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Care Worker Mobile App: How to Make BYOD Work in Your Home Care Agency

aged hand of an old woman holding and showing the screen of a smartphone

The “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend is becoming increasingly more mainstream in the business IT world. According to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, Inc.’s Executive Programs, 38 percent of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016.

Another survey conducted by IDC Canada found that almost 81 percent of Canadians said at least some of their work activities involve BYOD.

With the combination of mHealth, a thoroughly planned strategy, and technological controls/policies, BYOD can contribute positively to the safety, efficiency and productivity of home health care.

BYOD is changing the way care workers provide care. The number and population of mHealth applications (such as AlayaCare’s care worker mobile app) are increasing, and if you haven’t already applied BYOD to your home care agency, it is something you should consider. Some of the benefits of implementing a BYOD program include:

  • Employee freedom to work on devices of their choice, increasing comfort and productivity.
  • Overall increased employee satisfaction.
  • Up-to-date devices; BYOD are generally more updated and cutting-edge than IT issued devices.
  • Less stress on IT employees to maintain condition of company devices.
  • Cost savings

There is no denying the concern around compliance and security of BYOD initiatives in home health care, but with the right plan and tools in place, it’s more than possible to make these programs work for your home care agency. Here are a few tips to consider before making the switch:

Planned Policies & Technology Controls – It’s important to have a detailed strategic plan in place before activating a BYOD program. Policies and procedures such as theft reporting and breach protocols should be well thought out and communicated to all employees.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) – This type of software allows your IT department to monitor, manage and secure employee mobile devices deployed across multiple mobile service providers and operating systems. MDM software can be pricy, but should be considered in order to maximize security and compliance.

Password Protection – Simple password protection policies that require passwords to access patient data. Be sure to implement a time-out feature and a limited number of password attempts to maximize security.

Feature Disable Policy – Have a policy in place for employees to disable features such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when they are not in use to reduce the likelihood of a breach. 

Antivirus Software – Continuous monitoring of antivirus software is required. Consider applying a policy for IT employees to check and update employee device antivirus software regularly.

The home health care industry is transforming, and with proper procedures and policies on BYOD, along employee compliance and accountability, this trend won’t be disappearing any time soon.