3 Major Questions CIOs Should Ask Before Selecting a Secure Texting Solution

doctor textingToday’s CIO and IT Directors are faced with a daunting list of security and resource challenges that they must deal with every day. The new challenges and opportunities of BYOD, cloud software & services, and the growing use of personal mobile devices for business present many new questions about how to maintain and provide data security for an organization.

One of the more successful technologies that CIOs are using to help answer their organization’s security questions and concerns is secure texting. Secure text messaging allows organizations like hospitals to provide fast, easy and collaborative HIPAA compliant communication to their staff and doctors while enterprise and financially-based businesses are using secure messaging to help meet security requirements including the SarbanesOxley Act.

Secure messaging is being adopted to improve workflows, drive productivity, and streamline communication, which results in a higher level of care in hospitals, and higher levels of customer satisfaction for enterprise organizations.

Like many technology-based products, secure messaging offers a large variety of features, encryption and value propositions. Enterprises in the market for a secure texting solution will need to consider how potential vendors address the most important business, security and performance questions around secure messaging. Some of these questions include:

1.) Does the secure messaging solution ensure HIPAA compliance?

HIPAA compliance is defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, in which PHI (Protected Health Information) security requirements are defined. Basically, HIPAA is a level of data security that is required to send and receive PHI (data). If a solution guarantees HIPAA compliance, it ensures you’re protected when sending PHI. Even though some enterprises do not require HIPAA compliance, having that level of security will provide extra security and protection for corporate data.

2.) Does the secure messaging solution integrate with existing applications?

Secure messaging is only one part of a larger matrix (Lookout Neo!) of communication and security systems and solutions. The more a solution can integrate and work with other solutions and platforms, the better the whole matrix will work and perform.

Brad Brook, TigerText CEO
As Brad Brooks, CEO and Co-Founder of TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Standard sees it, “A secure texting solution may offer easy-to-use features and meet HIPAA regulations, but to further accelerate workflows and create an efficient communication process, platforms should be capable of integrating with 3rd party solutions such as answering service providers, scheduling software, and EHRs.”

Security and productivity all increase the more the various solutions integrate and communicate with each other, and is a point that many in the IT industry tend to overlook and undervalue.

3.) Does the secure messaging solution have proven success?

In healthcare, finance and other enterprise industries, decisions can have extremely high risks from a legal, financial and business standpoint. Therefore it is critical that the secure messaging technology and developing company have a proven track record of performance and successful implementation. Picking a solution that doesn’t have many installations, or a proven detailed security and performance history, would be a very high-risk decision that could have a significant corporate impact.

Secure messaging can be a critical part of an organization’s communication, networking and security infrastructure, so it is critical to ask the right questions in order to pick the best solution for your situation.

Want more? For 7 more critical questions that should be asked of any secure messaging vendor, download our eBook: The Top 10 Questions To Ask Before Selecting A Secure Messaging Solution.

Will O’Connor, M.D. is the Chief Medical Information Officer at TigerConnect. As a physician executive with more than 20 years of healthcare experience, Will is a passionate advocate for rapid advancement across the healthcare industry.