A healthcare messaging app is a common way of adhering with the HIPAA security and privacy rules relating to the secure communication of protected health information (PHI). Apps for secure healthcare texting are simple to use and promote compliance with HIPAA through a number of security measures that stop breaches of PHI.
However, whereas many groups acknowledge the need for a secure app for healthcare text messaging in order to adhere with HIPAA, not everybody is aware that a healthcare messaging app does more than safeguard PHI in transit. This article explains some of the additional advantage that can be derived from apps for secure healthcare texting.
Secure App for Healthcare Text Messaging Explained
To help better comprehend the benefits that can be derived from a healthcare messaging app, it is important to know what a secure app for healthcare text messaging is and how it works. In short, a healthcare messaging app is a multi-platform software application that works in the same manner as an SMS inasmuch as users can send text messages, upload images and hold multi-person conversations.
Where apps for secure healthcare texting are different from other popular messaging services (including SMS and email) is that copies of messages are not held on routing servers and cannot be intercepted on public Wi-Fi. This is because encrypted PHI is encapsulated within a unique communication channel that only authorized users can log onto once they have verified their ID with a username and password.
What Security Measures Protect PHI on Apps for Secure Healthcare Texting?
There are several security measures that protect PHI on apps for secure healthcare texting. We have already mentioned that authorized users have to prove their ID with a username and password; and, once they are in the secure environment, security mechanisms stop the saving of PHI to external hard drives, the copying and pasting of sensitive information or the forwarding of PHI to locations outside of the system.
All activity on the healthcare messaging app is reviewed to ensure compliant use of the app, and administrative controls exist to remotely recall and delete any communications that could possibly lead to a breach of PHI. Remote wipe and PIN lock controls also are in place, so that any access to PHI is removed if a mobile device is lost, stolen or sold to another owner.
Messages can be given a “lifespan” so that they are removed from the apps for secure healthcare texting after a predetermined length of time; while an automatic time-out feature exists to log a secure app for healthcare text messaging out of the secure system if it is not used for a while. This feature stops unauthorized access to PHI if a desktop computer or mobile device is left unattended.
More Features Enhance Efficiency and Productivity
One of the most beneficial security measures is a receipt confirmation feature which was originally included in a healthcare messaging app so that it could be proven that a message was sent to its intended recipient.
The receipt confirmation feature is like delivery alerts and read receipts – informing the sender that a message has been received by the recipient and then read. This safeguard not only allows the retraction of a message if it has indeed been sent to the wrong person, but helps cut phone tag – one of the major causes of lost production in the healthcare sector.
The expense of phone tag in the healthcare sector has been estimated at $8.3 billion annually, mostly due to medical professionals trying to escalate a patient’s condition, collaborate on a patient’s treatment or facilitate a patient’s discharge. Many case studies have shown that apps for secure healthcare texting not only cut phone tag by up to 80%, but also allow a collaborative environment to improve the level of healthcare being given to a patient.