Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has deployed a mobile version of desktop management before rolling out iPads to its executive committee and senior clinicians.

The trust has deployed a mobile application management solution from Fiberlink to make sure that any tablets it rolls out are password protected and that data on them is encrypted, and that it can restrict and remove applications remotely.

Using the MaaS360 platform, it has also issued iPads to its executive committee, so they have secure access to board papers and email, and to its senior clinicians, so they can access information using the trust’s recently installed wireless network.

Donna-Marie Jarrett, associate director of health informatics, told eHealth Insider that the iPads will streamline its management process, improve efficiency, and make the trust “greener.”

The partnership between the trust and Fiberlink is for one-year, in the form of a pilot, as Ashford explores avenues which may improve mobile working.

Jarrett said it meant information provided to the tablets and any subsequent updates will be controlled through a central server, allowing the trust to implement a mobile wireless version of desktop management.

“We approached three organisations for our mobile device management and we found that Fiberlink was the easiest to set-up, for what we wanted,” she said.

The trust is only planning to give iPad users access to publicly available documents initially, so there should be no risk of patient information being viewed or security compromised if the devices are lost or stolen.

However, using the MaaS360 platform, the trust will be able to ‘wipe’ lost or stolen devices remotely. If the pilot is a success, the trust may explore the possibility of providing clinicians with access to important and confidential patient information on their tablets.

Eventually, Jarrett told EHI the trust might consider a “bring your own device to work” policy. She also said it was looking to share information from the pilot with other trusts.

James House, health informatics engineer at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital, said: “Too many public sector organisations have been embroiled in data loss crises in recent years for the NHS trusts to approach this issue without careful consideration.”

NHS guidelines recommend trusts to distribute mobile devices with MDM software. However, it is a relatively new field.

Alan Giles, Fiberlink EMEA managing director, said: “We are really excited by this project with Ashford and St Peter’s and expect this to be the first in a long line of NHS service contracts.”

Jarrett told EHI that the trust has a busy year ahead, with a set of business cases being produced for technology projects, including a clinical portal and an e-prescribing system.