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Why Most HIPAA Compliant Texting Apps Fail

HIPAA-compliant texting platforms have been available to healthcare providers for nearly a decade, yet 96 percent of physicians admitted, in a recent Spyglass Consulting Group report, that they’ve used unsecure SMS texting to discuss patient care. So, the question remains, why aren’t these secure texting platforms being fully realized?*

Most secure texting solutions fail to enable crucial healthcare workflows, resulting in lower user adoption and non-compliant workarounds. For example, most solutions cannot offer physicians the feature most critical to their satisfaction: the ability to control who can contact them, when and how. Equally, many solutions are deployed as physician-only or nurse-only solutions, restricting critical care team communication.

"Secure texting without policy is a contributor to physician & nurse burnout."

Hospital administrators must serve up clinical communication and collaboration solutions that clinicians can get excited about. These solutions must:

  • Match or improve current workflows
  • Connect with the right physician, at the right time
  • Be easy to use
  • Reduce non-clinical tasks for the whole care team
  • Help provide better care for patients

Having rolled out hundreds of successful solutions across the US, we will share the critical use cases that are driving user adoption of clinical communication and care team collaboration platforms:

Clinician-Centric Workflow Capabilities

Fast, intuitive solutions are allowing clinicians to manage infections earlier, provide consults sooner, offer digital safe patient handoffs, and turn convoluted communication processes into one-step tasks. To have a meaningful impact, ensure your solution:

  • Supports rule-based communication, a feature that allows physicians to be specific about who can contact them, when they can be contacted, and the reasons for which communication can be initiated. This sophisticated feature pays attention to preferred workflows, time of day, vacation schedules, and even last-minute shift changes.
  • Allows physicians to retain pager functionality, including the ability to have another clinician monitor incoming messages while in surgery or in a critical patient encounter, but also add in two-way messaging and escalation functionality.
  • Supports advanced clinical workflows not available in text-only platforms, including request for orders, asynchronous verbal orders, STEMI activations, sepsis alerting, consult requests from the bedside, mobile on-call schedule updates, safe patient handoffs, critical result notifications, post-discharge patient follow-ups and chronic condition management.
  • Combines both the software and hardware into one mobility strategy to support nurses. Nurses can “badge in” to shared devices without having to enter credentials, automatically route non-clinical nurse calls to support staff, and leverage NFC technology to restock supplies, initiate patient transports or request housekeeping.

Patient-Centric Communication

Physicians want to walk into the hospital and know immediately who their patients are, where they are located and review their record. Telmediq’s communication features are organized around the patient, giving physicians and nurses intuitive access to their patient list, including patient names, locations, DOBs, chief complaints and associated messages. Physicians can easily add patients to their lists, as well as safely hand patients off—with full history—to the next provider.

Integration with EHRs, such as Epic, Cerner, McKesson and Meditech, is what enables clinicians to access patient details from their smartphones and communicate with the entire care team. Nurses are able to complete message templates for standard clinical documentation tasks, such as pain surveys, vitals recording and SBAR assessments. EMR integration provides immediate notification of sepsis alerts or critical abnormals.

Efficient Collaboration

Telmediq ensures physicians and nurses can instantly find each other by name, location, department or by role, such as “Hospitalist On Call” or “ED Charge Nurse,” and the system automatically routes messages to the clinician who is on call or logged in for each role. Rules-based routing and escalation capabilities ensure reliable message delivery. Messages can include files, images, video, audio and text, with the option to save documentation to the EMR.

Collaboration includes the whole clinical and non-clinical team, including nurses, PCPs, nutritionists, and more. Call center agents can join virtual queues from any location to service inbound patient and clinician calls, and instantly contact clinicians via. park & page, phone or secure message.

Telmediq’s Best Practice Workflow Expertise

Telmediq’s communication and collaboration platform provides clinicians access to everything needed for real-time patient care from smartphones. Telmediq works closely with clinicians to continually augment the workflow capabilities of its clinical communication and collaboration solution, to address the challenges slowing your clinicians down, reduce care delays, and increase patient throughput. Telmediq is the 2019 and 2018 #1 KLAS rated vendor for Secure Communication Platforms.

If you’d like to learn additional ways to drive user adoption, please connect with one of our clinical communications specialists.

*BMJ Journals, "WhatsApp Doc?"

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Clinical Communications Workflow, Clinical Workflow, HIPAA, Medical Answering, Messaging, Pager, Secure Texting, Texting