Mobile devices are increasingly being integrated into business settings. Bring your own device, or BYOD, policies are popular in corporate environments because they increase employee productivity with little cost to the employer. Though such benefits would also be welcome in the healthcare industry, there are a number of concerns, especially those related to HIPAA, that most be considered.
How Can BYOD Be Used in Healthcare?
Called “Health 2.0,” the use of software and mobile tools to promote collaboration and information distribution between patients, their care providers, and other interested parties is revolutionizing healthcare in the U.S. Doctors are able to share important information with other professionals managing a patient’s case through the use of text messaging. Portable computer stations are often used to access patient charts, information that used to only be available in hard copy format in one location. Using mobile healthcare applications, doctors can pull up any information they might need about a patient from their own locations without having to track down charts or other staff members. The implications for efficiency are astronomical, and in healthcare, efficiency can mean the difference between life and death.
What’s the Worst that Could Happen?
When employee owned devices like mobile phones and tablet computers are used, HIPAA compliance is of the utmost importance. The device could be lost or stolen, improperly disposed of, or hacked into. If a common mobile health app isn’t used across a facility, information could be inaccessible to other professionals who might find it useful. Without a HIPAA compliant text messaging app, backup, archiving, emergency access, and security are also issues of consideration.
HIPAA Compliant Text Messaging Solutions
Secure texting for healthcare facilities is available through a number of medical mobile app providers and can help ensure that patient information stays classified when necessary using the following major areas:
- Secure data centers. A major element of secure texting for healthcare facilities is the storage of patient information on highly secured data centers. They may be on or off site, but they have high levels of physical security and policies for reviewing controls and conducting risk assessments.
- Encryption. Any information transmitted through a secure texting app is encrypted both in transit and at rest.
- Recipient authentication. When secure texting for healthcare facilities is in place, communications containing ePHA must only be delivered to the intended recipient. The sender knows if, when, and to whom a message has been delivered.
- Audit controls. Any HIPAA compliant texting system must be able to create and record an audit trail of any activity containing ePHI including message archiving, retrieval of archives, and system monitoring.
Though there certainly are additional challenges that come along with the incorporation of texting into the healthcare industry, certain goals are more easily met through technology than through its absence. Use of devices shortens response times, improved decision making by making better information available, allows multiple involved parties to be kept up to date, allows for quicker interventions, speeds up on call notifications, eliminates the hassle of callbacks, and even integrated with scheduling systems to create automatic notifications of pending events. Investing in a HIPAA compliant messaging app can increase productivity and make for a safer, more efficient healthcare facility. Read more articles like this: www.iqmax.com