May 27, 2015
Healthcare Mobility: Better Mobile and Patient Outcomes with Mobile Application Management and Mobile Application Performance Management
The healthcare industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation and healthcare mobility and interconnected systems are at the heart of it. Consumers and healthcare providers are relying on mobile apps like never before, raising the importance of Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Mobile Application Performance Management (Mobile APM) in enabling successful outcomes. According to Deloitte, health information is the fastest-growing content category for U.S. mobile users. Meanwhile, more than one-third of smartphone users will be using at least one mobile healthcare app by the end of this year. It’s not just consumers that are using their mobile devices for healthcare. By the end of 2014, more than half of U.S. hospitals were using smartphones and tablets to aid in patient care and access to clinical systems and data, according to the 2014 HIMSS Analytics Mobile Device Study. Real-time access to patient and clinical data results in improved patient outcomes. A study of 144 CEOs, administrators, and other officials in public and private healthcare conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit reveals that 64% of respondents believe that the ability of mobile technologies and applications to provide greater patient access to medical data “could dramatically improve health outcomes.” Improved access to patient and clinical data isn't restricted to physicians, nurses, and hospitals. Physician assistants, case managers, pharmacists, and clinicians who are able to embrace healthcare mobility are also benefiting from improved productivity and access to data which ultimately benefits the patients who are being cared for. Mobile Application Management Drives Adoption Of course, in order to obtain the numerous benefits of mobile medical apps on a universal scale, widespread app adoption across the healthcare community is critical. To drive adoption in healthcare and other industries, apps need to be well-architected, compatible with multiple operating systems to support a broad user base, and must be secure and intuitive for users. Another prerequisite for adoption is that mobile apps need to be visible and easily accessible. Custom enterprise app stores allow physician groups, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations to display branded apps that users can find easily based on their roles. Hospitals, clinics, physician practices, and other healthcare organizations looking to drive high adoption rates and productivity gains from the use of healthcare mobile apps such as electronic medical records (EMR) and patient monitoring apps can benefit from the use of a mobile application management (MAM®) solution. MAM offers multiple advantages to healthcare organizations. Because healthcare organizations are bound to strict data protection guidelines under HIPAA, a MAM platform can ensure the secure deployment of mobile apps and data both to internal and extended care teams. With mobile application management, mobile healthcare apps are continuously inspected and are “wrapped” with security policies that meet U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requirements. This ensures that mobile apps and patient data used by healthcare professionals are properly protected under industry requirements. Meanwhile, MAM securely deploys apps to any device–whether it’s under the governance of a healthcare enterprise or used by an individual practitioner or an extended care team that operates outside of a healthcare organization. Mobile healthcare apps that are used in the medical community aren’t a one-and-done proposition where apps are distributed and downloaded without further revisions or updates. A MAM solution makes it easy for healthcare IT departments to roll out app updates and manage changes in user permissions across an app’s entire lifecycle. State of the art enterprise app stores can also provide IT administrators with analytics and data visualization capabilities that allow them to view the percentage of total potential users that have downloaded and are using an app. Such visualizations provide administrators with actionable insights into app adoption and usage that can be used to strengthen ROI. Mobile App Performance Drives Successful Outcomes The combination of Apperian and Aternity, enables healthcare organizations to ensure their mobile healthcare apps deliver the expected gains in efficient patient care and medical staff productivity. After all, the mobile app lifecycle doesn’t end at “deploy.” It extends to measuring and improving the end user experience of nurses, physicians, diagnosticians, and other healthcare professionals in their interactions with patients. Healthcare organizations need Mobile APM capabilities beyond those provided to the app development team. For IT Ops to prioritize their response to an incident, they need to understand the business impact, the functional organizations and business locations of the impacted users, and whether desktop users are also impacted. For the line of business to determine whether or not mobile EHRs are improving medical productivity, they need metrics and analysis in terms that are relevant to the business, such as the length of time to fill out a patient record, or the number of prescriptions processed, or not completed, by practitioners in a remote clinic. Aternity Mobile APM helps healthcare administrators address these requirements through business activity analytics, which enables administrators to define user interactions with an EHR app, or any other app in the context of a business workflow–whether it’s a single step procedure or a more complex series of business activities. MAM and Mobile APM – Keys to Success Mobile and Patient Outcomes Healthcare practitioners understand that treating a patient is a journey that often begins with testing and diagnosis followed by treatment and follow-up care and monitoring. Apperian and Aternity approach the mobile healthcare app lifecycle in the same regard by enabling healthcare organizations to address the entire app lifecycle from distribution and deployment to post-deployment app updates and changes in user authorization levels, to monitoring the actual usage of the app in the field to ensure that goals for productivity and patient care are met. This post was written in collaboration with Mike Marks (@MikeIMarks), Chief Product Evangelist at Aternity Inc.