Survey Finds Increase in Mobility Planning but Gaps in Critical Infrastructure

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Spok, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Spok Holdings, Inc. and a provider of enterprise critical communications, released the findings of their fifth annual mobility strategies in healthcare survey.

The survey is designed to assess mobile workflow enablement progress and trends in hospitals across the country. More than 550 healthcare organizations responded to this year’s questions about mobile strategy documentation, bring your own device (BYOD) policies, communications infrastructure, and information security.

“The results this year provide empirical data to support what we hear directly from our customers,” said Vincent D. Kelly, president and chief executive officer of Spok Holdings, Inc. “The majority of hospitals and health systems are formalizing a mobility strategy, which helps define the goals and framework for all mobile-related projects.” This framework includes how to measure project goals, what integrations are necessary to meet those goals, as well as the details of what mobile devices will be supported.

The survey shows that mobile strategy plans and use cases continue to grow, with an emphasis on smartphones and apps. It also reveals that there is a large gap in the infrastructure necessary to support these strategies and devices, including wireless network coverage and enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions. “Fifty-four percent of respondents answered that Wi-Fi coverage is a current challenge for mobile device users, and 47 percent cited cellular coverage challenges. This gap will be critical for hospitals to address in an effort to mitigate security risks and enhance communications,” said Hemant Goel, president of Spok, Inc.

Survey findings reveal that the diversity of mobile devices is increasing as new types of devices (such as wearables) are added to the mix and existing tools remain firmly entrenched in clinicians’ workflows. “As the survey demonstrates, pagers continue to play a major role in communications,” added Kelly. “That’s why, as part of our portfolio, we maintain support for the paging demands of the market, including the introduction of our encrypted pager. And this mobile device diversity confirms the strategic direction we have chosen with our Spok Care Connect® platform to offer a unified solution that brings together clinical communications systems and devices across provider organizations.”

The survey also showed that more hospitals are hiring outside experts to help with clinical mobility, from planning through technology implementations and rollout. “Mobility enablement is far more complicated than just giving users an app. We’ve seen demand for our professional services group grow steadily as more customers look for help to achieve success with their mobility goals,” Goel said.

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