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NHS trusts rush to mobile but many struggling to plan projects properly

Antony Savvas | April 7, 2014
The number of NHS trusts with mobile working projects has more than doubled to 77 percent in a year, but many trusts are struggling to plan them properly, according to research.

The number of NHS trusts with mobile working projects has more than doubled to 77 percent in a year, but many trusts are struggling to plan them properly, according to research.

Specialist software house NDL interviewed 160 English acute, community and mental trusts and Welsh and Scottish healthcare trusts for its research.

NDL focused on line of business mobile working, which allows healthcare professionals to carry out a transaction in situ to meet a patient or organisational need, rather than technology that simply enables individuals to access emails or calendars when they are out of the office.

NDL's study identified 161 active projects among the 160 trusts surveyed, with just over a quarter (27 percent) of trusts having multiple projects in place. In line with previous studies, community nursing remained the most popular area for mobile working projects, followed by case management and assessments.

But NDL said there is evidence of a "lingering perception gap" between the anticipated and actual challenges of setting up a mobile working project. The report asked the 29 percent of respondents who had experienced an unsuccessful mobile working project to attribute the main reasons for failure, as well as asking all respondents about the perceived barriers to setting up mobile working projects.

Only 11 percent of failed project respondents cited security as a significant reason, but 47 percent of all respondents perceived security concerns to be a major barrier to mobile working.

And 51 percent of failed projects identified incorrect device selection as a significant reason, but only 29 percent of all respondents see choosing the right device as critical at the start of a project.

Also, 60 percent of failed projects pinpointed an inadequate data network as a reason for their failure, but only 41 percent of all respondents see it as a barrier at a project's outset.

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

 

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