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September 03, 2013
By TEKsystems

Healthcare professionals are experiencing vast changes in how their practices, hospitals and organizations collect and store patient data. These technologies, especially smartphones and tablets, have led to increased provider mobility and improved patient well-being.

In fact, a new report from Research and Markets found that the mobile health applications market will experience 61 percent growth by 2017, reaching $26 billion in revenue, InformationWeek reported.

However, despite these benefits, the proliferation of devices has given IT application services employees added responsibilities, as they seek to navigate the complex and dangerous world of data storage and sharing. As a result, before practices or organizations issue smartphones or other mobile devices, they should take time to ensure the staff is properly trained on use and security and plan for regular system updates, according to HIT Consultant Media.

Teach staff proper mobile etiquette
The first thing IT support services will need to do is determine whether providers have the capacity to support a switch to mobile. Within a rapidly changing tech landscape, it can be hard for organizations to keep up in terms of knowledge and other factors such as bandwidth and network.

"You need to be able to adapt rapidly, with a platform that changes and grows without becoming obsolete," the news source explained. "That means you need a partner to work with your clinical and IT teams to facilitate the technical implementation of data and voice servers. You also need to consider critical integrations with alarm management middleware."

HIT Consultant Media suggested that IT services departments partner with professionals across all sectors of the organizations to address concerns and ensure all parties will get the critical information they need as quickly as possible.

A never-ending process     
Once the technology is in place, though, that doesn't mean IT professionals' jobs are done. In fact, it's really only the beginning. Mobile device management (MDM) is becoming a larger part of IT infrastructure concerns as more companies adopt strategies such as bring-your-own-device or issue smartphones to promote flexibility. 

Part of MDM is being able to accommodate downloading applications, updating security and operating systems and troubleshooting when necessary, HIT Consultant Media explained. While some of these will require more sophisticated software solutions, other issues may be resolved by creating password protections and lockout protocols.

Regardless of what procedures and policies are put in place, they need to promote ease-of-use among caregivers.

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