Scalable and Secure Messaging in Healthcare

January 19, 2023 · 6 min read

Advancements in scalable and secure messaging have completely changed how medical personnel collaborate and treat patients in hospital environments. In this article, we will discuss the communication challenges that healthcare corporations face, the need for adaptability in diverse clinical settings, and the growing reputation of secure messaging as a practical solution. We also discuss HIPAA compliant communication and secure text messaging for healthcare.

The Rise of Secure Messaging in Healthcare

Miscommunication during patient handoff emphasizes the need for secure messaging in healthcare. About 80% of serious medical errors are caused by this. These errors contribute to the five million deaths a year caused by poor care, especially in low- and middle-income countries. This statistic emphasizes the need to improve patient safety and care quality.

John T. James, Ph.D., writes "A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care" about hospital-preventable harm. It stresses the need for better healthcare communication and information management. Secure hospital messaging systems are needed because preventable harm causes over 210,000 deaths per year in the U.S. By ensuring healthcare providers exchange patient information accurately and quickly, these systems could reduce errors, especially miscommunication.

HIPAA Compliant Communication in the Healthcare Setting

In the healthcare industry, an individual’s privacy and records are crucial. Healthcare institutions have to observe the regulations set forth within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Healthcare data breaches cost $7.13 million annually, highlighting the need for HIPAA-compliant communication. Due to HIPAA and other federal and state regulations, healthcare breaches cost more than others. The average 329 days it takes to identify and contain healthcare breaches highlights the need for robust, compliant communication systems. These systems must protect sensitive patient data from malicious attacks, human errors, and system glitches to reduce the financial impact of breaches.

Developing a Healthcare Texting Policy

Creating texting policies is required in the healthcare industry. While texting provides a quick form of communication, it does not likely meet the standards of healthcare compliance defined by HIPAA.

When creating a healthcare texting policy, define which communication methods are acceptable and what communication methods are unacceptable. Providing texting alternatives will give providers the ability to quickly share information while remaining compliant.

By establishing rules for healthcare personnel, these policies help to mitigate the dangers associated with informal communication by ensuring that secure messaging is used effectively.

The Advantages of Secure Text Messaging for Healthcare

Secure text messaging improves patient care and provider efficiency in healthcare. Miscommunication causes 80% of serious medical errors. Patient handoffs require clear, immediate information exchange, so this improvement is crucial. Additionally, text message reminders improve patient adherence to pre-surgical procedures and other medical instructions.

Secure text messaging also improves healthcare professional care coordination. It facilitates secure and seamless exchange of electronic protected health information (ePHI), improving patient care collaboration and decision-making. Real-time communication improves patient outcomes and engagement, making patient-provider interactions more informed and prepared. 

Ongoing Development of Healthcare Texting Policies

Creating a strong texting policy is a continuous effort to maintain secure and efficient communication, not a one-time project. This policy needs to cover ongoing evaluation, enforcement, and training.

In a qualitative study, the Ohio State University College of Medicine interviewed 42 experienced physicians and patients who used an ambulatory patient portal. By providing "rules of engagement" for patient portal communication, the study found that training could reduce patient and provider concerns. Companies should invest in training and enforcement to maintain secure messaging system integrity.

Discovering the Future of Secure Messaging in Healthcare

Adopting secure messaging solutions is a logical next step as healthcare embraces digital transformation. These systems allow healthcare workers to interact safely with one another. Further, in addition to protecting the patient’s safety, these systems protect the organization’s reputation.

Hypercare is an all-in-one healthcare coordination platform that improves communication and efficiency. Our platform offers secure messaging, virtual pagers, on-call scheduling, code-team activation and more. Hypercare integrates with existing systems and streamlines HIPAA-compliant healthcare workflows. Contact us today to speak to us about implementing these solutions at your facility.

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