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The number of mobile devices in the world is increasing as an incredible rate. It seems that smart phones and tablets are becoming so common that it’s more odd to see someone without one. When you try to incorporate that device into your organization, use it to do your work, or just keep in touch with your colleagues, you’re also adding to the headaches your IT team has to deal with.

The article I bylined for the mHIMSS web site talks a bit about the dangers of allowing people to bring their own devices into the organization. While it can be a positive thing, especially for productivity, it also opens up a lot of questions about the possibility of data and files being lost or compromised. This of course applies to any industry, but healthcare is particularly troubling because of the potential that your personal health information (PHI) gets out into the wrong hands and the potential fines involved with a HIPAA violation.

There are a few suggestions at the end of the article on how to strategically incorporate these devices, but it’s not easy. User training is important and is setting expectations, because once a behavior is learned, it’s hard to change. What these great little devices can do is evolving and growing, and we’re able to do more and more with them – but it also adds to the possibility that confidential information will leak out. Be aware of the pitfalls and think through your BYOD strategy carefully!