Watch this new VMware TV interview with Timothy Pan, of Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH), to learn the impact of mobile devices on business at this leading healthcare organization.
Q: Walk us through your mobile journey and the challenges that led up to it.
Timothy: It was pretty tough to begin. We started the mobile deployment about four years ago. Obviously, we chose another solution, which didn’t work well. We quickly switched to VMware AirWatch, which made things much easier. In my experience, we had to get executive members on board—the CIO and even the CFO. We needed top-down support for it to work. This is key. Of course, the other major part is communication to the physician community, to others in IT as well as to the entire hospital. This is not simply technology that we put out, like a firewall. This is something that interacts with the user, so communication and education is key.
Q: How are doctors changing the way they do their jobs with this mobile technology?
Timothy: In the beginning, we found adoption difficult among doctors. We provided some devices, and some doctors had their own devices. Those that had their own device (a bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, situation) didn’t want to have more software put on it. Privacy is always an issue. We went through a difficult time, but we continued to show them how important is. We provided the tools they needed to make their lives a lot easier. We provided support on a weekly basis. Not only did we help users configure their devices, but also we provided education.
Q: Are there other use cases, as well? What’s the impact?
Timothy: We have other ongoing projects. One of those projects, for example, is for patient escorts. We’ve provided patient escort service for two years. They’re very happy with that because those people that move the patient around, what they usually do is they have to find a phone nearby once they’ve done their job to get the next one. Now it’s so easy. They just pull out their phone and find out where the next patient is, they go there and they pick them up on time. It’s much more efficient, and all those records are updated right away, reflected in the EMR (electronic medical record) system. In the beginning, I believe, they had to hire about 20 part-time employees because they just couldn’t handle the work load. Now, it’s just so easy, and it’s much more efficient.
Q: What other anecdotes have you heard from users on how it helps provide better patient care?
Timothy: Absolutely, MyChart Bedside is one good example. AirWatch is deeply integrated into the workflow for it. We try not to put a burden on the nurse that’s managing the station, so we try to find opportunities to automate that workflow. The API that AirWatch provides is so unique, it will automatically send the API call to reach the device.
Q: What other VMware technology are you using, and how does that provide a backbone for your AirWatch deployment?
Timothy: We are a VMware shop for the server. Particularly for security and call-based service, VMware makes life a lot easier for all the administrators. We can manage the system anywhere, anytime, basically. We don’t have to VPN to the hospital system in order to access the console. We can access content anywhere. This is one of the benefits we love. It also helps reduce a lot of the burden of system upgrades. We can have a scheduled time AirWatch will help us upgrade right away.
Q: Where is HMH headed, and how will AirWatch and other VMware technology help you get there?
Timothy: Right now, we’re piloting a program where we would provide mobile devices to patients and nurses. The ultimate goal is to totally eliminate paper—everything is electronic. It’s very successful already in the pilot program, and we are discussing this further deployment.