Mobile Devices and EMS Providers

Sources: EMR-ISAC,

More patient files and records are being stored and transmitted by EMS providers electronically using mobile devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working to educate medical workers of their responsibilities when transmitting Protected Health Information (PHI) using these devices.

Mobile devices can be less secure than other computers because they are more easily misplaced or stolen, can link to an unsecure wireless network, and can download viruses. HHS recommends providers have a plan mitigating the use of mobile devices within their office and the safe transmission of PHI.

HHS’s web site dedicated to the safe use of mobile devices in health care offers a series of videos, frequently asked questions, and downloadable materials. The 2012 Mobile Device Roundtable transcripts are also available.