Mobility solutions key to reeling in $3 billion of spending in Australian healthcare

02 Sep 2015

Sydney, Australia, Sep 2, 2015 - As Australian healthcare spends more and faces increasingly complex demand, conditions are ripe for mobility initiatives.

A 2008 National Health and Hospital Reform Commission (NHHRC) review noted that the healthcare system was fragmented and inefficient. Healthcare expenditure outpace GDP growth, with an average annual growth of 5%. As expenditure rises, the need to drive out inefficiency is far more critical than ever before. IDC research suggests that 3rd Platform technologies play a key role in transforming the healthcare system to meet the growing demands.

The key efficiency inhibitor is the way information is stored, shared and used. A three billion ($3 billion) can be salvaged from healthcare spending as a result of minimizing medical errors. Eighteen (18%) of medical errors stem from a lack of patient information. As the groundwork is finally taking shape, particularly in Electronic Medical Records (eMR), Australian hospitals are entering a stage where the opportunity for digital transformation and mobility initiatives can yield substantial results.

“Seventy eight point seven percent ( 78.7%) of Australian healthcare providers prioritized mobility initiatives over other projects .” says Joseph Hsiao, Mobility Market Analyst at IDC Australia. Australia and New Zealand lead the way in the Asia/Pacific region in enterprise mobility maturity. IDC’s Asia/Pacific Mobility Maturity Scape identifies healthcare at the repeatable stage where mobility gains strategic importance as it is accepted by the organization and key stakeholders. All these factors point towards adoption of mobility services aimed at delivering a positive return on investment (ROI). The key mobility areas discussed in the report are; mobile devices, application and infrastructure.

Figure 1

The healthcare workforce is intrinsically a mobile workforce and obtaining access to information at point-of-care is essential. Some key mobile technologies in the healthcare transformation are:

  • Tablets and smartphones are finding a place in hospitals due to its portability and cost-effectiveness. Traditionally consumer-focused vendors are offering tablets designed specifically for the healthcare environment and this pattern is expected to be seen across the board. In Australia, 84% of the healthcare organisations already have mobile device management policies in place, indicating that they are ready for smartphone and tablet deployment.

  • Mobile applications are a critical part of the mobility ecosystem as it is the piece of the puzzle that transforms business processes and workflows. Australian healthcare organisations ranked 3rd in the 2015 IDC Enterprise Mobility Survey the need for unified communications (UC) which aims at limiting productivity loss from travelling around the hospital.

  • A strong connectivity infrastructure is vital in ensuring the adoption and acceptance of mobility initiatives by clinicians. Investment in connectivity infrastructure is seen in both new and old hospitals, through greenfield development and network upgrades respectively. IDC data project that wireless LAN spending will grow at a 12.1% compound annual growth rate in the next 4 years in Australia.

The report conducts a thorough analysis of the mobility prospect in the Australian healthcare environment and provides insights, essential guidance and future outlook.

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