Clinician Impact

Improving Physician-Physician Communication With Secure Messaging

January 26, 2016 | Uniphy Health

Physicians are notoriously difficult to communicate with – especially when trying to communicate with one another. mHealth apps that enable physicians to securely exchange PHI and coordinate care have been reported to improve quality of care. With the use of secure messaging and other communication features, physicians are able to exchange patient health information in real-time and optimize care coordination. We’ve outlined four different groups of physician-physician interactions and how each improve their communication through the specifics of mHealth features.


Facilitating communication between in-network physicians

mHealth apps that enable physicians to easily communicate with other physicians in their network in real-time have been shown to improve care coordination. The following features support physicians in collaboratively making diagnoses, facilitating treatments and discharges.

  • Secure messaging allows physicians to coordinate care with other in-network physicians in real time. Physicians should be able to send both picture and standard text through their mHealth app.
  • mHealth apps with consult features should allow physicians to deliver consult request electronically without having to make a call. This eradicates delays associated with leaving voicemails.
  • Using the app’s directory features physicians should be able to easily find and send referrals to other in-network physicians.


Facilitating communication between hospital physicians and PCPs

mHealth apps can facilitate care coordination by enabling hospital physicians to keep primary care physicians (PCPs) informed. In addition to improving quality of care, mHealth apps that make it easier for hospitalists to communicate with PCPs should help in reducing the occurrence of preventable readmissions.

  • Using a hospital network directory, attending physicians should be able to keep patients’ PCPs informed. Directory entries should include the mobile and office line of physicians.
  • Hospital physicians should be able to deliver discharge communications, clinical findings or recommendations to PCPs by using secure messaging, voice calling, or email features.
  • Post discharge, PCPs should be able to deliver consult request to hospital specialists.
  • PCPs should be able to easily monitor the treatment of their patient by accessing the notes of hospital physicians.


Facilitating communication between residents and attending physicians

mHealth apps should have patient-centric communication features that support physicians and residents in improving patient management and care coordination. The following features together should allow residents to communicate with physicians in real-time.

  • Residents should be able to easily communicate patient information to attending physicians by sending secure text messages or photos. In this way, they can easily deliver up-to-date information on the patient’s status.
  • By utilizing patient note taking features of mHealth apps, physicians and residents should be able to more quickly update patient information within the app.
  • Residents should be able to efficiently respond to each other regarding patient transfers, scheduling procedures, requesting lab results and more.


Facilitating communication between physicians and specialists

mHealth apps can help physicians schedule procedures and communicate with specialists and surgeons more quickly and easily, resulting in minimized consult response time. These features enable both parties to manage their workflow more efficiently.

  • By using the camera function of mHealth apps, emergency department (ED) physicians should be able to send secure images to specialists in order to determine the need for admission and surgery.
  • Secure messaging features allow surgeons to manage post-operative conditions and discuss treatment options with other specialists or physicians on the care team.
  • Via patient note taking and secure messaging, attending physicians should be able to update referring physicians after every case.


mHealth apps that encourage physician-physician communication and collaboration support physicians and their care teams in improving patients’ health outcomes and promoting hospitals’ workflow efficiency goals. Learn how mHealth containing these features and more can lead to population health and readmission reduction savings worth millions.

HFMA mhealth guide CTA banner