HIPAA Secure Texting

4 Types Of ROI Secure Messaging Apps Generate For Hospitals

February 24, 2016 | Uniphy Health

Secure messaging apps are being used to do more than encourage HIPAA compliance. Many secure messaging apps currently exist with care coordination, patient engagement and home care management capabilities. Using such tools, physicians, clinicians, patients, caregivers, and home health aides are able to more effectively engage in the care continuum. In this guide, we’ve highlighted four key ways secure messaging apps generate significant ROI for hospitals, ACOs and other health care organizations looking to improve quality of care.

1. Reduce patient length of stay

2. Prevent referral leakage

3. Reduce Preventable Readmissions, Hospitalizations & ER Visits

4. Improve patient satisfaction and patient portal utilization


Reduce patient length of stay

Secure texting apps with advanced communication and clinical data features positively impact care coordination, quality and cost. By enabling clinicians and physicians to more efficiently communicate and access patient data, these apps accelerate patient diagnosis and discharge timing.

As a standalone feature, secure texting improves the connectivity of care team members communicating across hospitals, practices, and skilled nursing facilities. That said, there are many other features that secure texting apps need in order to significantly reduce patient length of stay. Users should also be able to view and update critical patient information, access lab results, and communicate via HIPAA-secure text, picture and video messaging amongst other things. The app’s backend interface must integrate with EMRs and clinical data systems in order to support clinical care teams in better managing and synchronizing their workflows.

(Further reading: 91 Questions To Include In A Secure Texting RFP)


Prevent Referral Leakage

Physician referral leakage is a costly issue that healthcare organizations can overcome with secure texting apps. By improving referral flows, these apps support population health management goals—improving quality performance and reducing care delivery inefficiencies.

Secure texting apps with referral leakage prevention capabilities enable physicians to identify and communicate with their fellow network providers. Referring physicians must be able to access their network’s physician directory and/or on call schedule, and deliver consult requests with one click. Consult request recipients should be able to access patients’ clinical data and care team notes, and engage in real-time communication with referring physicians. In this way, secure texting apps improve patient transitions between network physicians. The efficiency and quality of the referral process, thus, improves along with patient satisfaction and health outcomes.

(Further reading: Are mHealth apps a solution to referral leakage?)


Reduce Preventable Readmissions, Hospitalizations & ER Visits

Secure texting apps that include home care aides, caregivers and patients in the care coordination network supports patient-centric communication across the care continuum. As home caregivers become the eyes and ears of clinicians and physicians, preventable readmissions, hospitalizations and ER visits decrease. Through such secure texting apps, home care aides should be able to quickly monitor and report changes in patients’ conditions, and request escalating levels of support from care coordinators. Clinical care teams should be able to quickly identify and respond to the recorded health escalations of high-risk, high-cost patients occurring in home settings.

(Further reading: mHealth Can Empower Home Health Aides in Coordinated Care Networks)


Improve patient satisfaction and patient portal utilization

Secure texting apps with either patient engagement or care coordination features enable hospitals to boost patient satisfaction, thus improving their HCAHPS scores. Patient-facing secure texting apps enable patients to more easily and quickly manage their health care. It’s essential that these apps integrate with patient portals. This not only makes improving patient satisfaction more feasible, but also will make achieving Stage 2 Meaningful Use more attainable.

Patient engagement can be further supported with targeted health content and hospital communication features. Using such a secure texting app, patients should be able to stay informed of any events, and access relevant content containing health advice. They should also be able to communicate with hospital concierge teams, schedule and manage appointments, and access lab results and hospital directories. Thus, secure texting apps improve patient satisfaction and engagement by improving patients’ access to hospital resources and clinical data, along with patient-provider communication.

(Further reading: 7 Key Factors for Evaluating Mobile Patient Engagement Apps)

JCMCRWJB-ROI-analysis cta banner