BYOD done right

05 September 2013 | Gareth Hall, Windows 8 lead, Microsoft Worldwide Health

If you’re in health IT, just hearing “BYOD” makes your head throb:  All those random devices to manage and secure. Doctors struggle, too. They’ve found devices they love, but none that do enough.

To do BYOD right—and make everyone happy—healthcare organizations need devices that: 

1. Provide an experience that doctors love.

Doctors have rushed to buy tablets and other mobile devices. But they won’t use just any device. Experience matters. At a minimum, they want high-performance devices that enable them to work in the new, mobile way; have access to key information on their desktop PCs; and use a pen or stylus for navigating and writing notes. Give doctors devices they don’t like and they simply won’t use them.

2. Give doctors secure clinical access.

Doctors want tablets that serve myriad purposes. Sure, they want to do basics like checking recommended drug dosages and showing patients’ images. But they also want to use devices for tasks like taking notes and checking and updating the full patient record, which require working in the clinical system. A virtualized system view that requires scrolling around doesn’t always work —a full-screen view is often necessary to see key clinical information. Doctors have been challenged to find one device that does it all.

3. Make it easy for IT to manage and secure.

Today, health IT spends massive amounts of money on mobile device management to support BYOD. A study by Dell revealed that it costs more than $2,000 for an IT department to manage a tablet. When employees use different devices, IT must support multiple infrastructures, security systems, management consoles, and the like. No wonder their heads ache.

By using devices that accomplish these three things, as Windows 8.1 devices do, both doctors and IT can be satisfied. Doctors love the experience and system access Windows 8.1 devices provide. And IT loves that they work immediately with all of the organization’s other devices, from the same infrastructure—it’s just a matter of switching them on. Happy doctors, happy IT. Now that’s doing BYOD right.

Let me know what you think are the top challenges with BYOD in healthcare. What are the best devices you’ve found?

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Gareth Hall
Windows 8 lead, Microsoft Worldwide Health