The combination of mobile communications and smartphone technology has revolutionized healthcare. The ability to instantly communicate and share patient information with colleagues and medical office staff has increased physician collaboration, improved medical office staff efficiency, and enhanced patient care. Unfortunately, HIPAA rules have put the brakes on the use of mobile technology in healthcare; turning this incredibly useful tool into a potential security liability.
HIPAA Changed the Game
The problem is in the poor security of smartphone’s standard SMS text messaging system which fails to provide adequate protection against the loss, theft or unintentional dissemination of private patient information. Under HIPAA regulations, the high cost of a security breach has made it too risky for physicians to use their mobile devices to full advantage. The development of HIPAA-compliant, secure texting solutions such as MedConnectUSA’s miSecureMessages has allowed physicians and their staffs to once again take full advantage of mobile technology.
New Secure Solutions
A growing number of secure mobile messaging products are now being marketed to healthcare providers, but ease of use and the security features offered can vary widely. In choosing a secure text messaging service for use in your medical practice, look for the following features:
Versatility. A secure message system that can be used with Android, Apple and BlackBerry devices allows physicians and their staffs to continue using the mobile devices they prefer and are most familiar with. MedConnectUSA’s secure messaging app is available in all three mobile device formats for use on both smartphones and tablets.
Encryption. Protecting the interception of patient information requires that communication be encrypted both in-transit and during storage. MedConnectUSA offers secure end-to-end encryption using SSL/TLS encryption. The same encryption system used by PayPal and other ecommerce sites, SSL/TLS offers the most secure message encryption currently available.
To be continued