Five Tips for Rolling Out iPads at a Hospital or Clinic

August 15, 2017 | Post by James Bainter | 1 Comments

Apple Healthcare

Making the decision to supply your healthcare facility’s staff with Apple® iPads may seem like a big step. However, once you’ve made the switch, you’ll benefit from the variety of uses iPads have in healthcare from completing patient forms at check-in and storing patient records, to enabling doctors to visually communicate information to patients.  

When rolling out these new devices, careful planning for deployment will help shorten employee adoption time, contributing to the all-around success of the implementation. A well-planned implementation can also increase the rate at which these devices are used, as well as fostering productivity once they’re deployed. Here are some questions to consider before deploying iPads at your hospital or clinic that will help ensure success.

1. Who are your stakeholders and what do they need?

Before launching iPads in your hospital or clinic, make sure all users and IT support staff understand the rollout process. Ensure stakeholders are given all the basic information and are aware of your timeline. Address any questions or concerns early to increase employee engagement and enthusiasm, as well as to limit any downstream roadblocks. 

2. What is your ideal forecast?

Choose how many employees will receive iPads and contemplate buying extra devices for emergencies. Investing in extra devices may reduce employee downtime while waiting for a new device to arrive, helping to increase workplace efficiency. Give your employees an accurate forecast on when they can expect new devices to ensure better device availability and reduce the number of shelved devices.

By purchasing the healthcare apps you want to provide in bulk, hospitals can streamline the deployment process without compromising security from individual users trying to download an unauthorized or unknown application—commonly referred to as “Shadow IT.” Apple offers a Volume Purchasing Program with mobile device management (MDM) for apps and eBooks, including healthcare-specific apps. 

3. What is your asset deployment strategy?

Security is a justified concern for the healthcare industry. Ensuring all information is safe and secure is imperative, and it is also the law, as prescribed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). With the Apple Device Enrollment Program, IT can manage company-owned devices, restricting certain features for security or business purposes. 

The Apple Device Enrollment Program also helps speed deployments, putting formatted and provisioned devices into the hands of those who need them, faster. With MDM, configuration is automatic and the Setup Assistant efficiently activates the device for each user.   

4. Will you offer employee training? 

Using iPads in a hospital or clinic may require basic training, as staff may not have used tablets or specific healthcare applications before. Employees must understand how their iPad can help them manage daily tasks and improve overall productivity. Decide early how your organization will approach employee training, making sure to adhere to a structured workflow. Some of the training questions you need to answer include: Will you offer official training? Should employees learn as they go or receive training through an Authorized Apple Reseller

Basic topics to cover in training:

  • What is this iPad to be used for?
  • What is expected of employees regarding the devices? 
  • What restrictions are enforced?
  • Where do you receive IT support?
  • Are there specific apps to use for effective patient management?
  • What security measures are in place to protect patient information?
  • What are some security best practices?
  • How does your facility ensure it is following HIPAA protocols?

5. What kind of IT support will you offer?

Will employees go to an in-house IT department or will you outsource IT? Consider the pros and cons of each approach and decide the best fit for your hospital or department. 

Finding an Authorized Apple Reseller with full life cycle support and flexible, affordable rate plans is beneficial in managing your devices from procurement to disposal. Having reliable assistance throughout the whole process will allow a smooth transition for your employees and ensure ongoing support.

Have you completed an iPad rollout in healthcare and have tips for others? Do you have any tips that we missed? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The content and opinions posted on this blog and any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not those of CompuCom.

  • James Bainter's picture

    James Bainter

    James Bainter is an Apple Solutions Architect for CompuCom with 16 years of experience in the IT industry. He is responsible for working with CompuCom customers to identify and define mobility solutions, lead the solution design process, and ensure that the implementation meets all expectations.

Comments

James - All your points are excellent and these considerations are essential for any successful deployment of iPads or any type of mobile device. While products may differ, licensing, training and security issues need to be addressed before the first device is deployed.

I work at Datamation Systems which has hundreds of healthcare customers and partners with some of the larger communication and mobile device management companies in the health sector. With our partners, we have observed that it is also critically important to address additional things in any device deployment: Where will the devices be stored and secured and who has access to them? How will the devices be updated, provisioned and digitally "sanitized" when they are shared or assigned for temporary use? How will they be kept charged and ready for use? Are they used in cases or with peripheral accessories and what does that mean for charging and storage options?

Of course, there are many more considerations but I hope our small contribution to the discussion will help those looking to implement iPads or other mobiles effectively. Dag Gonzalez

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