Clinicians' use of mobile devices in hospitals: 17 statistics, consequences and concerns


The threat of privacy breaches and HIPAA violations are of increasing concern to healthcare professionals as volumes of patient data expands and the need to share this data among extended-care teams across boundaries increases. The growing use of mobile devices, inconsistent encryption policies and human error have spurred an alarming number of healthcare breaches, according to a Caradigm infographic.

Below are statistics, consequences and concerns associated with the influx of mobile devices inside healthcare facilities, according to Caradigm.

BYOD, or "bring your own device," is becoming the norm at hospitals:

  • Eighty-five percent of hospitals allow clinicians and staff to connect their personal devices to the hospital's Wi-Fi network
  • Fifty-three percent of hospitals allow guest internet access only
  • Twenty-four percent of hospitals allow access to some hospital applications
  • Only 8 percent of hospitals allow full hospital application access
  • Fifteen percent of hospitals don't allow any Wi-Fi access

Of the numerous ways clinicians use mobile apps for patient care, the following five reflect the most common uses:

  • To view patient information — 69 percent
  • To look up non-PHI health information — 65 percent
  • For education or training purposes — 49 percent
  • For clinical notifications — 42 percent
  • For secure communications regarding patients — 39 percent

The increased rates of criminal attacks could be linked to growing use of mobile devices in healthcare organizations:

  • In 2010, 20 percent of healthcare organizations reported attacks while 40 percent of reported attacks in 2014.
  • In a 2014 study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 90 percent of the surveyed providers admitted to having had at least one data breach in the past two years.
  • In 2013, 7,095,145 patient records were impacted by data breaches, and 22 percent of these breaches were caused by unauthorized access.
  • The estimated annual cost of data breaches to the healthcare industry is $5.6 billion.

The top three security worries reported by healthcare organizations in 2014 are:

  • Employee negligence — 75 percent
  • Public cloud services — 41 percent
  • Mobile device security — 40 percent

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