Four smart IT strategies for selecting a secure texting application for healthcare

Justyna Evlogiadis
Jun 09, 2015

 

Selecting a secure texting application vendor can be difficult. Healthcare IT providers need to find a solution that balances security with ease of use, while addressing the critical workflow challenges of clinicians.  And, with a new secure texting application emerging into the healthcare market every day, finding the best solution for your healthcare facility can be difficult. Here are some smart strategies to use when selecting a secure texting application that solves your specific clinical communication needs:

  1. Support ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) communication - Make sure the secure texting solution you choose is easy to use, both inside and outside your hospital. Physicians often bring their own device to work and don’t want to carry another, corporate owned device. A BYOD texting app allows clinicians to use their own device for healthcare communications, securely. Alternative clinical communication solutions that are on premise and not cloud-based can often have poor reliability outside of the hospital and can drain the battery life of clinicians’ personal devices, making them difficult to use.
  2. Support desktop communication - Most healthcare organizations don’t permit nurses and non-physician staff to bring their personal device to work. However, most of the communication and paging done today is generated from nursing and ancillary staff. Purchasing corporate devices for nursing users can be expensive and unnecessary. Make sure you select a solution that nurses can use across smartphones and desktops so the solution can be deployed hospital-wide and nurses can send secure text messages from their computers and their phones.  
  3. Support patient communication - healthcare providers sending secure text messages to patients may seem like a futuristic goal, but many providers already communicate with patients from their personal devices today. In order to avoid these insecure texting practices, make sure the solution you choose has the ability to communicate beyond your physician and nurse populations, and can extend to engage your patients. As healthcare grows into more of a pay-for-performance model instead of a pay-for-service model, patient engagement will quickly become a more important necessity and key benchmarking measure. Patient outreach should, therefore, be a key element to a future-proof secure texting application.
  4. Support multi-site communication - 40% of physicians practice at more than two healthcare facilities. This often results in physicians wearing a ‘pager tool belt’. To overcome this problem, select a secure texting solution that will enable physicians to have multiple site directories in one app. A good secure texting solution should also allow clinicians to communicate smarter during important workflows such as patient transfers, discharges, and admissions. These workflows require clinicians to communication across groups of users in multiple sites.  

Learn more about smart criteria for selecting a healthcare communications solution by reading The CIO's Guide to HIPAA Compliant Text Messaging whitepaper and exploring our Imprivata Cortext offerings