Secure Texting can be More Than Just Securing Messages – Part 1 of 3
In today’s changing healthcare environment, secure and easy communication is critical. Instead of worrying about the risks of HIPAA compliance with SMS texting, secure texting apps are being adopted by more and more providers. These applications allow secure voice, text, and image transmission of PHI to ensure providers have the information they need to make accurate medical decisions. Right now, several companies are developing HIPAA-compliant, secure texting applications. These applications are being designed to make the lives of healthcare professionals working in hospitals and in medical practices easier and less stressful.
Breaking down the Secure Texting Process & Features
Apart from security, some key features such as quick messaging, conversation threads, and required acknowledgment, make secure texting stand out as a valuable texting application for a healthcare professional.
Quick messaging is a primary feature of a well-designed secure text messaging for healthcare application. In most medical settings, there are common phrases and responses that are used in everyday communication. A busy nurse or physician should be able to recall a common message and send it quickly. For example, a nurse with a patient could recall and send the doctor quick messages such as “Family wants to talk to you” or a patient needs to ask you a question”. The physician could then use quick messages such as “on my way” and “tell them I will be there momentarily” in response. With several commonly used phrases out of the box and the ability to customize quick messages, any healthcare professional can benefit from secure messaging, qliqConnect.
Conversation threads are another key feature that can be of immense value to a healthcare provider. Threads are contexts, much like hashtags, around which a discussion evolves. For example, if a nurse is conversing with a physician about a patient, the topic that identifies the thread could be the patient’s name. With this, both sender and receiver are aware of the context; eliminating the need to share this information repeatedly. Moreover, the conversation threads can be converted to a document that can be stored in the patient’s paper or EMR. Conversation threads also reduce the clutter of messages between sender and receiver and helps in enhancing the multitasking ability of a healthcare professional.
Required acknowledgment is another vital feature that helps a healthcare professional close the loop of communication, particularly around messages that are important. With this, the sender requests an explicit acknowledgment from the receiver which can quickly occur. Typically, a sender of a text does not know if the receiver got it or has made a note of it, which invariably results in the sender calling the receiver to make sure the receiver got the text and understood it. This defeats the purpose of using texting as a quick and less intrusive form of communication. The “required acknowledgment” feature takes out the guess work and most importantly that unnecessary call between sender and receiver.
Simple Messaging Application for any Healthcare Field
It is easy to create a simple messaging application that works in a limited way. However, to build an app that is robust and works across multiple segments and user bases, the app needs to be a Swiss-army-knife. It must meet stringent hospital and regulatory IT security standards as well as seamlessly fit into the healthcare workflow.