Introducing HIPAA compliant texting for your hospital is a necessity to accelerate communications and easily access sensitive patient data with the integration of your employees’ mobile devices. Studies have revealed that more than 80% of physicians use their personal mobile devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc) to access and communicate protected health information; and that indicates that every hospital should have a HIPAA compliant texting platform – and a usage policy in place to advise medical personnel on when and how it should be used.
The problem with traditional texting methods is that they are inherently unsecured. The sender cannot be assured that a message has been delivered to the right person, copies of messages are retained on routing servers and cannot be permanently deleted, and communications transmitted over open cell phone networks are always at risk. Furthermore, if a personal mobile device is lost or stolen, a third party could access any protected health information sent or received on the device.
These issues portray how easily a breach of protected health information can occur without any party aware of the breach. Aware or not, the organization responsible for maintaining the security of the patient´s confidential information would be liable for a substantial fine from the Office of Civil Rights in addition to likely civil action from the patient(s) affected by the breach of protected health information.
Secure text messaging solutions eliminate the risk of protected health being compromised by allowing authorized users access to encrypted protected health information via a secure platform, which has administrative controls to ensure the integrity of the data, safeguards in place to prevent unauthorized access and the removal of any compromised data or device.
Case studies have shown that the implementation of a secure text messaging solution can streamline workflows, increase efficiency, reduce costs and enhance the standard of healthcare received by patients – indeed, one study conducted by the Ponemon Research Institute concluded that hospitals could reduce patient wait times by 50 percent by using secure HIPAA compliant texting to manage patient discharges – saving each hospital an average of $557,253 each year.
After implementing HIPAA compliant texting for your hospital, ensure effective usage and management with the development and implementation of a secure texting policy. With the right policy in place, administrators can easily advise medical personnel on the best practices they should employ when using the secure messaging platform. Without such policies being adhered to, the potential for a PHI breach may still be a larger issue.
To help you develop a policy to ensure HIPAA compliant texting in your hospital, we have produced a white paper – “The Top 8 Secure Messaging Policy Best Practices” – which you are invited to download and read. This policy template contains advice about the best practices for staff usage of the secure messaging platform, when and how the platform should be used to transmit protected health information, and how a secure messaging policy can be integrated into existing organizational policies.
TigerText is the market leader in the provision and usage of secure messaging platforms, and over 4,000 medical facilities currently use TigerText´s secure messaging solution to facilitate HIPAA compliant texting.
If you would like to know more about how the TigerText secure messaging platform confirms with the HIPAA Security and Privacy Rules for the storage and communication of protected health information, you are welcome to contact us with any questions you may or request a free demonstration of the TigerText secure messaging platform in your specific medical environment.