You’ve heard it said that the whole workforce has gone mobile. It’s just the way people today communicate with co-workers, find the information they need and work productively wherever they go.

But how true is this within the medical profession?

Physician technology is still far behind the curve. It’s a little alarming to consider this, given that quick access to information can be a matter of life and death.

Despite the push for “meaningful use” of electronic health records (EHR), physicians are still reliant on printed files or a photographic memory when they engage with patients at many hospitals and clinics. And when physicians need to access or update the EHR, they have to walk from the patient’s room to a nursing station to enter their notes, write prescriptions or sign discharge papers.

This is not only inconvenient and time consuming for the doctor, it means the patient ultimately gets less time with their physician. So why is healthcare tech lagging?

Lack of Platform Standardization Creates Tech Challenges

It’s not that hospitals haven’t tried to increase mobile access — it’s that no model has stuck yet. This is largely because many hospitals have taken a BYOD approach to mobile, which is notoriously challenging to secure and manage on an ongoing basis, especially for such a heavily regulated industry. Add to that healthcare organizations’ propensity for working with multiple software vendors who may offer different functionality for different operating systems (and different update schedules), and it becomes a little more clear why physician mobility has yet to find its feet.

For healthcare mobility to truly hit its stride, hospitals need to institute smart, adaptable mobile solutions that address the entire physician workflow. With Samsung DeX, we think we have the answer.

Imagining the Mobile-Only Future

Picture a doctor who makes her rounds with a hospital-issued Samsung Galaxy Note9 with an S Pen. Like other Samsung smartphones, the Note9 features the defense-grade Samsung Knox security platform built in from the chip up to protect against intrusion, malware and other malicious threats.

When she enters a patient’s room, the doctor greets the patient and uses her phone to scan the patient’s wristband, bringing up his health records. She connects her phone via HDMI to the room’s LCD display — which doubles as a patient entertainment center.

She and the patient review the doctor’s findings, viewing anatomy charts and images. If the patient has questions, she can access online medical resources to help further illustrate the procedure. The desktop computing experience enabling this consultation is powered entirely from her phone.

As the doctor performs the examination and interviews the patient about current symptoms, she’s able to take notes, record her assessment and issue prescriptions from the room with her S Pen, even while simultaneously showing medical information to the patient on the monitor. In the past, she would have had to head down the hall to the nurse’s to perform some of these tasks, taking her away from the patient and their family. Now she can stay in the room and answer questions as she works.

When she’s finished, she can disconnect her smartphone and move directly on to the next patient’s room. Despite spending extra time with the first patient, she’s still ahead of schedule compared with the old approach and may be able to see a couple of extra patients during her shift.

Once her rounds are finished, she’ll continue to use her smartphone for administrative tasks, docking in to a monitor, keyboard and mouse at the nurse’s station to answer emails, complete discharge papers and consult with colleagues.

Making Smarter Physician Workflows a Reality

This scenario is not as futuristic as it sounds — it’s all possible today with the power of a Galaxy smartphone and the DeX platform. Unlike other mobile strategies, this is not treating mobile as an “add-on” that lets you do some tasks but not others. It’s not about adding more endpoints that IT will have to manage. It’s about harnessing the incredible power of today’s smartphones to power the entire clinical workflow and dramatically simplify hospital IT.

For hospitals to achieve it, they’ll need to move beyond BYOD and commit more fully to mobile devices and applications. They’ll need to look carefully at their existing IT infrastructure, reach a consensus on their mobile goals and plan a phased rollout. For those interested in a DeX pilot, we’ve put together an in-depth guide outlining key consideration for going mobile-only. We also offer a range of strategy and support services for organizations planning mobile initiatives.

The mobile revolution may be well underway in other industries, but healthcare’s transformation is still to come. With the Note9 and Samsung DeX, your organization can help lead the charge.

Learn more about transitioning to a mobile future with Samsung Galaxy Note9 and DeX in our free white paper.