Mobile working 'boom' in NHS despite project failures

By Danny Palmer
03 Apr 2014 View Comments
Nurses at NHS hospital

The number of healthcare organisations deploying live mobile working strategies has more than doubled in the past 12 months, but challenges still remain, with almost one in three projects deemed to be unsuccessful.

That's according to a new report titled ‘Mobile working in the NHS' by mobile application software toolkit provider NDL which suggests there's a gap between the anticipated challenges of setting up a mobile working strategy within an NHS structure and actually rolling the project out, as demonstrated by the 29 per cent of NHS Trusts that had experienced an unsuccessful mobile working project.

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Of those projects, 51 per cent saw choosing the wrong type of mobile device as a reason for failure, with 29 per cent of respondents believing that setting out the type of the device at the very start of the project as "critical."

Data limitations are also seen as a significant reason for the failure of projects, with 60 per cent citing inadequate data as a reason for failure.

The report also suggests that within those organisations which have failed to roll out a successful project, general resistance to change in methods of working is a barrier to mobile working.

"These results show there are key areas that project managers are underestimating the importance of," said NDL managing director Declan Grogan, speaking at the launch of the report.

"In the worst case, these oversights can lead to outright failure of mobile working projects, but in many others it can make the early days of a mobile working project more difficult than they need to be," he continued.

"By highlighting them in this report we can bring renewed focus to these areas, while also demonstrating that issues such as security should not be viewed as an insurmountable barrier, as long as sensible measures are implemented."

Despite some of the failures, Grogan argued that mobile working certainly does have a positive future within healthcare.

"With the business case for mobile working showing such huge return on investment, the growth of mobile working and the efficiency of implementation will increasingly be determined by accurately identifying and then mitigating the challenges mobile working projects typically face," he said.

"Taking a realistic view of the data network and recognising the importance of the application and device selection will help ease the rollout of mobile working," Grogan concluded.

NDL's study identified 161 active projects among the 160 Trusts surveyed, with just over a quarter of respondents having multiple projects in place. The report is based on interviews with IT professionals within the organisations.

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