News Release

Seventh Annual Spok Survey Finds Additional Opportunities in Hospital Mobile Strategies

SPRINGFIELD, Va. (April 3, 2017) – Spok, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Spok Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPOK) and the global leader in healthcare communications, today released the first of two reports on the results of the annual mobility strategies in healthcare survey. This research, conducted by Spok since 2011, is designed to assess mobile workflow enablement progress and trends in hospitals across the country. More than 300 healthcare professionals throughout the U.S. responded to this year’s questions about mobile strategy development, bring your own device (BYOD) policies, communications infrastructure, and opportunities to improve mobile communications.

“This year we expanded our research to allow a deeper look at how hospitals are developing, maintaining, and executing on their mobile strategies,” said Hemant Goel, president of Spok. The purpose of the survey was to examine various aspects of mobile planning and communications, and the findings will be released in two parts:

  • Part 1: The Evolution of Mobile Strategies in Healthcare looks at how hospitals include strategic business and clinical goals in the planning process.
  • Part 2: The State of Mobile Communications in Healthcare: Devices, Infrastructure, and Access will present details around mobile device types and communication infrastructures.

The Evolution of Mobile Strategies in Healthcare report focuses solely on the larger topics of mobile strategy development and maintenance. “Based on participant responses in this first installment of our findings, we see that mobile strategies are becoming more established in healthcare, and that most hospitals are making revisions as needed to keep these plans relevant and up-to-date. Ninety-three percent of hospitals with mobile strategies in place more than a year have updated their mobile plans,” continued Goel.

The study findings also show that there is an opportunity for planning teams to include more strategic hospital initiatives within mobile plans. Survey participants were presented with a list of objectives, from improving nurse-to-physician communications to speeding Emergency Department (ED) bed turnover. They were asked if each objective was an identified hospital goal, and whether or not it was also a part of their mobility strategy. Respondents cited inclusion of hospital goals in their formal mobile plan less than 20 percent of the time. This may indicate an opportunity for hospitals to elevate mobile planning as a strategic initiative that advances broader hospital objectives.

The composition of mobile strategy planning teams was another improvement area identified in this research.  “One of the key insights from this survey is the opportunity to better incorporate clinician involvement in the planning and deployment of these comprehensive mobile enablement plans,” said Dr. Andrew Mellin, chief medical officer of Spok. Survey data reveals that doctors are included in less than 40 percent of mobile strategy planning teams, and nurses in less than 30 percent. “The clinical perspective is vital to ensuring that any new mobile process or infrastructure change will take into account the real-world challenges and opportunities of clinical workflows and user experiences. Medical staff that serve on planning committees may also act as champions to promote new solutions. This clinical viewpoint can increase the strategic value of mobile initiatives. For example, a secure messaging app could be used not just as a tool for data security but also as a catalyst to support process changes like speeding admissions from the ED or improving patient outcomes by enabling fluid care team communication and collaboration.”

The research also revealed that more hospitals are hiring outside experts to be part of mobility strategy planning teams. “The answers we received demonstrate that consultants have a valuable role to play in helping hospitals with their mobile planning efforts,” added Goel. “We know that mobile enablement is a lot more than giving users an app. It requires alignment among communication goals, clinical needs, and security requirements. Experienced industry experts can assist with balancing these sometimes competing priorities. We’ve seen demand for our professional services group grow steadily as more customers look for help in meeting their mobility goals.”

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.

The second installment of this research, The State of Mobile Communications in Healthcare: Devices, Infrastructure, and Access, will be released in May. It will delve into the details about what devices are supported, what challenges hospitals are experiencing with their mobile device usage, and where the biggest opportunities for mobile improvements are over the next three to five years.