How To

System Evolution: #9 Factor in Choosing a Secure Texting App

January 15, 2015 | Adam Turinas

We’ve been releasing content on what critical factors to consider when choosing a secure texting app for some time now. This post will mark the end of the series that has addressed challenges such as how to evaluate a secure texting impact on clinical workflows, group messaging and voice capabilities and much more.
The ability of a secure texting app system to evolve with your needs is the final, most critical factor to consider during your selection process.

Here are some key questions to resolve when evaluating the potential for a secure texting app to grow with your needs:

  • Ease of Customization: How flexible is the system that supports the secure texting app you’re considering? Can the solution be enhanced to address your organization’s future needs and support new use cases as they arise? What is the scope of use cases the secure texting app can adapt to?
  • Integration: The most effective mHealth solutions of today serve as more than simply a point solution. A secure texting app that integrates well with other mobile applications enhances user adoption—a critical factor in achieving HIPAA compliant.  Will the secure texting app you’re considering open a charge capture app the clinician has already has downloaded onto their phone?
  • EHR Integration: One of the leading complaints physicians have with mHealth solutions is that they don’t integrate with EHRs—this is a topic we’ve addressed time and again. Can the secure texting app you choose enable care teams to access lab results and other patient data stored in the EHR on their smartphone? Can users view patient data on their Smartphone? Can they receive critical lab results?
  • Patient Centric Communication: The secure texting app you choose should not only enable users to access patient data but furthermore coordinate care. Patient centric messaging enhancements will need to integrate secure text communications with the EHR. Can clinicians using the secure texting app easily mark which patient their group messaging conversations are about? Can clinicians easily refer to patient notes stored in the secure texting app while discussing care options? How will those messages integrate with specific patient information?
  • Breadth of offerings: There are many stakeholders across the healthcare network who stand to benefit from secure texting, mHealth solutions. How many of these stakeholders—clinicians, care coordinators, patients, hospital administrators—can your vendor provide solutions for now and in the future? Is the secure texting solution provider you’re considering capable and preparing/prepared to address a wide range of your future needs?

The healthcare industry is undergoing the most drastic change in its history, so considering future needs now may be challenging. However, this exercise is critical to ensure that the ROI derived from a secure texting app can be sustained or better yet expand as time goes on. Workflow efficiency, quality care collaboration, data siloes and systems integration are all issues that healthcare providers have consistently struggled to achieve with HIT solutions. Luckily, there are secure texting solutions that enable healthcare providers to address all of these challenges through a single, integrated mobile platform.

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