The white paper published by Cisco (2011) has emphasized current trends that continue to shape the work setting including increasing applications of video communications, mobile communications and the continuing upgrades to the use of smartphones in varied work endeavors. This was corroborated by Gill, Kamath, & Gill (2012) who closely evaluated the use and impact of smartphones in the health care environment. The authors cited a Gartner study which revealed that “ by 2012, the top ten smartphone apps would include money transfer, location-based services, search, browsing, health monitoring, mobile payment, near-field communication service, advertising, Internet messaging, and music” .
In health care, smartphones were noted to be significantly used in the areas of providing health information to patients, continued access and connectivity to health practitioners, scheduling for medical appointments or medical examinations, to name a few. However, despite the apparent benefits, Gill, Kamath, & Gill (2012) have likewise revealed that the use of smartphones in the healthcare setting poses risks, threats and safety issues for health care practitioners who are using these and also to their patients. From among the negative effects noted from smartphone use include: exposure and possible contamination from bacteria-laden smartphones, especially in high-risk areas, to wit: “ a study conducted at a health care organization in Ireland to test the bacteria-carrying potential of cellular phones showed that, of the 70% cellular phones tested for bacteria that could cause infection, 96% were contaminated and 15% had bacteria known to cause healthcare-associated infections” .
Overall, it is recognized that the significant changes and transformations in the telecommunications environment have affected contemporary work settings in terms of the need to re-evaluate current strategies, plans, internal competencies, and weaknesses.
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