Doctors, nurses, technicians, administrators and others who work in healthcare all have one thing in common. They are consumers. And, like consumers everywhere, they are buying lots of cool new mobile phones, tablet computers and laptops. Increasingly, the owners of these shiny new devices are bringing them into work and that is posing a problem for the IT professionals who are charged with maintaining the enterprise networks and data resources in our hospitals and clinics. How are they supposed to manage the privacy and security of patient data? What about the threat of malware or viruses that might be introduced when consumer devices connect with network resources? What happens if one of those consumer devices stores patient or financial data and then gets lost or stolen?
These are legitimate concerns not only for IT professionals, but frankly for everyone. On the other hand, it’s very hard for IT staff to say “no” when an influential specialist who may not even work for the hospital says, “I want to do my clinical work using this state-of-the-art tablet computer I just bought at the big box electronics store and I damn well better get my way!” I explored this topic and some of the consequences in a HealthBlog post earlier this month.
The “Consumerization of IT” and its impact on hospitals and clinics is now the topic for the first of a new batch of Health Tech Today programs being launched this week. On our program, I’m joined by Colin Nurse, a solution specialist here at Microsoft and also a former enterprise CIO. We do a bit of role playing to drive home some important information about consumer devices for everyone who works in a healthcare environment. You’ll find out some things you should think about before you buy a consumer device for use at work. We also explore what those who are responsible for maintaining the integrity of enterprise networks and data can do to manage network access and keep information assets safe and secure. You can watch our newest show and see all of the shows in our inventory of programs on the Health Tech Today landing page at www.healthtech2day.com. You can also watch our newest show right here on HealthBlog by clicking on the embedded video below.
Health Tech Today is the on-line, on-demand video series at the intersection of health and information technology. Be sure to check back every other Tuesday for a brand new episode of Health Tech Today.
Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft