In the healthcare industry, secure messaging solutions are more than just a buzzword, they are a necessary measure to ensure the safety of patient information. With the rise of mobile devices being used by healthcare professionals, many healthcare CIOs are leveraging secure messaging platforms for their organizations. However, it is important for healthcare organizations to ensure communication is protected against potential security breaches. HIPAA-compliant messaging solutions provide the most effective way to protect patient information and improve hospital workflows.  

But how can CIOs know they’re choosing a solution that is not only secure, but also helps increase productivity, reduces costs, and improves patient care? 

When choosing a secure messaging solution, choosing one that provides a solid front-line defense against potential patient data security threats is essential. By encrypting stored data and providing methods to keep track of accesses and transmissions of sensitive patient information, a secure messaging platform can turbocharge a hospital’s workflow by ensuring sensitive patient information is safe from interception while speeding up how quickly information is shared between clinical staff. In addition, a secure messaging solution should also enable reliable and real-time communication across care teams, resulting in better patient care and an overall smoother operation for the entire hospital. 

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Discover the 8 questions you must ask when evaluating CC&C solutions.

Workflow efficiency should also be a top priority when evaluating secure messaging solutions. Systems that operate in silos slow down communication, ultimately impacting clinical workflows. CIOs should choose a solution that integrates seamlessly with existing hospital systems to enhance workflows and provide better patient care. Integration with EHRs, LIS, nurse calls, scheduling, alarm management, and patient engagement solutions provide a better collaborative experience for care teams. However, not all secure messaging solutions provide the security and efficiency healthcare organizations need. 

Unlike consumer-facing secure messaging solutions, a clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) platform meets all of the above requirements by seamlessly connecting people, roles, and data. 

First, let’s look at the many benefits of a CC&C platform. 

  • Strong Security and Compliance – Robust CC&C platforms are HIPAA-compliant and offer enterprise-grade security features, including message encryption, message recall, and remote wipe, ensuring that patient information is always protected. 
  • Robust Integrations – Integrating with EHRs, nurse call systems, patient engagement platforms, and other clinical systems provides a complete view of patient data and enables faster clinical decisions and smoother workflows. 
  • Improved Patient Care – With secure messaging, voice, and video capabilities, CC&C platforms enable faster and more efficient communication between care team members, leading to better patient outcomes. 
  • Increased Efficiency – CC&C platforms streamline workflows and eliminate the need for time-consuming and outdated communication methods like pagers, phone calls, and paper-based communication. 
  • Enhanced Care Team Collaboration – A central hub for real-time messaging, voice, and video communication, allows care teams to collaborate and coordinate care across different locations and departments. 
  • Better Information Flow – By leveraging role-based messaging and rapid team activation, critical information is sent to the right teams quickly, reducing stress and keeping information private   

Now, to find the right secure messaging solution, CIOs must ask themselves the following questions: 

1. Does the solution have encryption technology that is compliant with the latest industry standards and regulations, such as HIPAA? 

When evaluating vendors, organizations must trust and feel confident that all sensitive information, such as health, employment, and patient records, will remain confidential and compliant with HIPAA regulations.  

2. Does the solution have specialized features and settings to ensure greater control over confidential information?  

Unlike traditional SMS texts, a secure messaging solution should have specialized features such as message recall, a function that allows message deletion from the recipient’s device after sending. Additionally, CIOs should look for safeguards like auto-lock capabilities that require an identity-authenticating password to log in. 

3. Does the secure messaging solution integrate seamlessly with existing healthcare systems? 

A secure messaging solution may meet HIPAA standards and offer impressive, easy-to-use security features, but to ensure an efficient communication process, the platform must be capable of integrating with 3rd party solutions such as scheduling software, and EHRs. Selecting a secure texting vendor with seamless connectivity to pre-existing systems is a best practice for optimizing clinical workflows. 

Whether CIOs are considering a simple secure messaging solution or a more comprehensive clinical communication and collaboration platform, TigerConnect can support the communication strategy for healthcare organizations of all sizes. The easy-to-use, secure messaging solution is HIPPA-compliant and HITRUST-certified. Communicate with care team members from smartphones, tablets, or desktop computers. The TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform adds layers of advanced capabilities to the secure messaging solution by integrating with key systems to streamline communication across roles and teams, and intelligently route contextual information from the EHR, LIS, nurse call, and more. 

Both solutions can yield massive benefits for healthcare teams and the patients they serve, including optimizing hospital operations with heightened security and improving efforts to provide high-quality care. Asking the right questions is critical to choosing the right solution for a healthcare organization. 

Discover more considerations for secure messaging and CC&C solutions by downloading the eBook: 8 Must-Ask Questions When Evaluating Clinical Communication Solutions

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