Lynn Witherspoon, MD, System Vice President and Chief Medical Information Officer at Ochsner Health System, recently spoke with us about the growing use of mobility in healthcare organizations and how his organization is tackling mobility device management. Ochsner is southeast Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, multi-specialty healthcare delivery system, providing coordinated regional patient care through its nine hospitals and more than 40 clinics.

Lynn recognizes the interest and necessity for incorporating mobility into clinical care and says, “It’s much more effective and efficient not to be tethered to a physical desk or workspace.” He notes that over the last 15 years, Ochsner’s approach to mobility has continued to evolve. This started with an early paging system and internal voice network, followed by building out a large wireless network that now encompasses the entire continuum of care. When employees began asking about BYOD, Ochsner determined how to begin effectively supporting mobile devices, and currently supports iOS and Android-based devices.

How does Ochsner maintain both security and access? Early on, a parallel public guest network was created and only authorized mobile device users can access the internal corporate network. Simplicity in strategy has also been key. Lynn says, “By enabling BYOD users to easily download apps and configure their devices for secure use on our network themselves, we’ve minimized our requirement for support.”

Keeping the network safe while still delivering access to employees led Ochsner to create mobile device policies for employees to abide by. Lynn explains users must register their personal mobile devices, have a PIN, have data on their devices encrypted at rest and in motion, have remote wiping capabilities, and may not remove any of the OS limitations.

Lynn offers some tips to other organizations facing challenges with mobility management:

  1. Recognize that this is not an IT initiative. Engage compliance, legal, HIM and other stakeholders early in the process.
  2. Keep things as simple as possible.
  3. Think carefully about what devices you want to support. Don’t try to be all things to all people.

Learn more about CDW Healthcare’s mobility offerings.

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