Smartphone technology has revolutionized the way physicians, dentists, hospitals and clinics communicate with each other, their office staffs and their patients. Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging has made medical communication more efficient and more personal, adding value to patient care and strengthening the link between patients and their healthcare providers. But text messaging also increases the risk that patient information will be compromised or inadvertently and inappropriately shared. In today’s HIPAA-compliant environment, texting can present a huge risk and significant liability threat for healthcare professionals.
Texting poses several challenges for medical practices:
Texts can be read by anyone, not just the intended recipient.
Texts can also be forwarded to anyone.
Unencrypted messages can sit on telecommunication providers’ servers indefinitely, increasing the potential for inappropriate access.
Texts can stay on senders’ and receivers’ phones indefinitely, adding to the risk of inappropriate access.
Senders have no way to authenticate that text messages have been received and read by the intended recipient.
HIPAA regulations have not banned all text messaging, but for obvious security reasons SMS text messaging has been prohibited. One solution is to remove all patient identification and personal information from text messages but this also decreases message effectiveness.
MedConnectUSA’s new miSecureMessages service provides an effective secure messaging solution that is completely HIPAA-compliant. Available for Android, Apple and BlackBerry devises, our secure messaging app provides secure, encrypted, immediate two-way communication that completely bypasses telecommunication providers’ servers. Our secure message service also guarantees that messages have been received and read. Visit our website for full details.