HIPAA Secure Texting

Secure Messaging Trends: The Benefits for Patients, Physicians & Healthcare Orgs

October 28, 2015 | Uniphy Health

In the past couple of months, research studies demonstrating the impact of mHealth have been circulating across the Twitter healthcare sphere. Three trends have emerged surrounding how patients and physicians interact with mHealth, and the need for healthcare organizations to securely implement mHealth tools:

1. Newfound research finds mHealth apps that enable one and two way text messaging are effective at encouraging patients to better manage their health.

A new study from Bellevue Hospital’s Diabetes Program found that diabetes patients who were given secure texting enabled mHealth apps achieved significantly better disease management results than those who could only receive medical attention in person.

Source: NPR

51 percent of recently surveyed patients reported that they prefer text and email over phone communication because they feel less rushed to ask questions. This finding, along with others revealed in the survey, suggests that patients of today want to become more engaged in managing their health.

Source: Mobihealth news

A large controlled trial has found that texts containing advice, motivational reminders, and support actually impact patient health outcomes. The messages were customized to a limited degree and didn’t encourage message recipients to text back. It’s likely that secure texting programs that have the ability to support more interactive patient engagement and customization could lead to even greater improvements in patient health.

Source: Mobihealth news


(Read this article for a closer look at how mobile patient apps improve patient-physician communication).


2. Patient and physician interest in utilizing mHealth tools for coordinated care purposes is rising significantly.

Physician interest in how mHealth, telemedicine and other connected health technologies can improve care delivery is rising, while their reservations against using these tools are falling.

Source: Healthcare Informatics

In a recent small study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 3 of 4 patients who’d recently undergone minor, routine surgeries agreed that they would prefer to receive follow-up care through an online visit.

Source: mHealth news

New research finds that patients who own smartphone devices are 4.4X more likely to utilize patient portals than those who lack smartphone devices. Perhaps mobile patient engagement apps that integrate patient portals can further boost portal usage rates.

Source: Healthcare Informatics


(Read this for more details on how secure texting speeds and improves care coordination)

3. Failure to proactively protect PHI from cyberattack by utilizing HIPAA compliant technologies is becoming riskier than ever.

According to Accenture, proactively addressing cybersecurity can improve providers’ ability to thwart cyber attackers hoping to steal PHI by an average of 53 percent. Now’s the time to secure your organization’s communications and mobility tools in alignment with HIPAA regulations, train employees on preventative security tactics, and more.

Source: Accenture

In a recently released survey, KPMG found that the overwhelming majority of respondents faced a cyberattack in the last 2 years. Twice as many of these threats came from external attackers as opposed to employee breaches.

Source: Healthcare Informatics


(See here for an overview of suggested PHI disposal methods, and here for recommendations on how to implement security awareness trainings.)