HIPAA Secure Texting

HIPAA Secure Messaging Trends: Doctor Patient Relationship Edition

September 17, 2014 | Adam Turinas

August proved to be a big month for the secure texting movement as health providers shared stories of improved patient engagement via mobile communication. Patient surveys also made it clear that there is still much work to be done for clinicians to improve patient satisfaction and health outcomes. One thing is certain, evidence that clinicians can dismantle major, structural barriers and improve care through mobile technology, particularly secure texting solutions, is rising. Here’s a roundup of last month’s industry trends:

mHealth apps that improve the accessibility and workflow management of doctors can support patient health outcome improvements.

Mobile technologies that enable clinicians to educate and communicate with patients before and after appointments are more needed than ever as healthcare providers across the globe struggle to improve efficiency without jeopardizing quality of care and patient engagement. A recent survey of 2,000 British adults found “A fifth (21 per cent) of those surveyed felt their GP didn’t take enough time to explain things to them in terms they can understand, with over half of this group attributing this to lack of time”

Source: Axa UK

A time motion study of residents have found that EHRs both interrupted their workflow and deflated their time spent with patients.

Source: Fierce EMR

When clinicians are given mobile technologies that communicate downturns in a high risk patients’ health experienced outside of the hospital or practice setting, lives are saved with higher frequency. Few would’ve thought years ago that an SMS could save lives, and now a clinical trial conducted across the globe has found that “Remote monitoring of patients with implantable cardiac devices reduced the mortality rate for cardiac patients by 50 percent and improved their clinical status by nearly 10 percent.”

Source: Mobihealth news

On the opposite side of the fence, patients are signaling that mobile messaging is their preferred channel for communication with clinicians.

Text messaging is most preferred by patients called to partner with their doctors in managing their health: “The use of electronic reminders such as text messages, emails or voicemails is highly effective at getting surgical patients to adhere to a preadmission antiseptic showering regimen known to help reduce risk of surgical site infections (SSIs)…Electronic alerts were sent as voicemails, text messages or emails, with text messages being the most popular method (80 percent) among volunteers”

Source: Healthcare informatics
Mobile communication and alert channels are a powerful tool for physicians to educate and empower patients and their loved ones to commit to preventatively improving their health: “When parents answered automated questions by telephone before routine pediatric visits, and physicians could access the answers through the patient’s electronic health record, quality of care improved.”

Source: Medscape