Implementing a Mobile Device Policy

BYOD is fast becoming standard procedure for a range of public places like schools, businesses and even financial institutions. Medical facilities often struggle with implementing a mobile device policy. Some institutions have begun moving toward a policy, but then abandon the project in mid-stream because of the complexities, institutional politics, or other roadblocks.

This doesn’t mean that doctors, nurses, and other staff are not using mobile devices. It simply means that a robust mobile management system is lacking. Of course, this is a potential hazard waiting to happen. Establishing a mobile device policy and management plan requires a thorough mobile strategy.

It might be helpful to have a few talking points that can focus ad-hoc conversations and serious planning discussions. Amcom recently released an introductory guide for “Rolling Out Your Hospital’s Mobility Strategy and Secure Texting Solution.” [1] Here are a few highlights from the white paper that might be helpful in preparation.

Each step of the way, you learn, adjust and make improvements to the plan. The whole process should be built around a learning loop. You can break down implementation into three big stages:

  • Pre-Deployment Checklist
  • Initial Trial
  • Rollout

In this first post, I’ll highlight the pre-deployment checklist.

Pre-Deployment Checklist

In the beginning, you need to consider a few questions that can help clarify decisions moving forward. Some of these questions will require input from people beyond the implementation team. It will be essential to engage a range of key voices throughout the organization. Here are some of initial elements you’ll want to include on checklist:

1. Define the types of users and what devices they will be using such as pagers, smartphones, tablets, and more. As you consider these questions, you want to think through key processes, you’ll want to consider what devices are most appropriate for specific tasks at hand.

2. List applications that users will need to access. Using your users information, you want to establish user groups and define the activity of each group, including what tasks users complete and how they will interact with system.

3. What are people using now? Identify all the devices currently at use in the system including types of mobile devices (pages, smartphones, etc), carriers, and operating systems. This might clarify any specific challenges at the outset.

4. Decide who is responsible to purchase and pay for devices and provider services. This will help to clarify device management challenges.

5. Establish coverage parameters. Map out coverage range at each facility and all all properties.

6. Clarify disaster response plans. In case of emergencies, how will the contingency plan deliver security, backup, and more.

7. Test initial plans with smaller group in IT department.

[1] “Rolling Out Your Hospital’s Mobility Strategy and Secure Texting Solution.” Amcom Software, 2013.