Report: Growing use of BYOD in American healthcare a consumer worry

According to the PwC Top Health industry issues of 2013 report, healthcare managers and consumers are increasingly concerned about the rise of healthcare workers using their own devices within hospitals and other healthcare centers.

The report says that the majority of hospitals now permit employees to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in the workplace with 85% of hospitals supporting clinician use of personal devices at work.

However of the 502 breaches of protected health information reported to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights since September 2009, 71 involved portable electronic devices, the reports says.

The report also highlighted another concern: visitor access to the Internet, with 76% of hospitals allowing visitor access to the Internet on their mobile devices while 58% lack password protection for that access. This is a cause for concern according to the report authors.

When asked how concerned they would be if doctors, nurses and other caregivers were able to access their medical information from a mobile device 73% of respondents said they were either very concerned or somewhat concerned about the privacy of that information.

PwC recommends that hospitals choose identity management approaches that account for patient and employee mobility. “This includes a centralized, integrated, and comprehensive view of people, roles, and privileges for more accurate and efficient auditing and reporting and for continuous improvement of policies and controls.” it says.

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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