SPRINGFIELD, Va. (May 2, 2017) – Spok, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Spok Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPOK) and the global leader in healthcare communications, today released the second part of the Company’s annual mobility in healthcare survey. Spok has been conducting this survey since 2011 to assess mobile workflow enablement trends in hospitals across the country. More than 300 U.S. healthcare professionals responded to this year’s questions about mobile strategy development, bring your own device (BYOD) policies, communications infrastructure, and opportunities to improve mobile communications.
“The first installment of our 2017 research, released last month, examined how hospitals are developing, maintaining, and executing on their mobile strategies,” said Hemant Goel, president of Spok. “This second piece in our two-part series looks at the details behind these strategies. For example, we asked about the types of mobile devices particular staff carry, what challenges hospitals are encountering with mobile device usage, and whether they support BYOD programs.”
The research this year reveals that hospitals are making progress in addressing the previously identified infrastructure gaps in order to better support mobile strategies and devices. “Forty-five percent of respondents answered that Wi-Fi coverage is a challenge for mobile device users, and 38 percent cited cellular coverage as problematic. Both of these data points showed a 9 percentage point improvement over 2016,” said Goel. In addition, data security as a mobile device challenge dropped from 43 percent to 31 percent. “Though there is still a lot of room for improvement, the responses this year demonstrate that hospitals are taking action and making progress addressing these important issues,” Goel stated.
Survey findings also revealed that hospital staff still carry a diverse mix of mobile devices to do their jobs. For the sixth straight year smartphones are the most popular device, with 77 percent of respondents saying their organization supports them, while other tools, including pagers, maintain strong representation. “Again this year, the survey shows that pagers play a major role in hospital communications,” said Vince Kelly, chief executive officer of Spok Holdings, Inc. “As part of Spok Care Connect®, our enterprise healthcare communications platform, we continue to support the paging needs of the market, including secure paging. Twenty-one percent of surveyed healthcare professionals said their organization uses encrypted pagers. This mobile device diversity confirms our strategic direction to provide integrated communications across the health system and let leaders decide what devices are most appropriate for their staff, based on the workflows they support,” Kelly concluded.
The report also assessed the backup communication plans hospitals have in place should cellular networks become overloaded or fail, and the perceived reliability of different communication channels. Survey participants were also asked to identify the biggest opportunity for mobile communication improvements over the next three to five years. Answers included enhancing patient care team collaboration, and using mobile strategies to simplify technology and bring uniformity across hospital systems.
Additional details about this research will be presented by Bridget Wahlstrom, senior mobile product manager, during the Company’s next virtual briefing on May 4, 2017.
Spok’s 2017 Mobile Communications in Healthcare Survey Series
- Part 1: The Evolution of Mobile Strategies in Healthcare looks at how hospitals include strategic business and clinical goals in the planning process. For more detail about the objectives included in mobility strategies, why hospitals review their mobile plans, the composition of mobile planning teams, and more, visit this resource page.
- Part 2: The State of Mobile Communications in Healthcare: Devices, Infrastructure, and Access presents details around mobile device types and communication infrastructure. For more detail about what devices are supported, the types of hospital-approved systems and applications mobile users have access to, and the prevalence of BYOD programs and enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions, visit this resource page.