BMI Healthcare assesses mobile devices for hospital consultants

Healthcare provider BMI Healthcare is evaluating mobile device management to give consultants flexible access to patient records

Private healthcare provider BMI Healthcare – which operates 69 hospitals in the UK – is evaluating mobile device management technology from ManageEngine.

The software will be used to provide clinicians with flexible access to patient records.

Matt Rooney, IT desktop manager, BMI Healthcare, said: “We are currently looking at providing access to a mobile health platform. We are discussing whether a consultant would want us to manage his own device, or should we provide one.”

BMI Healthcare is evaluating how it could use the mobile device management functionality in DesktopCentral from ManageEngine to control smartphone and tablet access in hospitals to the mobile health platform.

He said: “DesktopCentral will allow us to apply profiles to devices." The profile can control policies. "If the device drops off the network, the healthcare app is removed.”

The trial is not providing access to healthcare systems, as BMI Healthcare is still assessing the mobile health software to deploy. But the company is evaluating whether to provide hospital consultants with devices or allow them to use their own tablets. While some hospitals provide tablets to staff to control access to patient records, Rooney said consultants can roam between hospitals, so there may not be a single work location. 

“If you provide a device on site the consultant may take it off site,” said Rooney.

Along with mobile device management, BMI Healthcare is also looking at tools to monitor the Windows Active Directory, which would allow the IT department to provide granular control of user access to network resources.

The company has been using DesktopCentral for over four years to manage PCs. The software replaced Symantec Altiris. Rooney said Altiris had a complicated back-end SQL database and required heavy upfront investment from a solution customisation stand-point. 

"We had to ensure one of our engineers was fluent in SQL reporting as none of the out-of-the-box reports met our unique regulatory standard requirements,” said Rooney.

"As a result, we had little visibility into the exact inventory of our desktop estate, which presented a patch management headache. Especially when you consider the number of hospitals we maintain.”

DesktopCentral provides built-in reports and a reporting wizard to enable users to customise reports without the need to use SQL directly. 

“You can also request a custom report from ManageEngine. The report will be written within 48 hours,” said Rooney.

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