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OnPage Whitepaper: 8 HIPAA Compliant Text Messaging Myths Dispelled

HIPAA compliant text messaging

In 2016, almost 85%  of physicians and hospital personnel reported that they brought their personal smartphones to work. At the same time, Accellion also reported that 68% of healthcare security breaches were due to the loss or theft of personal mobile devices or files. These two statistics have led some healthcare institutions to conclude that they should not allow any type of healthcare-related messaging or communications on personal mobile devices among hospital staff. They feel that messaging on personal devices will leave hospitals exposed to breaches.

While BYOD’s proliferation has impacted security, officials should not assume that isolation is the solution. Rather, a more intelligent solution would be to set up security parameters that ensure secure and encrypted communications. This blog will highlight the myths surrounding secure and HIPAA compliant messaging. With the correct policies in place, hospitals can incorporate BYOD and HIPAA secure messaging into their workplace.

Misconception #1: Secure text messaging has no impact on patient outcomes.

According to a study performed at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, researchers found that patients whose providers used mobile secure text messaging left the hospital about 0.77 days sooner, equivalent to about a 14 percent reduction in their overall hospital stay. 13 The reason the hospitals saw this impact was that their use of secure messaging devices improved communications among physicians and nurses and thus allowed patients to leave the hospital sooner. In essence, the use of secure messaging devices improved the continuity of care which patients received and allowed for better outcomes.

Misconception #2: Text messaging is not necessary for effective healthcare.

HIPAA secure messaging applications expedite processes that formerly were handled over the phone and avoid the compliance issues presented by default SMS programs.

A benefit of HIPAA secure messaging, according to HIMSS, is that it “allows patients and healthcare teams to communicate non-urgent, health related information in a private and safe computer environment.”

Misconception #3: Text Messaging is HIPAA compliant

Texting applications such as the ones that come with the iPhone and Android are not sufficiently secure. These applications are unable to verify the identity of the person sending the text or to retain the original message as validation of the information entered into the medical record.

Furthermore, as TechTarget noted, SMS does not translate into secure messaging in healthcare:

Despite their popularity, the limitations of SMS and other consumer-grade messaging services make them a bad fit for secure messaging in healthcare.

Additionally, these messaging applications do not meet HIPAA protocols.

How can secure messaging help your practice?

Physicians and their colleagues at hospitals need secure messaging to ensure that they can communicate quickly, effectively and securely with one another.

To read 5 more compliant messaging myths dispelled, please download our whitepaper.

 

The post OnPage Whitepaper: 8 HIPAA Compliant Text Messaging Myths Dispelled appeared first on OnPage.

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OnPage is a disruptive technology and application that leverages today's technology and smartphone capabilities for priority mobile messaging. With a top notch history of ensuring uninterrupted communication for businesses and critical response organizations, OnPage is once again poised to pioneer new mobile communications methodology for business and organizational use.