Beaufort Memorial Hospital replaces pagers with secure text messaging
Location:Beaufort, South Carolina
- Insecure texting by physicians
- HIPAA compliance concerns
- Outdated and costly pagers>
- Inefficient communications>
- Secure texting now part of clinical workflows
- Mitigated HIPAA compliance risks
- Replaced pagers in some departments>
- Reduced costs, streamlined communications>
The IT team at Beaufort Memorial Hospital in South Carolina had two separate challenges to deal with. The first was potential insecure text messaging between its physicians. Second was the decreasing effectiveness and high cost of its pager system.
The hospital was able to address both issues using Imprivata Cortext®, the secure communications platform from Imprivata, the leader in healthcare IT security. Imprivata Cortext made it easy for Beaufort’s physicians to text securely using their own smartphones and tablets. For the hospital and its clinical staff, Imprivata Cortext provided a path for migrating away from their outdated and expensive pagers.
For nearly 70 years, Beaufort Memorial Hospital has provided quality healthcare services to the residents of coastal South Carolina. As the largest hospital between Charleston and Savannah, GA, Beaufort Memorial is a regional referral center specializing in acute care, rehabilitation, and mental health services.
Imprivata Cortext - overview
Imprivata Cortext is a secure communications platform designed specifically for healthcare professionals. For physicians, Imprivata Cortext gives them a secure way to use the power and convenience of mobile technologies in their clinical workflows. From an IT perspective, Imprivata Cortext’s cloud-based architecture makes it highly reliable and easy to manage. Compliance officers appreciate Imprivata Cortext’s extensive security and privacy features.
Imprivata Cortext lets clinicians use their own devices to communicate and collaborate with their colleagues effectively and securely to improve the delivery of patient care.
Beaufort Memorial has a ‘BYOD’ policy that allows physicians to use their own smartphones and tablets at work. But since smartphones come with non-HIPAA compliant texting apps, the hospital also had a ‘No Texting PHI’ policy meant to safeguard patients’ protected health information.
Even with the policy in place, Edward Ricks, Beaufort Memorial’s VP and CIO, still had concerns. “Our ‘No Texting PHI’ policy was insufficient. The inability to send detailed patient information significantly limited the benefits of using text messaging as a clinical communication and collaboration tool,” said Ricks. “We felt it was only a matter of time before clinicians started using insecure apps to communicate PHI. With random HIPAA audits becoming more commonplace, we needed to find a solution that provided texting functionality – but with the necessary security features.”
Problems with pagers
As part of an ongoing review of the hospital’s IT infrastructure, Ricks and his team looked closely at Beaufort’s pager system and usage. What they found was a system that was no longer meeting the communication needs and mobility requirements of Beaufort’s doctors.
Regarding Beaufort’s use of pagers, Ricks said “With their limited capabilities, pagers can cause delays and interruptions that impact efficiency and, at times, can take a clinician’s focus off the patient. Then there’s the cost. We were paying tens of thousands of dollars each year for this outdated system. It was clear that we needed a better solution.”
Today more than 200 clinicians at Beaufort Memorial are using Imprivata Cortext to communicate and collaborate via secure text messaging. Beaufort’s clinical staff is now able to leverage secure texting to streamline clinical workflows and coordinate care more efficiently, while safeguarding PHI and ensuring HIPAA compliance.
With the mobility and communications capabilities of Imprivata Cortext, Beaufort Memorial has been able to replace pagers and eliminate their costs in several of the hospital’s departments.
Imprivata Cortext advantages
Following are some of the distinguishing characteristics and capabilities of Imprivata Cortext.
Developed by the industry leader – With 10 years of experience and its solutions deployed in over 1,000 hospitals worldwide, Imprivata is a leader in healthcare IT security. That leadership has been recognized by leading industry organizations such as KLAS, Gartner and AHA.
Designed for healthcare professionals – Imprivata Cortext is a secure communications platform designed specifically for care providers and their workflows in care settings such as hospitals, clinics, medical practices, nursing homes and hospices.
Enterprise-class, certified as HIPAA compliant – Imprivata Cortext is the only secure communications platform available today that is certified to provide all necessary security functions to meet HIPAA compliance requirements. Validated by ecfirst, an independent third-party organization, Imprivata Cortext meets or exceeds all relevant security requirements including authentication, authorization, encryption, archiving and auditing. In addition, Imprivata provides all participating organizations with a Business Associate Agreement, assuring that Imprivata has implemented the requisite administrative, physical, and technical safeguards for the PHI that is created, maintained, received and transmitted within the system.
Built to handle today’s healthcare delivery models – With the shift to more coordinated approaches to patient care, the need to communicate across organizational boundaries is growing rapidly. Imprivata Cortext is designed to enable efficient communication between and across multiple healthcare organizations. It enables providers who work at more than one organization to text colleagues across various organizations with a single app and a single message.