Yes. TigerConnect provides both standard secure healthcare messaging and a more advanced clinical communication solution capable of integrating with your EHR and other systems. Our custom workflow communications mapping will help you streamline admissions and discharges, improve patient handoffs, and respond to patient needs in real time, creating significant lifts in both productivity and cost savings.
TigerConnect integrates with a range of systems across a broad spectrum of vendors, including:
No. One of the major areas in which we excel is the ability to successfully implement our customers. TigerConnect requires very little heavy lifting. Being a SaaS-based solution, there is no server to install and we can have you up and running the same day.
Yes. TigerConnect was conceived and architected with an open API to integrate into a wide variety of third-party data systems. As health systems have spent millions of dollars on EHR, PACS, and Lab Results systems, TigerConnect is focused on helping to transmit the information housed in these healthcare systems to workers across the enterprise. Click here to learn more.
TigerConnect uses AES-256/SSL encryption and exercises a number of physical, technical, and administrative safeguards to secure healthcare messaging. In addition, we provide the enterprise a suite of security mechanisms to ensure the highest standards of patient confidentiality and overall data protection with regards to PHI and in accordance with HIPAA and other industry regulations.
Nope! TigerConnect is much more than just secure text messaging. You can leverage the platform to send images, files, reports, voice messages and much more. You can also access information from other healthcare systems, like your EHR and nurse call.
NOTE: To securely capture and send an image that contains sensitive information such as e-PHI, use the camera icon from within the TigerConnect app itself. Taking a picture with a separate camera app and attaching the image to TigerConnect may NOT be HIPAA-compliant and may leave sensitive information unsecured on your device.
We understand clinicians can work for several organizations and facilities and can have multiple TigerConnect accounts. Our multiple inbox capacity allows users to access messages from all of their health care organizations using one easy menu within the app.
Yes. Connectivity issues inside buildings can hamper communication and adversely affect patient care. With TigerConnect Delivery Escalation, notifications that are not delivered within 5 minutes will be automatically resent via alternate SMS and email channels to ensure timely delivery.
TigerConnect integrates with ActiveDirectory, LDAP, and eDirectory, so user management is a simple, automatic process. Users can also be managed manually through the application’s Administration Console.
HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.
The simple answer is that text messaging is HIPAA-compliant under certain circumstances and provided that “administrative, physical and technical safeguards [exist] to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and security of electronically stored or transmitted private health information.”
If doctors and other medical professionals were no longer allowed to communicate patient data on their mobile devices due to HIPAA and the Omnibus Rule, this would have had serious implications for the standard of healthcare received by patients; but fortunately the issues surrounding how doctors can receive ePHI in compliance with HIPAA can be resolved with a secure text messaging solution from TigerConnect.
The HIPAA guidelines for text messaging were introduced due to the increasing number of medical professionals who were using personal mobile devices (Smartphones, laptops, tablets etc.) to access electronic protected health information (ePHI) and communicate it – via text – to colleagues. TigerConnect has developed a secure text messaging platform which makes the question “Does text messaging violate HIPAA guidelines?” irrelevant. The platform enables the transmission of encrypted ePHI and viewing within a secure cloud-based platform; which authorized users can gain access to via an on-demand or web application.
The HIPAA texting policy introduced in the Final Omnibus Rule aims to eliminate the risk of patient health information being compromised during the sending or receiving of sensitive data via SMS, or while patient health information is kept on a portable mobile device (cell phone, tablet, Smartphone, etc.).
Due to technological advances and changes in work practices, sensitive patient health information is often communicated by portable mobile devices such as cell phones, Smartphones, and tablets. The potential for data being compromised when using public Wi-Fi or open cell phone networks is vast. The revised HIPAA data encryption regulations were created to address these issues.
Prior to the guidelines for HIPAA compliant clinical texting being introduced, it had been estimated by the Centre for Democracy and Technology that 66 percent of all breaches of PHI were attributable to the loss or theft of a personal mobile device. Due to technological advances and changing work practices, more than 80 percent of healthcare professionals now access PHI or communicate patient data via their mobile devices (according to a study by the Health Research Institute) – although not always within HIPAA compliance for clinical texting.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services website, the revised rules about HIPAA compliance when sending emails do not prohibit the use of emails when sending ePHI, and at first reading, the regulations regarding HIPAA compliance for email would suggest sending encrypted ePHI by email is acceptable – although it would be necessary for both the sender and the recipient to have the same encryption software.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services website, “the [HIPAA] Security Rule does not expressly prohibit the use of email for sending e-PHI. However, the standards for access control, integrity and transmission security require covered entities to implement policies and procedures to restrict access to, protect the integrity of, and guard against unauthorized access to e-PHI.”
The use of email and SMS to communicate sensitive patient information was effectively outlawed by HIPAA due to copies of messages stored by service providers, the inability to retract and delete sent messages and the risk of a communication being intercepted in an area of publicly-accessible Wi-Fi.
HIPAA-compliant encryption for text messaging is a security measure to guard against unauthorized access to ePHI transmitted over a communication network. Its purpose is to make any sensitive patient data that is compromised while in transit unusable, unreadable and indecipherable to any third party who accesses it.
The changes to the HIPAA regulations for SMS messaging extended who must comply with the mandated best practices. In addition to medical professionals, health insurance providers (including employers), health insurance clearing houses (including fund managers), and any subcontractor, “associate,” or third-service provider who has access to PHI* is now also subject to the HIPAA regulations for texting.
In order to make smartphones HIPAA compliant, the organization for which the Smartphone user is an employee, associate or third party service provider must implement a secure messaging solution which protects the integrity of ePHI when it is at rest and in transit. TigerConnect facilitates HIPAA-compliance with regard to most smartphones.
One of the most important revisions to the guidelines for HIPAA texting software was that the scope of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was extended to include everybody who may have access to PHI or transmit sensitive patient data in text messages from their mobile devices (Smartphones, tablets and cell phones).
The revised guidelines for “when is texting in hospitals HIPAA compliant” broadened the scope of the Act to include everybody who may have access to protected health information (PHI). The regulations regarding HIPAA compliant hospital texting now also apply to third party services providers such as administrators, fund managers and insurance brokers – and any subcontractors employed by them. These third parties must comply with the revised HIPAA regulations or risk being fined by the Office of Civil Rights should a breach of PHI occur.
In order to guide authorized users on the most appropriate way to use the secure messaging app, healthcare organizations must develop policies to ensure compliance with HIPAA – these policies also apply to business associates and third party service providers for the healthcare organization.
In order to text lab results in compliance with HIPAA, lab technicians should log into a secure application where they can view ePHI they receive and upload any relevant additional information. A text message can then be sent to a medical professional containing the lab results as an image or pdf.
Despite the many, many pages in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) relating to the security of protected health information, it is not difficult to achieve HIPAA compliant texting for your hospital. All that is needed is a secure text messaging platform from TigerConnect and a system administrator to monitor usage of the text messaging platform.
TigerConnect’s secure texting solution allows authorized personnel to access PHI through a secure closed network on most mobile devices or via the web. The secure texting system meets all the physical and technical requirements to safeguard the integrity of PHI and HIPAA compliance for text messaging, and automatically generates audit logs to assist administrators with their obligations under the administrative requirements.
To help ease the difficulty of choosing a secure text messaging vendor, TigerConnect has compiled a white paper “The Top Ten Considerations when Selecting a Secure Text Messaging Solution” that provides advice on the most important considerations you should take into account when evaluating a secure text messaging solution and the vendor who is marketing it. Click below to find out how to get yours.
Using a secure texting platform, physicians can send text messages in compliance with HIPAA by composing the message within a secure platform, accessible from their desktop computers or mobile devices. The recipient receives a notification or a text containing a link to the encrypted message, allowing them to access the message after authenticating their identity with a unique username and password.
What HIPAA actually says about email encryption is that covered entities must “implement a mechanism to encrypt and decrypt electronic protected health information,” and most communication experts agree that healthcare organizations who want to facilitate the communication of protected health information by email should double their encryption protection, so that encrypted communications are sent over an encrypted connection “just to be on the safe side.”
HIPAA SMS guidelines were needed to eliminate the risk of patient health information being breached during the transmission or receipt of sensitive data, or while such data was maintained on a mobile device (cell phone, tablet, smartphone etc.). Research had shown that more than 80 percent of physicians use mobile devices to communicate with their patients or access patient health information, while a further study revealed that 66 percent of patient health information breaches were attributable to mobile devices being lost or stolen.
The HIPAA messaging compliance rules concentrate on protecting patient privacy and how breaches – if they happen should be dealt with; but there are also other changes to the regulations within the Final Omnibus Rule that all individuals with responsibility for the integrity of patient health information should be aware of in the event that patient data stored on mobile devices is compromised.
Fortunately, TigerConnect’s secure messaging solution enables medical professionals to share files and collaborate securely without risking a breach of ePHI, and with the result that workflows are accelerated, efficiency is increased and patients have an enhanced healthcare experience.
Among the many options available for communicating electronic protected health information in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a HIPAA compliant texting product is the most favored, and least likely to result in a breach of ePHI. Follow the link below to learn more about the features and benefits of secure text messaging products and for further information about how a HIPAA compliant text product fulfills the physical, technical and administrative requirements of the HIPAA Security Rule, including a download for our “Top Ten Considerations when Selecting a Secure Text Messaging Solution” white paper.
In order for an SMS to be HIPAA compliant, both the sender and the recipient should be authorized users of a secure messaging system which enables them to access and transmit ePHI as required. With a secure messaging platform, all messages are encrypted and do not have the security risks associated with standard messaging systems, aka SMS. The secure messaging system must be capable of removing users and remotely deleting messages sent within the application in case a personal mobile device is lost, replaced or stolen. The application must also provide system administrators with the ability to gather audit logs to adhere to best practices policy for HIPAA compliance and SMS.
Once a platform for secure messaging (like TigerConnect) is implemented, healthcare organizations also have a responsibility to produce guidelines for authorized users to access and transmit ePHI. These guidelines should outline when it is appropriate to access ePHI and how it should be transmitted so that the sending of files is HIPAA compliant. Policies for how to send files in compliance with HIPAA are essential; for without them, every other precaution that a healthcare organization has taken to be in compliance with HIPAA could be ineffective, and the same penalties would apply when a breach of ePHI occurs.
In addition to employer, health insurance providers, health insurance clearinghouses and medical professionals, the rules for text messages and HIPAA compliance now apply to associates, subcontractors or any third-party service provider who has access to PHI. This means that if an insurance provider wants details of the treatment a patient has received in hospital, it also has to be an authorized user on a secure messaging system in order to retrieve that information.
Facilities may begin with policies that prohibit electronic transmission such as a “no texting policy,” but this does not guarantee employees will stop using their own devices for work communication. Ultimately, the best answer is to implement a solution that will address electronic transmission and use this technology to optimize current workflow in the healthcare facility, like TigerConnect.
A HIPAA texting solution complies with the legislation for the security of electronic protected health information (ePHI) by allowing authorized users access to encrypted data via a secure messaging platform. The texting solution is HIPAA compliant due to administrative controls which exist on the secure platform to retract or delete communications that may be in breach of HIPAA regulations, remotely wipe sensitive content from a mobile or desktop device, and remove a user from the network if – for example – their mobile device is lost or stolen.
Yes. Secure texting best practices guidelines were introduced to reduce the risk of protected health information being compromised during the transmission or receipt of patient data, or while such data was stored on a portable or mobile device (cell phone, tablet, Smartphone etc.). Studies had shown that more than 80 percent of doctors use mobile devices to access protected health information and communicate with their patients, while further research revealed that 66 percent of reported breaches of patient data were due to mobile devices being lost or stolen.
HIPAA compliant messaging is a means of secure communication by which healthcare organizations and other associated businesses can safeguard electronic protected health information (ePHI) while facilitating an open flow of sensitive patient information between authorized users. Platforms and apps for secure messaging meet healthcare industry standards to ensure the integrity of ePHI during the secure communication of sensitive patient information and provide a secure alternative to “traditional” text messaging.
Case studies have shown that healthcare professionals have been able to treat patients quicker and more effectively through a secure messaging system than through any other mode of communication. The ability for secure messages to be transmitted across various devices and platforms has created a more efficient workflow – both in the hospital environment and in home health settings – which has resulted in healthcare professionals being able to attend to more patients each day.
The HIPAA secure texting rules mostly focus on protecting patient privacy; but also include other organizational procedural changes including when organizations and individuals should report suspected security breaches as well as conduct regular risk assessments on organizations and individuals.
The HIPAA secure texting rules mostly focus on protecting patient privacy; but also include other organizational procedural changes including when organizations and individuals should report suspected security breaches as well as conduct regular risk assessments on organizations and individuals.
HIPAA compliant texting requirements for HIPAA-compliant texting are categorized into three sections – physical safeguards, technical safeguards and administrative safeguards – and each of these safeguards must be fulfilled in order for the communication of ePHI to be HIPAA compliant over any electronic channel.
The HIPAA laws and texting regulations focus primarily on protecting patient privacy, but also:
The secure text messaging application surpasses all the criteria for secure texting and HIPAA compliance and automatically generates read receipts to confirm a message has been read and eliminate the need for follow-up calls and phone tag. The application also produces access reports and audit logs in order that administrators can monitor use in compliance with the HIPAA secure messaging regulations.
How often have you wished you had the ability to recall a text message because of the wrong recipient, the wrong content or just to ensure that your information is safe? With TigerConnect’s Text Message Recall, you can use a Secure Text Messaging solution to give you peace of mind that your information is secure and that mistakes can always be corrected.
With a secure text messaging for healthcare solution, healthcare facilities enable their staff to work both efficiently and easily while maintaining each of their patient’s privacy when transmitting PHI. A secure solution enables communications to improve while remaining HIPAA compliant. The best way to solve the issue surrounding mobile device usage is to identify the various risks and select a solution that will resolve these problems.
A healthcare messaging app is an advanced piece of software that can be downloaded onto desktop computers and mobile devices. It allows authorized users to access PHI and communicate PHI to other authorized users within a private network. However, safeguards exist so that the PHI cannot be saved to individual devices, copied and pasted or sent outside of the network.
The revised regulations for text messaging PHI acknowledge that changes in workplace practices and technological advances have led to more healthcare industry employees using mobile devices in the course of their work. Indeed, a survey carried out by the Health Research Institute revealed that 81 percent of doctors use mobile devices to communicate with their patients and access patient information.
In order to comply with the revised HIPAA and HITECH regulations, organizations should be securing text messages by using an encrypted messaging platform, like TigerConnect. Encrypted messaging platforms transmit healthcare communications while taking other precautions to ensure the data is secure on both the senders and recipient’s devices.
Text messaging apps for hospitals are applications that can be downloaded onto mobile devices and desktop computers, which allow authorized users access to electronic protected health information (ePHI) that can then be communicated securely to other authorized users. HIPAA-compliant texting apps meet healthcare industry standards to ensure the integrity of ePHI at rest and during the communication of ePHI, and provide a secure alternative to “traditional” channels of communication such as SMS, instant messaging and emails.
Secure texting for physicians allows administration to comply with these criteria and manage staff usage of a familiar and popular feature, text messaging. Secure texting includes features that allow administration to maintain control with audit logs and “message lifespan” to ensure that data does not reside on mobile devices and is deleted after a set period of time. Authorized users access the data within an enclosed network, keeping all data accessed or transmitted encrypted over either an open cell phone network or Wi-Fi. Given that about 81% of physicians currently use their smartphones in the workplace, the need for a secure texting solution, like TigerConnect, is important.
Studies show that about 81% of physicians currently use their smartphones in the workplace, while 62% of hospital nurses use their smartphones for clinical and personal use while on the job. Nurses need a secure form of communication, like TigerConnect, to optimize workflows and allow for transmission of patient information to fellow staff members. Allowing for secure usage of mobile devices, provides nurses the ability to quickly communicate with the nursing staff and collaborate with other departments. Most importantly, it gives nurses a secure method to communicate among the primary care team for each patient.
Secure medical texting (to be HIPAA compliant) involves the transmission of messages containing encrypted data across various devices and platforms, within a virtual private network to which only authorized users can gain access. What is different between secure medical texting and other forms of communication (emails, pagers, etc.) is that messages sent by secure text can be remotely erased in the event that the authorized user´s mobile device (smartphone, tablet, PDA, laptop, etc.) is lost or stolen.
Utilizing a secure messaging system for healthcare organizations has resulted in multiple benefits including cost savings, increased efficiency and the significantly reduced risk that they – or an employee, agent or sub-contractor – will be liable for a breach of ePHI. Also, a secure messaging system for healthcare organizations produces “audit logs”, which enable administrators to check that authorized personnel is complying with the regulations for secure texting between healthcare professionals, and which can form part of the required risk assessments to ensure the integrity of ePHI within the messaging system.
Texting medical information has recently come under the spotlight due to changes introduced in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These changes affected many people working in the healthcare industry – due to the convenience of accessing and communicating medical information by text – and the organizations that have to oversee usage of texting medical information. Many organizations that are required to conform to the rules for texting medical information will encounter problems when trying to meet the demands of the HIPAA Privacy Rule; however, a solution exists in the form of a secure text messaging system which connects authorized users to an encrypted and secure platform, accessible via their mobile devices or web browsers.
Using secure texting for healthcare services requires a solution like TigerConnect to allow medical professionals to send and receive secure text messages from their mobile devices or desktop computer to other authorized users within a secure private network. Patient files, images and lab results can be shared securely when attaching them to a secure text message and multiple parties can join existing discussion threads to collaborate on healthcare issues.
A recent survey, conducted by the Health Research Institute, concluded that 81 percent of physicians use one or more personal mobile devices to access protected health information or communicate with their patients, leading to the possibility of a breach – especially when personal mobile devices are used within areas offering open Wi-Fi Internet access or on public cell phone networks. Organizations must develop a system, like TigerConnect, of secure healthcare communications which has control over who has access to protected health information and how it is used. All patient data within the system should be encrypted in order that employees and subcontractors can access the data without risk of a breach.
TigerConnect provides secure HIPAA-compliant text messaging to more than 3,000 medical facilities, which is not only used to accelerate patient discharge times, but also for a multitude of procedures. Their secure texting platform works in a similar way to SMS text messaging, and complies with the conditions for using text messaging to accelerate patient discharge times by enabling authorized users to access or send PHI through a SAAS solution.
Protected health information (often abbreviated to PHI or ePHI) is defined as “any information about health status, provision of health care, or payment for health care that can be linked to a specific individual”, and consists of eighteen different “identifiers” which could connect specific details to a patient (such as photographs of the patient, their social security number or their telephone number). The Privacy and Security Regulations contained within HIPAA apply to medical professionals, health insurance providers (including employers as well as brokers who work for insurance companies), health insurance clearing houses (including fund administrators and managers), and any subcontractor who has access to protected health information (irrespective of whether it is stored electronically or not).
A HIPAA compliant texting app is a secure messaging solution which enables healthcare organizations to safeguard electronic protected health information (ePHI) while still allowing an open flow of communication between authorized users.
Due to changing work practices and technological advances, more than 80 percent of healthcare professionals now access protected health information or communicate patient data via their mobile devices (according to a study by the Health Research Institute). The Centre for Democracy and Technology recently revealed that 66 percent of reported protected health information breaches are attributable to mobile devices being lost or stolen and the data on the devices being accessed by unauthorized individuals. With additional breaches of protected health information, the healthcare texting regulations had to change to safeguard the privacy and security of patients in HIPAA-covered health programs.
There are three primary reasons why a paging alternative for hospitals should be considered by healthcare organizations. They include the costs of running the paging system, the lack of efficient communication provided by pagers, and HIPAA compliance.
The primary reason to replace pagers with secure texting is efficiency. Pagers are notoriously inefficient as they require the recipient of a message to phone in and complete the communication. Paged messages can be missed and there is typically no accountability for messages sent over a paging system.
The hidden costs of a hospital pager system were revealed in research conducted by HIMSS Analytics following a study of communication channels in 200 hundred hospitals that had 100 beds or more. Researchers calculated that large medical facilities are spending an average of $179,000 each year to support paging systems, with more than four-out-of-five doctors using pagers to receive patient alerts and other health-related communications. Additionally, pagers are notoriously inefficient communication channels.
According to American Nurse Today, “67% of hospitals reported in 2013 that their nurses used personal devices to communicate and support their workflow”. As the HIPAA-compliant secure texting apps operate on any system or device, secure texting would seem to be a cost-efficient way of replacing pagers used by nurses with a solution the nurses are already familiar with via commercially available texting apps.
A recent report published by HIMSS Analytics – “The Hidden Cost of Pagers in Healthcare” – highlighted financial motives for replacing pagers in hospitals. The study found that large healthcare organizations were paying an average of $8.40 per pager, per month, for their pager services – an average per organization of $179,000 per year. During the preparation of the report it was found that physicians (82%) were the main users of pager systems in hospitals. Nurses (69.9%) and IT professionals (52.5%) were the next highest groups of users, while the senior executives considered “perceived reliability” to be the main reason for not replacing pagers in hospitals with cheaper alternatives.
There are three reasons why healthcare organizations need a HIPAA compliant hospital paging solution. Naturally the first of these is compliance with the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The second reason is to reduce costs, and the third is to implement a solution that takes advantage of modern technology to increase productivity.
If you liked using Lua, you’re going to love using TigerConnect – more features, greater reliability, and a roadmap for the future. From the 10-person doctor’s office to larger hospitals, TigerConnect has an option to fit your needs.