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Clinical Workflow Support: #5 Most Important Secure Messaging App Function

September 23, 2014 | Adam Turinas

In this installation of our series highlighting the most critical consideration factors for health executives when selecting a secure texting provider, we illustrate the clinical workflow issues that secure texting apps can address. New reports and surveys illustrate the value of mHealth apps that enable doctors to message patients and achieve coordinated care improvements.

As you evaluate the workflow management capabilities of secure messaging platforms here are some key issues to consider:

1. Clinical systems integration: For clinicians to do more than simply send HIPAA compliant texts, a secure texting solution must integrate clinical data from traditionally silo-ed systems, most notably the EHR. A secure texting solution with EHR supported functionality will serve as a mobile portal for clinicians to access, refine and deliver critical patient information immediately.

2. Physician referrals: Does the app enable clinicians to deliver consults within the hospital network in real time? A workflow enhancing secure texting solution will allow clinicians to easily search within their network’s directory and deliver consults in seconds via the EHR.

3. Critical Lab Results: Can clinicians securely receive and deliver sensitive patient health information as soon as lab results and testing are ready?

4. On Call listing: Can clinicians check which doctors are on call without interrupting their workflow? Clinicians should be able to navigate who within the hospital is available without traveling to a board.

5. Patient notes: Can clinicians access and create patient notes in minutes without wasting time logging in and navigating the EHR system? Clinicians should be able to find, select and update patient notes with relative ease and real time speed. A secure texting solution should effectively eliminate the need for doctors to spend hours after rounds inputting patient notes into the EHR system.

6. User friendliness: User friendliness and ease of use is of utmost relevance to a secure texting solution’s workflow management effectiveness. Performing an action via the app should be an intuitive process that clinicians can complete with a couple of clicks.

7. Image transfers: Can clinicians securely take pictures and deliver images to other members of patients’ care teams? Physicians and other clinicians prize this feature dearly as it enables them to show critical patient information.

Secure messaging apps ultimately should serve as more than a HIPAA compliant messaging channel, instead offering clinicians a mobile portal to navigate the hospital system by connecting them with one another, critical patient information and key data when and where they need it.

If you would like to see the complete list of critical factors to consider when choosing a secure text provider you can download a secure text comparison checklist here:

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