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Connecting Nurses, NPs, and PA’s One Secure Text at a Time

The relationship between patient and caregiver in any healthcare facility is critical. Even more so is the relationship between nurses and other providers. If you have just seen a patient who has been rushed into the ED with a serious injury, the ability to communicate with incoming doctors is imperative. In some cases, the clinician needs to be updated before he or she arrives on the scene. In scenarios like this, texting becomes a vital way for nurse and provider to communicate patient information immediately.

But isn’t texting a HIPPA violation?

The answer is no, technically it is not. Here is why. According to the[1], texting in a hospital is fully encrypted and is only accessible by hospital or practice authorized personnel. The HIPPA Journal goes on to say that “Access to the encrypted communications network is via secure messaging apps that can be downloaded onto any desktop computer or mobile device.”

The apps require two-factor authentication. This means you have to enter a centrally-issued username and PIN, and you also have to enter an additional special number or token ID. The username and pin also monitor network activity to prevent any information going out on to a third party.

Collaborative communication determines not only how fast a patient gets attention, but it also determines whether they get the best care. In fact, studies[2] have shown that texting not only increases collaboration but also prevents the dreaded “phone-tag” between providers. Additionally, texting is more effective than traditional pagers.

Secure texting for hospitals is also a cost-effective way in which healthcare organizations can implement a solution for HIPAA-compliant messaging.

Last updated on 9/14/19.

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