On Monday during the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) — the largest and most influential trade group in the health IT industry — formally launched a subsidiary targeted directly at the mobile health IT market.
Formally known as “mHIMSS,” the subsidiary will be headed up by Edna Boone, senior director for mobile initiatives at HIMSS since 2008. The first order of business for mHIMSS was publishing a new report and survey on the current state of mobile technology in healthcare, which included responses from 164 mostly hospital-based CIOs and IT managers. The survey revealed that just 38% of healthcare organizations had a formal strategy or policy regarding the use of mobile devices, with another 51% saying they were developing a policy.
In addition, the survey found that 55% of hospitals only support devices owned or provided by the organization and about 40% can support devices owned by end users but enabled by the institution to support work-related functions. Almost all survey participants said they provide laptops or “computers on wheels (COWs)” to clinicians, and 77% give pagers to their doctors or nurses, however newer technologies seem to be gaining momentum. According to the survey, 55% offer their clinicians smartphones and 57% issue tablets that were not necessarily designed for healthcare. Some 42% provide healthcare-specific tablets like the Intel Mobile Clinical Assistant platform to clinicians.
Expect to see a lot of movement from mHIMSS moving forward. The subsidiary is guided by an advisory council and corporate roundtable comprised of stakeholders from all facets of the global mobile community. “By harnessing the power, expertise, passion, and commitment of volunteer members, mHIMSS provides timely and insightful content related to current issues, trends, and topics associated with mobile technologies and mHealth,” HIMSS said in a statement.