Healthcare Providers Expanding Use of Mobile Technologies, CompTIA Study Finds

Feb 26, 2013, 09:15 ET from CompTIA

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mobility continues to impact the day-to-day delivery of patient care and healthcare practice management, according to new research from CompTIA, the non-profit association for the information technology (IT) industry.

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CompTIA's Fourth Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities study reveals that many healthcare providers are on the cusp of expanding their use of smart mobile devices from routine business activities, such as email and scheduling, to more advanced, care-specific uses. Examples include medication monitoring and management, remote access to health records and assisting patients in managing insurance claims.

While most healthcare providers are in the early stages of adopting and incorporating mobile health and other technologies into their workflow, the research points to high levels of interest and experimentation. Three in four healthcare providers surveyed believe mobility is having a positive impact on healthcare.

"It takes time for emerging technologies to mature and for users to make sufficient progress along the learning curve before the benefits of innovation can be realized," said Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA. "We're now beginning to see this happen in the healthcare sector."

One in five physicians with a mobile device capable of supporting apps uses health- or medical-related apps on a daily basis. Over the next 12 months, healthcare providers expect to increase their usage of medical apps to the point where 62 percent are relying on these apps at least a few times per week.

As healthcare providers expand their use of mobile devices and apps, new security measures will need to be implemented. But the study suggests that the level of concern among healthcare providers may not be in line with the ever-growing scope of security risks. Just 17 percent of healthcare providers report having a comprehensive mobile device policy in place. An additional 20 percent have implemented partial policies.

"Even if healthcare providers are not putting personal health information at risk, they may be setting themselves up for other types of disruptions associated with insufficient mobile security policies and practices," Herbert said.

Adoption of electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) systems continues to make gains. CompTIA data indicates that about six in ten healthcare providers have at least some elements of an EMR/EHR system in place.

A net satisfaction rate in the low 60s indicates acceptable performance, but leaves a sizable segment of users seeking improvement in areas such as ease of use; greater compatibility and interoperability with other systems; speed; and better remote access and mobility features.

CompTIA's Fourth Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities study is the result of an online survey of 375 doctors, dentists and other healthcare providers and administrators conducted in November 2012.

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