How To

4 Ways Secure Messaging mHealth Apps Integrate with Pager Systems

August 21, 2014 | Adam Turinas

For the overwhelming majority of healthcare systems pagers are still the most widespread channel for contacting physicians in emergency situations. As healthcare organizations adopt HIPAA-compliant secure text solutions it creates a big questions for IT staff in how to manage the transition from a pager only environment to a mixed environment of pagers and secure text.

There are four ways that Pagers can be integrated with your health system’s secure text solution to achieve HIPAA compliance and a managed transition to a hybrid paging/secure text environment:

1. The secure messaging solution’s operator console enables you to monitor pager and secure messaging activity from one centralized interface. Both the pager and mobile devices of users should be registered within the secure texting solution’s system.

2. The HIPAA secure messaging app cannot interfere with the traditional format of a “page”. The secure texting solution should have the ability to deliver messages in a manner that replicates the functionality of either a one-way or two-way pager.

3. The HIPAA texting app should be able to send messages under the same network pagers’ traditionally use. Messages sent to clinicians who prefer pagers should be transported via SNPP to the service carrier.

4. The HIPAA secure messaging app should support both pager and mobile communication. App users should be able to communicate with app users who maintain their pager as their preferred communication channel directly from the secure texting application. A Numeric Paging Access Number should be available for secure texting app users so that pager users can receive and respond to pages with ease.

Anytime a physician chooses an alternate communication channel over his/her secure texting app to communicate PHI, your health system’s HIPAA compliance is threatened. Ensuring that pagers are coordinated with your HIPAA secure texting application is critical to ensuring that clinicians have little incentive to disregard your new, HIPAA secure messaging communication channel.


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