Effective healthcare delivery requires an extraordinary amount of coordination, often involving multiple facilities and platforms. With everyone moving in different directions, it’s critical to have an easy way to communicate that’s also safe and HIPAA compliant.
Secure messaging can help your practice accomplish this task, and we’ll break down some of the most common questions about secure messaging.
What is secure messaging?
In the context of healthcare, secure messaging is the process of sending encrypted, HIPAA compliant messages from one user to another. These messages often contain PHI (patient health information), but don’t always.
What makes secure messaging safer than regular texting?
Standard SMS (“short message service”) text messages are not HIPAA compliant because they lack security features that protect PHI. They are not encrypted, often reside on unsecure servers, and can be intercepted. Secure messages have the necessary security features to protect PHI, and also meet broader HIPAA guidelines about security roles and access. Users have a unique login and the tool can automatically log off (for example, when a user sends a secure message on a desktop application and leaves the screen open when they walk away from the computer).
How can implementing secure messaging benefit my practice?
The biggest benefit secure messaging provides is security. It provides the team a way to communicate about PHI in a HIPAA compliant and standard way. It connects the members of your practice to coordinate patient care no matter where they are – in the hospital, back at the clinic, or even in the billing office. Secure messages can also be audited after the fact if needed.
Is secure messaging only for doctors?
No! Effective healthcare delivery is a team sport. Secure messaging can connect everyone in the practice, from doctors to medical assistants to procedure schedulers.
Does secure messaging only work on a phone?
The best secure messaging platforms have options for mobile devices, like smart phones, but also have desktop applications so they can be accessed in various ways.
What are some features I should look for in a secure messaging tool?
Look for platforms where the messages can be attached directly to the patient, rather than separated into their own silo. This way, another member of the team can access them later if needed. If the messages are patient-related, ensure that it’s clear which patient is being discussed. This clarity is essential to prevent mistakes.
The entire team should be able to access the service in whatever way makes sense for them. Doctors often use their smart phones, but the team back at the office may be better off accessing messages from their desktop.
Is secure messaging incorporated with any other tools we already use?
While stand-alone secure messaging tools exist, practices that round in the hospital should consider using a rounding and charge capture software solution that incorporates secure messaging. Putting all the necessary tools for rounding in one place helps standardize workflow and makes the overall process more efficient. A rounding software solution is also agnostic to EHRs, so it doesn’t matter if you round at three different hospitals with three different EHRs.
If your practice is looking for a secure messaging solution, we can help! HybridChart is a best-in-class rounding software solution that connects your entire team. Learn more about HybridChart’s secure messaging features by clicking here, how we can help with mitigating risk for HIPAA violations here, and learn about all the other ways we can help your practice by clicking here.
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At HybridChart, we provide technology that connects your healthcare team, increases efficiencies, AND improves your bottom line. HybridChart’s cloud-based software adapts to your practice’s unique workflow and will improve your profitability and patient outcomes by utilizing our 5 features: census management, charge capture, secure messaging, discharge management, and data analytics.
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If you are interested in taking your medical practice to the next level and want to employ the best hospital charge capture practice available in the industry, come visit our website at www.hybridchart.com, or call us at 1-877-684-0608 for a demo today!