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HIMSS In Review: Takeaways for Secure Messaging

Another ‘Super Bowl of Healthcare IT’ is in the history books, and with the Telmediq team having finally recovered from an epic four days of information, inspiration, and education (and maybe a little inebriation), we wanted to cut through the noise and share what was relevant in the healthcare messaging space—a vertical that gets a little noisier each and every year. So what did we learn?

Interoperability Again, For The First Time

Will THIS be the year that interoperability finally takes root in healthcare environments? Attendees may have had a sense of deja vu as interoperability was again the buzzword du jour—this time, playing off of emerging standards like FHIR, as EMR vendors realized their ‘interoperability moment’. For hospitals and healthcare organizations utilizing or considering secure messaging, the message is clear: communication technologies MUST be able to plug into EMRs for staff and patient data retrieval and seamless message archiving within the patient record. Anything less means countless hours wasted for already overtaxed staff entering information manually (and redundantly), or searching for the right staff member to contact in regards to a patient.

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

No, it’s not a ZDoggMD jam reflecting on the need for communication tools to break down the walls between historically siloed workflows (though a man can dream…). But the days of having nursing staff and physician staff operating through disparate means of communicating are hopefully in the rearview mirror, as more providers (and the solutions that service them) are recognizing that enterprise-wide collaboration is necessary to truly deliver efficient and effective care. Communication disconnects between physician and nurse teams have been conclusively linked to adverse events; using accessible, easily-deployable software or mobile apps to address communication inefficiencies is not just essential—it’s inevitable.

Some smaller hospitals, due to their inherent nimbleness, seem to be ahead of the curve on this one—but that doesn't mean that larger organizations have to be stuck playing catch-up.

Mobile Ordering: Not Just For Pizza Anymore

Order entry via mobile continues to be a point of contention—while The Joint Commission states that it’s unacceptable to text orders in a healthcare setting, some healthcare communications platforms provide a means for mobile communication of physician orders by verifying and authenticating the user, and communicating the order to the EMR system via an integration. As more ‘mobile natives’ graduate into physicianhood, it’s likely that JCAHO will revisit the original standard—but until then, providers looking to leverage the benefits of mobile order texting will need to find a solution that solves these problems. Interested? We might know a guy.

It’s worth noting that solutions that facilitate and enable communication (and solve the problems that inevitable arise) are universal and not limited to healthcare by a long shot - the only differences unique to healthcare are the technology standards, and the policies. If a solution can marry the two while applying learnings from other industries to healthcare, we’ll all be better for it.

What stood out for you from HiMSS this year? Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

blog, Healthcare Technology, HIMSS, Secure Messaging