the rules for keeping patient records confidential.
Under HIPAA, medical centers and individual practitioners must enforce policies that ensure that their patients’ privacy remains protected at all times. Healthcare institutions shouldn’t divulge any patient data unless it fulfils a specific medical purpose.
Medical facilities typically store patient data digitally within their servers so their workers have access to patient records.
Access to these records is highly restricted to help preserve doctor-patient confidentiality.
In addition, these records cannot be accessed, altered, or deleted without express authorisation from the owner.
Keeping Devices Secure
Protecting patient records also means keeping them safe from data theft.
Without a device management platform to help secure these records, cybercriminals can breach healthcare devices and steal the information outright.
At a minimum, a reliable platform can assign and restrict access to all healthcare devices in the network. Access levels depend on the job requirements and require credentials when logging in.
When an administrator detects attempts at unauthorised access, they can shut down or freeze a device to prevent further attempts.
Admins can also geolocate missing devices for possible retrieval.
If an intruder gains access to a device, the administrator can then remotely initiate a device wipe-down to erase all files and prevent data theft.
Improving Healthcare Operations Through Mobile Device Management
Like any other digital device, health monitors and devices are software-driven. Bugs can sometimes appear even in the most reliable and well-maintained applications.
Errors in a healthcare device can have significant consequences.
Whether it’s a delay in the transmission of critical patient information, an error in the data collected, or a monitor suddenly shutting down, any problem could lead to a fatal conclusion.
Use these device management best practices to keep your operations running smoothly:
- Maintain and secure your health devices continuously. MDM software can install updates on individual devices or throughout the entire fleet via cloud connectivity, so you’re always running the latest operating system.
- Regularly check permission settings. Given the strict healthcare privacy laws, only those who are actively involved in a patient’s care should have access to their records. Require that they enter a password or scan a keycard to view or update the files.
- Safeguard devices. If staff are allowed to take their tablets or laptops out of the clinic or hospital, make sure they know not to use public Wi-Fi or leave the devices unattended.
- Restrict Access to Unapproved Apps. Even if it’s just to ensure your employees stay productive, set limits on the applications they can use on your devices. This includes file-sharing apps.
Reliable Healthcare Device Management Is a Must
Smart healthcare devices enable you to provide timely services and share accurate information that can help patients get the best treatment.
However, ensuring that these devices run the latest and most secure software versions is key to their effectiveness.
In addition, keeping the units secure from unauthorised users and attempts at accessing private data is critical to complying with privacy laws.
Through reliable device management, healthcare companies can prevent both device malfunctions and data theft while ensuring that patient information stays secure.
With the right platform, you can perform system updates on individual devices or the entire fleet instantly.
It’s also easy to manage access to patient records.
When your smart devices are secure and working as they should, you can deliver top-quality care to your patients.
Doctors and nurses will appreciate the convenience of these smart connected devices, and your patient satisfaction ratings will soar.
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