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Data security top priority for healthcare

Data security is a higher priority than patient satisfaction for CIOs, new research has found.

The data, released by secure texting service provider Spok, was published as part of the  ‘The Healthcare CIO Perspective On Supporting Clinical Workflows' report. It looks at the need for healthcare professionals to adopt mobile strategies.

In the document, which surveyed more than 100 IT leaders, Spok also looked at mobility strategies in organisations, as well as the planning needed for introducing mobile strategies.

According to the report, the majority of respondents (81 per cent) said improving data security was their main business priority over the next 18 months. This was significantly higher than the 70 per cent who cited patient satisfaction and the 65 per cent who named physician satisfaction as the prime goal.

The research also investigated some of the reasons why healthcare organisations choose the mobility strategies to implement, and the potential obstacles for professionals.

It found that 82 per cent of respondents said investment decisions were based primarily on which ones met the needs of clinicians and the organisation best. Slightly fewer (80 per cent) cited ease of use and ability to integrate with current systems (75 per cent) as being key to making these decisions.

Unsurprisingly data security was a major factor when it came to deploying mobile applications, according to the survey. Some 84 per cent of those polled said secure messaging and communication was important for the care team, while 83 per cent said access and integrations to electronic health records (EHR) were important.

“One of the challenges for CIOs is to find and implement technologies that achieve multiple goals,” the company notes. “If a single solution can address several goals/challenges, it can save time and money by reducing research, tech purchases and implementations, and maintenance costs over time."

More than two-thirds of respondents (68 per cent) said they were currently planning on introducing a secure texting solution for its staff. The success of this will be largely determined by the physicians who use it.

“CIOs must also bring the business needs of the organisation and preferences of individual users (especially physicians) into account, as well as comply with a myriad of federal regulations and accrediting organisations. And leaders are balancing the needs and requests of today with an anticipation that patient-centred care is the future,” Spok added.