HIPAA, Network Security, and the Need for Speed

One of the central issues IT Network Administrators and CIOs have been struggling with for the last decade is how security protocols often slow down networks and use up valuable resources. Take HIPAA for example. We know HIPAA laws were implemented to protect patient information and rightfully so, but HIPAA also results in additional paperwork, while tracking and security requirements can sometimes slow down and even block the transfer of critical care information.

As a result, network security is becoming a balancing act between having enough protocols in place to be secure and not having an overabundance of data that turns your network into a churning cauldron of sticky, slow molasses.

The Government, specifically the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHSOCR) who enforces HIPAA, is not concerned with network speed though They want the acme of data security, and to help “motivate” people to take the proper data security measures to insure patient data is truly secure, they’ve set-up a particularly draconian structure of fines for anyone who intentionally or unintentionally releases patient data to the public.

The Need For Speed

It’s no surprise Network Administrators are seeking ways to speed up network traffic while providing top-notch security.

The healthcare industry, especially, is one of the many industries that have to shoulder the weight of finding the balance between security and speed. This is in part because of HIPAA security requirements, and because in many medical situations – speed can mean the difference between life and death.

To add to this challenge, the healthcare industry is becoming much more mobile, with doctors, nurses and caretakers dividing their time between healthcare facilities, patient homes and other such offices.

Concordia Lutheran Ministries, one of the 50 largest nonprofit senior care providers in the nation, used to struggle with such challenges. The organization serves over 20,000 people annually through home care and inpatient locations in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.

Concordia has several nurses, therapists and caregivers working in the field and visiting patients at home. Staff needed a way to reach their in-office admins as well as send patient data and information to these individuals, quickly and securely.

They sought an integrated communication platform that could connect their in-the field clinicians with facility staff, as well as their payroll, human resources, and scheduling departments. They also needed a platform that would ensure messages would be HIPAA-compliant communication and data would transfer in a flash, without delay or unreliability.

Secure Texting Saves the Day

Concordia solved their pain points with TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Standard. Upon deployment, they were finally able to address their remote HIPAA compliance communications requirements and accelerate their workflows.

“After evaluating several vendors, we found TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Standard to be the most intuitive and easy to use. It has all the features we need – group messaging, secure file sending, read receipts, distribution lists, and more. Thanks to TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Standard our staff communication has not only improved, but we’ve accelerated several of our internal processes including the submittal of timesheets, which frees up more of our clinicians’ time to spend with patients,” shared Ben Oesterling, IT Technician at Concordia Lutheran Ministries

Secure texting is becoming the more preferred way to communicate and send files. Its fast, safe and reliable, and these qualities alone are helping to make it a mainstay technology for enterprises.

HIPAA compliant secure messaging is able to satisfy the security and compliance documentation requirements, while providing almost instantaneous communication and file and image transfer.

At the end of the day, you don’t need a racecar to solve the HIPAA need for speed. Secure texting can deliver that speed…and it’s a lot more affordable.

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.