A ‘radio hobbyist’ in Missouri recently intercepted pages containing protected health information (PHI) using free computer software and an inexpensive antenna. He didn’t “hack” a network: these pages were unencrypted, broadcast to all towers in the coverage zone, making it easy for anyone with an antenna to receive and decode the messages.
Providers, and all employees interacting with ePHI, are responsible for protecting it. Yet pagers are ubiquitous at most organizations and most pagers receive unencrypted messages. Furthermore, they often display plain text messages that can be seen by others and do not require a PIN or other security measures to safeguard access to the message.
One of our clients found that less than 25% of their clinicians were aware that they were insecurely relaying protected patient information before implementing Telmediq. Is ePHI safe at your organization?
Clinical communication and collaboration solutions like Telmediq offer pager functionality and safeguard ePHI to a degree exceeding CMS’ requirements. Telmediq ensures:
- Encryption of all data in transit and at rest
- The ability to authenticate the user, including support for 2-factor authentication
- Safeguards to protect against unauthorized access
- Ability to keep a discoverable archive of messages for 7 years, or longer
- Administrative ability to lock users from the system when they leave the organization
- Administrative ability to wipe all texting data from a user’s device
Telmediq takes security seriously and surpasses HIPAA requirements with regular audits, employee training, near real-time third-party intrusion and threat detection monitoring and third-party penetration testing.
We understand that providers can be quite attached to their pagers, so we offer pager functionality within our solution. Telmediq augments paging functionality with two-way text messaging, voice communications and patient-centered messaging for a single view of the patient record and a patient’s care team. Clinicians can:
- Have a dedicated pager number
- Forward pages &/or escalate critical messages
- Block their number when making outgoing calls
- Put the solution in OR mode so that messages can be monitored while in the OR or when they are otherwise engaged
If you want to reduce the risks of ePHI transmission and allow providers the paging functionality they need, connect with us to learn about our pager replacement strategy that has helped hundreds of hospitals across the US.