Healthcare is among the leading industries which drives the use of personal devices for work purposes (BYOD). However, allowing BYOD for healthcare workers comes at a cost, as it puts sensitive information assets such as patient data residing on personal devices at risk of potential data breaches.
Previous review of the literature has highlighted the dearth of empirical studies in hospital settings regarding BYOD usage. As such, this paper aims to report BYOD usage trends in Australian hospitals through a national survey, first of its kind in Australia.
An anonymous survey was conducted online among health IT personnel, asking them about their experiences about BYOD usage in their hospitals. 28 responses were collected based on public Australian hospitals, which included 21 hospital groups and 7 standalone hospitals, likely to represent more than 100 hospitals in total. Survey responses were quantitatively analysed through descriptive statistical analysis and cross tabulation.
BYOD is allowed in majority of the hospitals, and among all major staff groups, with doctors being the leading group. Participants ranked reasons for allowing BYOD, and most of them were related to improvement in clinical productivity, efficiency and mobility for clinical staff. Challenges were generally related to data security such as patient data breaches and compliance with data security laws, according to them. More than two thirds of hospitals had a cybersecurity officer employed, and CIOs were the most dominant group who held responsibility for managing BYOD within the hospital.
This paper provides a starting point for better understanding of BYOD usage in a complex healthcare environment based on empirical evidence, one which highlights the security-usability conundrum, confirming previous literature themes.