Rehab Care Advances Mobile Healthcare with iPhone and iPad

Industry: Healthcare

"Our professionals are using cutting edge tools they enjoy that improve their work processes, and MobileIron ensures the integrity of the data."

Richard Escue , CIO, Kindred Healthcare

Established in 1982, RehabCare Group, Inc. is a leading national provider of post-acute services, and is dedicated to providing a clinically integrated continuum of care that helps people regain their lives. RehabCare owns and operates 34 long-term acute care and rehabilitation hospitals, and manages rehabilitation programs in partnership with over 1,260 hospitals and skilled nursing facilities in 42 states.

RehabCare has long been a leader in enterprise mobility, beginning with its Palm deployment 10 years ago. Around 2008, RehabCare began looking at updating its systems. A key challenge was finding ruggedized devices that could hold up to continuous daily use at a $250 price point. The IT team evaluated a wide variety of devices and technologies, including BlackBerry, in-house Java development and in-house Windows Mobile development. However, they didn’t find anything that was an improvement.

Then Apple introduced the first enterprise features for iPhone, most significantly the ability to do remote wipes. At RehabCare, the iPhone was met with mixed feelings. Some, including CEO John Short, saw it as a potential game-changer; others were concerned about whether the iPhone was truly ready for an enterprise-scale deployment. Finally, Richard Escue, the CIO, tasked the IT department with figuring out how to make the iPhone work for RehabCare.

At RehabCare, every minute counts - literally. In order for RehabCare to be reimbursed by the government or an insurance company for providing care, employees need to track and record every minute and every detail of treatment, including the diagnosis, the treatment, when the appointment began and when it ended. RehabCare must also meet industry regulations on how much care can be provided in one day and ensure compliance with federal regulations, including HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley.

Apple iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, met all RehabCare’s requirements. They offered an intuitive user interface that required little to no training, they were sturdy and the price was right. They were also appealing devices to use and employees loved them. At any given time, RehabCare might have as many as 750 job openings, so anything that supports employee retention can translate into millions of dollars in cost savings. RehabCare also developed its own cloud-based applications for mobile devices so that all required information could be entered quickly and easily during patient care.

The next step was to identify a mobile device management platform to manage and secure the data and the devices. After reviewing different options, including the Afaria solution that was already in place, RehabCare selected MobileIron Core. A key factor in the decision was that MobileIron provided the ability for automatic device enrollment with encrypted profiles, an important mobile enterprise security feature.

"We've always embraced the consumerization of IT and been on the cutting edge of adopting consumer technologies for the enterprise," said Jim O'Brien, AVP, Hospital Division IT, Rehab-Care. “However, there are a lot of challenges that go along with being first. MobileIron is on the forefront of what is happening with mobile device management, so they understood this inherently. We felt like a partner in their development process, and we both learned a lot.”

The MobileIron rollout began at the beginning of 2010. To date, thousands of devices are under MobileIron management, and RehabCare is on target to have 10,000 devices under management by the end of 2010. So far, the devices are 100% company-owned; however, employees may use their own smartphones if they meet RehabCare's security requirements. Although the devices are company-owned, Rehab-Care considers them to be lifestyle devices and fully expects - and even encourages - employees to use their iPad or iPhone in their personal lives. MobileIron's Virtual Smartphone Platform (VSP) allows IT to manage and secure corporate data while protecting a user's privacy.

“One of the things that really stood out over the course of our work with MobileIron was their commitment to the success of our project,” said Andy Wright, RehabCare engineer. “We worked very closely with MobileIron’s engineers, and they quickly adapted to our environment, becoming a real part of our internal team.”

Departments are now getting fewer help-desk calls, and overhead is down because there have been far fewer replacement devices. IT can easily provision devices either individually or in groups, decreasing time spent on mobile management. Employees love using Apple technology and the simplification of their reporting using the cloud-based apps.

“We’re very pleased with what we’ve accomplished,” said Richard Escue, CIO, RehabCare. “Our professionals are using cutting edge tools they enjoy that improve their work processes, and MobileIron ensures the integrity of the data.”

Key Benefits:
  • Support and manage strategic cloud-based apps
  • Ensure security as well as compliance with regulations, including HIPAA and SOX
  • Secure data access to the file server using iOS devices
  • Increase efficiency of IT department
Why Mobileiron:
  • Supports employee retention
  • MobileIron provides ability for automatic device enrollment with encrypted profiles
  • Employers able to encourage employee's use of their own personal devices