The results of the third Annual HIMSS Analytics Mobile Survey, which examined the use of mobile devices in provider patient care improvement initiatives were published in February 2014 and it was revealed that around 83 percent of physicians use mobile technology to provide patient care. In this survey, the questions were modified to closely align with the mHIMSS Roadmap, a strategic framework released at the 2012 mHealth Summit and updated in 2013 for providers to deploy mobile and wireless technologies. The Roadmap section includes key areas on which healthcare organizations should focus while developing and implementing a mobile strategy.
There are six key areas in the Roadmap section and survey findings in each area are given below:
- Legal and Policy – Around 59 percent of respondents said they have a mobile technology plan while 29 percent said they are developing a mobile technology plan.
- Privacy and Security – The survey found around 95 percent use at least one security tool in order to protect the data on mobile devices.
- New Care Models – Clinicians are most likely to use mobile technology for patient care by either looking up patient information or non PHI (personal health information). Pharmacy management tops among the providers most likely to use mobile technologies such as medication reminders or medication reconciliation.
- Technology – More than half of provider respondents said they would expand the use of medical mobile applications in future. As per the survey, one-third of respondents offer apps for patient/consumer use, a 14 percent increase from the previous year. Around 62 percent of respondents said they offer patients access to at least one of the mobile tools found on the survey such as patient portals, remote monitoring devices and telehealth services.
- ROI and Payment – While half of the respondents said they formally measure ROI related to their mobile technology investments, one third of respondents said they evaluate the total cost of ownership as it relates to their mobile strategy.
- Standards and Interoperability – While 22 percent of the respondents indicated they could integrate three-quarters of the data captured by mobile devices into EMR, most respondents were able to access data from clinical systems through mobile devices. More than half of the respondents said they receive alerts/notifications from remote monitoring devices through EMR/clinical system alert.
Overall, the respondents indicated two top benefits of having mobile technologies which are:
- Increased access to patient information
- View patient data from a remote location
As per the 2013 Chillmark Research study, big changes in technology and payment strategies indicate insurance companies making the most out of mobile technology in order to improve outreach and market themselves to potential new post-ACA customers. Thus, the increased use of mobile technologies among healthcare providers helps improve their relationship with payers too. However, the security concerns regarding majority of providers about the data on mobile devices is a matter of concern. They should strictly adopt HIPAA compliant medical billing in order to ensure the security of payment data. Finally, funding limitation is found to be the top barrier to deployment of mobile technologies. The survey revealed many providers are still in the early stages of adoption of mobile technology.