Doctors: Should You Bring Your Own Device?


As working environments are rapidly changing and professional and personal lives are blurring, „Bring your own device“ has become a popular practice in the office world. Recently, this shift has also made its way to the health care industry. PriceWaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute has identified „Bring your own device“ as one of the top ten health industry issues to watch in 2013.

PwC states that more and more doctors and nurses are using their personal mobile devices at work. The questionable aspect of this trend is that according to the study, only 46 percent of the surveyed healthcare providers have a security strategy that regulates the use of such devices. It doesn’t really come as a surprise that 39 percent of consumers –  patients – are very concerned about the fact that healthcare personnel are accessing medical information via personal phones.

Now as a doctor, should you bring your own device to work? While it’s highly support-worthy that medical workers care so much about their patients that they don’t mind using their personal belongings for work, there are a few things you should consider first. As long as health facilities haven’t worked out the security issue yet – which they should do regardless of the BYOD-trend –  I’d suggest you leave your personal smartphone in your locker. From a patient’s point of view it is also irresponsible to handle delicate data in an unsafe environment.

That being said, the BYOD-issue reveals an obvious lack of technological infrastructure in health facilities and for their staff. Rather than having doctors and nurses use their personal devices at work, employers should equip them with needful devices. And once your employer has handed you a mobile device, it leads us to the question: should you bring your company mobile home? That, of course, is a whole different issue.