Exploring mobile working in healthcare: Clinical perspectives on transitioning to a mobile first culture of work.
Shah N., Martin G., Archer S., Arora S., King D., Darzi A.
OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the views of healthcare professionals (HCPs) as end-users of mobile technologies to inform the requirements for a successful move towards a mobile first culture of work within secondary care. Many HCPs already used mobile devices to support their day-to-day practice and so transitioning to an organisational led mobile way of working is both needed and timely. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In-depth focus groups and interviews at a UK academic hospital were conducted with HCPs (nurses, doctors, and allied health professionals). The interviews elicited views from HCPs about the use of mobile technologies in their clinical work and discussed their experiences of previous technology deployments. RESULTS: Thirty-four HCPs participated. Three themes were identified: integrating mobile working in hospital care; addressing data governance and accountability for mobile working; and handling the pace of change. The acceptance of mobile working is determined by whether it enhances, rather than hinders clinical practice whilst holding end-user's confidence; measuring the impact of the administrative burden on workload, changes to professional accountability and safeguarding patient data are serious issues that need consideration; and the pace of change needs to work for all stakeholders. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: The benefits of adopting mobile technologies are well recognised, however, technical and policy related factors identified by professional end-users require answers in order to successfully integrate mobile working into current practice. Adopting a mobile first approach to work is timely and achievable, but can only be delivered on a foundation of positive end-user engagement and strong organisational leadership.