Healthcare organizations around the U.S. continue to wrestle with whether staff are allowed to use their personal mobile devices for work. Spok wanted to understand more about ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) policies in 2017 and further our understanding of the current trends in hospitals. We designed a short survey focused on BYOD, and more than 350 healthcare leaders responded. Here are the results:

BYOD

BYOD

Preferred Hospital Issued Devices

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BYOD Use By Role

BYOD Use By Role

What BYOD Policies Cover

Security of devices

Which device types are supported

Which device brands/versions are supported

Enforcement for policy noncompliance

Who pays for cellular and data plans

Top BYOD Drivers

Average Number of Work-Related Applications

Summary

Our 2017 research indicates that 71 percent of hospitals allow BYOD, compared to 58 percent in 2016. This apparent increase may be an artifact of participant self-selection to take a BYOD-specific survey, but it does match our industry experience and interactions with customers where we see the majority of hospitals allowing physicians to use their personal devices.

Participation in BYOD policies continues to vary by role, correlating to staff needs and preferences. For example, a majority of physicians prefer to use their own mobile devices, while a majority of nurses prefer to use a hospital-issued device.

For the first time, easier communication among care team members is cited as the top driver for supporting a BYOD environment. This is especially interesting because BYOD usage can impede care team communication. Without access to the staff directory and on-call schedules, clinicians may have a hard time always finding the right person to speak with.

Lastly, the top three challenges for BYOD environments are the same challenges reported for mobile device usage at hospitals in general3: Wi-Fi coverage, data security, and cellular coverage. Incorporating these elements into project plans remains of vital importance for the success of mobile device usage and BYOD environments. This reinforces the need for hospitals to include infrastructure assessments and enhancements into mobile communication project plans. Ultimately, easier access to information, simpler communications, and faster collaboration among providers leads to better patient care.