June 23, 2024

Serene Nest

taking care of your health, Our Mission

Balancing technological promises with effective healthcare management

4 min read

The healthcare industry’s commitment to protecting patient privacy and adhering to the principle of “first, do no harm” is well-known. But how is technology supporting this commitment? Recent research from a SOTI report titled “The Technology Lifeline: Charting Digital Progress in Healthcare,” highlights a concerning trend. More than half (64%) of Canadian healthcare providers have experienced one or more security breaches since 2021, challenging how technology is used in healthcare.

Healthcare organizations and providers have a legal and ethical duty to ensure the security of patient information. Nonetheless, statistics reveal that within the past year, 32 per cent of Canadian healthcare organizations have suffered deliberate or accidental data leaks caused by employees. It was also found that 37 per cent of Canadian healthcare organizations have fallen victim to data breaches from external sources or DDoS attacks.

The Need to Streamline Operations

In response to the need to streamline operations, enable remote or hybrid work environments and support telehealth, there has been an accelerated push to use advanced mobile technology and implement bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies in healthcare. The adoption of automation through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) are further transforming the industry, prompting organizations to rethink their technological priorities and advancements.

The proliferation and diversification of device implementation in healthcare continues to expand. According to data, 37 per cent of IT professionals have reported an increase in the usage of devices such as devices, tablets, rugged equipment and printers within their organizations over the past year. Additionally, 28 per cent have witnessed a rise in the use of personal devices for accessing company systems and networks.

IT Integration and Legacy System Transition Challenges

As these emerging technologies become more prevalent, concerns regarding their integration and management alongside legacy systems have become apparent. An overwhelming 93 per cent of Canadian healthcare IT professionals have acknowledged the presence of legacy technology and processes within their organizations. Consequently, the top concerns faced by IT professionals due to legacy technology includes security attacks (39%), excessive time spent on issue resolution (37%) and the inability to access patient data quickly (25%).

To ensure the smooth adoption of new technologies, it is crucial to introduce robust security processes and review Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) strategies and solutions. This tool will enable IT teams to monitor device usage, gain intelligence about the operations and promptly address issues as they arise in near real-time. Failure to do so may result in administrative lapses, maintenance struggles, device downtime, compromised efficiency and suboptimal patient care.

Navigating the Healthcare IT Paradox

Frontline healthcare workers have demonstrated immense dedication to patient safety, while healthcare IT workers have faced the formidable task of implementing new technologies within outdated backend systems and platforms. However, despite reports indicating that 82 per cent of healthcare IT professionals have utilized tablets or laptops and 81 per cent have used smartphones in the past year, the effective management of these devices remains crucial.

Fifty-one percent of healthcare IT workers struggle to detect new devices, provide remote support or gather detailed information on device usage due to limitations imposed by legacy IT infrastructure. The report also found that 54 per cent of healthcare IT professionals find themselves consumed by resolving issues, leaving insufficient time for critical IT tasks. This imbalance highlights the paradox faced by the healthcare industry, where the rapid adoption of diverse devices for improved patient care outcomes coexists with inadequate resources to effectively manage and secure these devices.

Prioritizing Innovation Amidst Security Concerns

While security concerns persist within the healthcare sector, an overwhelming majority of IT professionals (83%) view the use of new technologies to enhance organizational efficiency and patient care outcomes as a top priority. Furthermore, AI and VR are actively being explored, with 67 per cent of IT professionals indicating that their healthcare organizations are in the research or implementation phases of these transformative solutions.

The Shift Towards Automation

The industry is witnessing a growing shift towards automating manual processes. Nearly half of the surveyed professionals have identified various manual tasks within their organizations that could benefit from automation. This includes data collection during patient visits (49%), accessing medical information/resources (43%), updating patient records (45%) and retrieving test results (41%).

Harnessing Technology’s Full Potential

Research conducted by SOTI highlights that on average, each employee loses 3.4 hours per week due to technical or system difficulties, impeding technology’s potential to enable smoother, more secure and faster care delivery. To harness the full potential of technologies (such as laptops, smartphones, printers, scanners, RFID readers, AI and VR), effective integration, device management, upgrades and maintenance are imperative. Moreover, real-time data insights and remote monitoring of individual device performance also play a critical role to support new technologies.

Embracing Life Saving Tools and Technologies

The healthcare industry possesses an unprecedented array of lifesaving tools and technologies. To fully leverage their impact, organizations must “increase the dose” of technology utilized for patient care while fortifying the tools required to secure the collected data. Implementation of advanced diagnostic intelligence solutions provides performance visibility, predictability and remote device support, empowering healthcare professionals to deliver care more efficiently, reduce frustration and minimize errors.

Striking the delicate balance between innovation and effective management is essential in shaping the industry’s future. By embracing transformative technologies, optimizing device management strategies and enhancing connectivity, organizations can unlock the potential of technology, revolutionizing patient care and creating a secure, efficient healthcare ecosystem.

By Shash Anand


As SVP of Product Strategy at SOTI, Shash Anand oversees the company’s evolution from a single product centered around Mobile Device Management (MDM) to an integrated platform that solves many of the challenges around Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM).

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