In order to be in compliance with HIPAA, many healthcare organizations have already implemented encrypted messaging systems to manage patient discharges with secure texting. However, case studies have shown that these organizations are witnessing significant benefits from using secure texting for patient discharges in addition to eliminating the risk of a breach of protected health information.
Encrypted messaging systems enable the fast and secure transmission of protected health information between hospital administrators, care teams and physicians; and they efficiently replace the traditional healthcare communication channel of paging. This has resulted in three significant benefits of using secure texting for patient discharges:
According to a survey conducted by the Ponemon Research Institute last year, healthcare organizations that manage patient discharges with secure texting reduced their costs by an average of $557,253. The Ponemon Research Institute attributed the savings to patient discharge waiting times being reduced from a typical 101 minutes to nearly half of that time, after sixty-five percent of the respondents to the survey believed that patient discharge waiting times were cut by 50 minutes due to using secure texting for patient discharges. The survey also found that – prior to the introduction of enhanced systems of communication – healthcare professionals could spend up to 45 minutes each patient discharge playing phone tag or waiting for a physician to respond to a pager message.
One of our own case studies showed how nursing staff could previously waste several hours each day trying to communicate with doctors and waiting for responses. However, once an encrypted messaging system was introduced, nursing staff now had the extra time to attend to fifteen more patients each shift – and not suffer from the stress of having to use outdated communication technologies!
Although it might appear that a saving of less than an hour before being discharged might not represent a significant benefit to a patient waiting to go home, patients whose discharges are managed by secure texting benefit will also receive enhanced follow-up care.
Discussions that take place over encrypted messaging systems can be integrated into the patient´s Electronic Medical Record, which can then be used by medical professionals providing follow-up care to set reminders for home visits and to ensure that the patient receives the appropriate medical attention. Decreasing time to patient discharge not only saves organization money, but secure texting can also be advantageous to enhancing the profile of a healthcare organization.
However, the extent of the benefits will vary from organization to organization and, in order to see how best your organization could manage patient discharges with secure texting, you are invited to contact us or use the comments box below to leave a message.