Founded in 2006, Buurtzorg is a Dutch healthcare organization known for its innovative approach to providing in-home medical services. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Buurtzorg currently employs nearly 10,000 nurses to meet the needs of more than 80,000 patients in the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Japan, China, Korea, and the United States. Buurtzorg’s well-trained medical staff helps patients with chronic illnesses stay in their homes or recuperate at home more quickly after hospitalization. As a result, patients are not only happier and more comfortable, in-home care is significantly less expensive than the cost of hospitalization.
Flexibility is key to the company’s ability to deliver comprehensive medical and support services to patients in their homes. Instead of maintaining a centralized office with a top-down management structure, the company employs self-managing teams of highly trained nurses who provide neighborhood-based care to patients. In 2012, the company launched a mobility program to help improve the security and efficiency of its recordkeeping and administrative processes. Prior to that initiative, nurses updated each patient’s status with pen and paper and would then enter their handwritten notes in a computer after returning to the office. Not only was this time-consuming, it delayed how quickly a patient’s status was updated and gave room for potential errors due to misinterpretation of what was written earlier at the patient’s home.
MobileIron provides the remedy for a mobile healthcare solution
To improve the security, speed, and accuracy of patient recordkeeping, Buurtzorg launched a pilot mobility program by equipping a few nurses with iPads to take on their rounds. In addition to securing mobile devices, Buurtzorg needed to deploy Buurtzorgweb, its central healthcare app that provides access to critical services such as patient recordkeeping, business administration, payroll, and more. The company initially chose AirWatch to help manage the deployment. However, Buurtzorg was looking for a partner with a local office and support for better customer service and communication. As a result, they switched to MobileIron to provide the enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution they needed.
“MobileIron already had a team in the Netherlands, which made it very easy for us to meet with them and set up an initial pilot program,” said Jeffrey Scholten, Buurtzorg’s trusted adviser at Ecare Telecom & Cloud Services, which provides Buurtzorg’s core business apps and IT services. “Although we are currently doing basic device security and management, it was very important for us to have a good relationship with our EMM provider. Not only has MobileIron greatly simplified our device deployments, they’ve been extremely easy to work with.”
The initial pilot program with MobileIron was very successful, so Buurtzorg decided to move its growing fleet of over 8,000 iPad devices to MobileIron Cloud. The company currently uses MobileIron Cloud to securely manage all of these devices and enforce security measures such as password policies and remote device wipe in case a device is ever lost or stolen.
“For Buurtzorg, MobileIron Cloud was the best choice because we had already moved most of our backend resources to the cloud. It made perfect sense because we don’t have to purchase or maintain any special hardware and it gives us lots of flexibility without any additional costs,” said Scholten.
Enhanced network and app protection is provided by Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security for a layered security approach. Because Buurtzorg’s highly mobile workforce frequently connects to Wi-Fi at client sites and public areas, additional network security was required to detect man-in-the-middle and other network threats. With MobileIron and Lookout in place, the company can enforce security policies across the entire mobile fleet to ensure devices stay up-to-date with the most current privacy regulations.
Device setup shrinks from hours to minutes with Apple DEP
Buurtzorg is now able to get devices fully configured by enrolling them through the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) and MobileIron Cloud. IT admins can quickly set up multiple devices and configure the Buurtzorg app, email, security policies, and more. Prior to MobileIron and DEP, configuring devices was a time-consuming process. Now devices can be set up in minutes and mailed to the employee so they can start working as soon as they power on their devices.
Buurtzorg also maintains a company app store through MobileIron. Each device runs seven or eight public healthcare apps, which have been fully vetted by the company’s IT department. Out in the field, healthcare workers need access to information about pharmaceuticals, illnesses such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and other issues related to healthcare. There are so many apps available in the public App Store, but not all of them provide the best information or user experience.
“With MobileIron, we can administer a company app store so employees can access company-approved healthcare apps. Plus, MobileIron and DEP enable us to install all the apps immediately instead of one at a time, which saves us tremendous amounts of time,” said Scholten.
MobileIron simplifies the mobile transformation of healthcare
Secure mobile devices and apps have greatly simplified Buurtzorg’s core business processes. Using the iPads rather than pen and paper has saved around 10% of healthcare worker’s time so they can focus on delivering healthcare instead of traveling back to the office to document their records.
“Nurses love the simplicity and efficiency of mobile now that they have shifted to recording everything on an iPad. They no longer have to write everything down or drive to the office to complete paperwork. It allows them to spend more time with clients which is what they need and want to do most,” says Jos de Blok, CEO and co-founder of Buurtzorg.
Buurtzorg is currently testing an offline version of their Buurtzorg application so nurses can stay productive on their devices even without Internet access. The company is also evaluating MobileIron Help@Work to help nurses troubleshoot problems quickly.
“We want to do everything we can to help healthcare staff focus on what they do best: taking care of patients,” said Scholten. “With MobileIron, we can help nurses do their jobs more efficiently and cost-effectively while ensuring that confidential healthcare data is always secure.”