Nemours Embraces App Innovation with MobileIron
"MobileIron makes HIPAA compliance easy. It automates key functions such as encrypting devices, enforcing passcodes, locking devices, and restricting the use of cloud services."J.W. Hagan , Mobile Device Administrator, Nemours, Mobile Device Administrator, Nemours
Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Florida. The group also runs major pediatric specialty clinics in Delaware, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours offers pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy, and prevention programs, serving 250,000 children each year.
Before issuing hundreds of company-owned iOS devices to employees as part of the organization’s Mobile First initiatives, Nemours’ one-man mobile device department implemented the MobileIron Platform. Nemours now uses MobileIron to secure and manage iPhones and iPads and push innovative custom-developed apps out to employees. The company expects to rely heavily on MobileIron as it researches a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program.
Switching MDM platforms improves end-user experience
The 2010 launch of the Apple iPad presented Nemours’ IT department with a dilemma. With 2,000 BlackBerry devices deployed across its workforce, Nemours wanted to offer other options to its employees for the latest mobile technology. But as a healthcare organization, Nemours had to be certain it could manage and secure its devices in ways that would comply with HIPAA.
After finding out about MobileIron’s support for native email apps, J.W. Hagan decided to pilot the solution at Nemours. Encouraged by positive user feedback—and the attentive customer support he was receiving from MobileIron—Hagan moved forward with a full implementation. Three years later, Nemours uses MobileIron to manage 1,750 company-issued iOS devices as well as a small number of Android devices.
“With MobileIron, deploying hundreds of corporate-owned iPhones and iPads to our workforce has been an easy task,” says Hagan. “A third-party vendor simply activates the devices through MobileIron, and after that, I generally don’t have to touch them at all. That’s really important to me, considering I’m a one-man mobile team.”
Even while transitioning hundreds of employees to a new mobile platform, Nemours has been able to meet its HIPAA requirements with minimal effort. “MobileIron makes HIPAA compliance easy,” says Hagan. “It automates key functions such as encrypting devices, enforcing passcodes, locking devices, and restricting the use of cloud services.”
Secure strategically deployed iPads enhance quality of care
For Nemours, deploying iPad devices was about more than just letting employees check email on the go. Nemours is using iPads to increase organizational efficiency and enhance the quality of its care. To cut down on paper clutter and decrease the risk of miscommunications among caregivers, Nemours has built iPads into the walls of its hospitals. Attending staff can now tap icons on an iPad outside a patient’s room to get full, accurate information on the patient’s status and special needs—rather than relying on whiteboards and sticky notes. The app that delivers this functionality recently won an app contest at the MobileIron M2 user conference.
“Our award-winning app allows us to turn an iPad into a dummy terminal, and from there, we pipe in patient data,” Hagan explains. “This initiative not only makes our facilities look much cleaner and more organized, but also makes our caregivers more effective. Of course, it wouldn’t be possible if we couldn’t so easily secure our iPads with MobileIron.”
Mobile apps boost participation in patient surveys
As soon as Nemours employees got their hands on iOS devices, they began requesting various custom-developed apps that would make their jobs easier. Nemours has formed an in-house app development team to respond to these requests, and uses MobileIron Apps@Work to push finished apps out to employees’ devices.
After starting off by building apps that provide company directory and location information, Nemours has branched out. A ticketing app lets IT staff view and update support tickets without returning to their desks. Another app lets staff reserve conference rooms using iPads mounted next to doors. And a survey app allows staff to conduct patient surveys face-to-face, rather than trying to do so with follow-up emails—a change that has increased response rate from 30% to 80-90%.
“Since implementing MobileIron and rolling out iOS devices, we’ve gone from a traditional BlackBerry email environment to a culture of innovation,” comments Hagan. “With MobileIron Apps@Work, it’s easy to deploy our apps. Someone from our app development team sends me the file, and I just toss it onto the server.”
BYOD? No problem
Nemours’ employees are embracing other platforms including iOS devices. In an effort of continuous improvement and employee satisfaction, Nemours is researching plans to implement a BYOD program.
In an effort to provide flexibility to associates, Nemours is exploring plans to implement a BYOD program. Hagan is grateful he’s found a platform that will support the initiative.
“I have no qualms about launching BYOD on MobileIron, because it’s obvious the platform can handle anything we throw at it,” Hagan concludes. “In addition, the company has always been very open to my feedback and suggestions. We’ve found a winner!”