In 2013, legislation was enacted within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that introduced regulations relating to secure texting for healthcare services. These new regulations stipulated that controls had to be implemented to control the integrity of electronic protected healthcare information (ePHI) when it was at rest and in transit.
The legislation effectively put an end to unsecure channels of communication such as SMS and email, and raised the question of how healthcare services can text securely, while retaining the speed and convenience of mobile technology. In order to comply with the revised HIPAA regulations, many healthcare services have implemented secure text messaging solutions.
Secure text messaging solutions resolve an important IT concern for healthcare services – the use and encouragement of Bring Your Own Device (BOYD) policies. It is estimated that more than 80% of medical professionals use their personal mobile devices to access and communicate ePHI and therefore the selected secure messaging solution has to work across all devices and operating systems.
To best demonstrate how secure texting for healthcare services works, we would suggest an illustration involving a smaller healthcare service in which medical professionals access encrypted ePHI by using a secure text messaging app downloaded onto their mobile device or desktop computer.
After medical professionals identify themselves with a unique login and PIN code, the secure text messaging app connects medical professionals to others within the designated, and private, hospital network. Medical professionals can send and receive secure text messages from their mobile devices or desktop computer to other authorized users within the same private network. Patient files, images and lab results can be shared securely when attaching them to a secure text message and multiple parties can join existing discussion threads to collaborate on healthcare issues.
The platform has administrative controls to further ensure HIPAA compliance. Administrative controls exist to assign message lifespans so that messages are deleted and archived automatically, remotely retract and delete messages, time out an authorized user´s mobile device if it has been inactive for a period of time, and remove a user from the private network if their mobile device is lost or stolen.
If this brief explanation is expanded to account for healthcare services that operate in the community or in multiple locations, it is not difficult to visualize how healthcare services can text securely. The logistics of implementing a secure text messaging solution may be more complicated depending on the size of the organization, but the principle of secure texting for healthcare services remains the same.
We would like to present some examples of how healthcare services text securely in real life scenarios. TigerConnect’s secure text messaging solution has been implemented in more than 4,000 medical facilities to comply with the revised HIPAA regulations with proven results. From our case studies we would like to demonstrate how secure texting for healthcare services accelerates communications, enhances workflows and enables medical professionals to dedicate more time to the care of their patients.
At TigerConnect, we invest significant resources to keep our product up-to-date and the industry leader in the secure messaging market. Because work practices will change, technology will advance and there will be further changes to privacy and security legislation, we constantly update our product to reflect the requests of our clients and to ensure TigerConnect’s secure messaging solution remains HIPAA compliant. Among the new features recently released is:
So confident are we that TigerConnect will never stagnate that we indemnify clients against fines resulting from violations of HIPAA´s technical safeguards up to $1 million. As many healthcare organizations will be aware, fines for repeated violations of HIPAA can have a significant impact on profitability. Implementing secure texting for healthcare services with TigerConnect significantly reduces the risk of a financial penalty for a breach of ePHI.
Researching, evaluating, and selecting the most appropriate secure text messaging solution to enable secure texting for healthcare services is a time-consuming operation – especially when those conducting the research have little understanding of how secure text messaging solutions work or the experience of using one.
See how TigerConnect helps 6,000+ healthcare teams collaborate seamlessly across the hall or across the health system.
TigerConnect provides secure, real-time mobile messaging for the enterprise, empowering organizations to work more securely. TigerConnect’s encrypted messaging platform keeps communications safe, improves workflows, and complies with industry regulations.