As clinicians increasingly expand their use of text messaging to communicate within and across care settings, concerns about upholding compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other government rules are also increasing. Zynx Health, the market leader in providing evidence- and experience-based clinical improvement and mobile care coordination solutions, is addressing these issues with the release of an enhanced secure messaging application within the ZynxCarebook mobile coordination platform. The enhanced messaging application can be implemented independently or as a component of ZynxCarebook.
The enhancements, which were first unveiled at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s Annual Conference & Exhibition (HIMSS15) in Chicago, improve the ability of physicians, nurses and other clinicians to exchange patient data or other confidential information while remaining in compliance with HIPAA, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, and other relevant industry standards.
Healthcare professionals who need to share electronic protected health information (ePHI) to coordinate care have increasingly gravitated toward text messaging over the past few years because of its familiarity and ability to provide constant connectivity. According to Pew Research, 81 percent of all Americans send and receive text messages on their mobile phones. Pew also notes that texting is currently the leading activity on mobile phones.
However, traditional text messaging applications are inherently nonsecure and noncompliant under the HIPAA security rule. This lack of security creates a significant liability for hospitals and other healthcare providers, as a single unsecured text message about a patient could result in fines as high as $50,000.
“Communicating quickly and effectively is critical to ensuring high quality care coordination and collaboration among care team members across the continuum,” said Siva Subramanian, Ph.D., senior vice president of mobile products at Zynx Health. “Texting fits very easily into clinicians’ workflows, which is why its use is rapidly growing. ZynxCarebook provides that extra level of security and protection necessary for providers to meet regulatory compliance while guaranteeing the usability that led them to choose to communicate via text in the first place.”
The mobile application, available on iOS and Android, offers new security controls such as employee personal identification number (PIN) lock and active directory auto-synchronization designed to ensure that all messages sent within the app are delivered to an approved recipient and protected in accordance with healthcare regulations. Additional usability features include secure group messaging and segregated alerts, which categorize messages as patient-related or other. These capabilities promote more effective care team communication, yielding faster messaging response times, improved care transitions and patient throughput, and reduced discharge time.
“At ValleyCare we are working to bridge the chasm of traditional communication by implementing a mobile communication platform so we can communicate in real time when necessary,” said Carlos Gracia, M.D., medical director of clinical informatics at ValleyCare Health System in Pleasanton, Calif. “If physicians are busy, they should be empowered to respond promptly and effectively. Otherwise, long-standing problems such as errors, communication issues and care delays will continue. That status quo is not acceptable and can no longer be tolerated in healthcare.”
To learn more about ZynxCarebook, visit zynxhealth.com/Solutions/Zynx-Carebook or schedule a live demo.
About Zynx Health
Zynx Health, part of the Hearst Health network, is the pioneer and market leader in evidence- and experience-based clinical improvement and mobile care solutions that provide the care guidance to enhance quality, improve care coordination, and decrease variation across an individual’s health journey. With Zynx Health, healthcare organizations exceed industry demands for delivering high-quality care at lower costs under value-based reimbursement models. Zynx Health partners with healthcare organizations to continuously and measurably improve care every day, for every patient, every time. To learn more, visit zynxhealth.com or call 855.367.ZYNX.
About Hearst Health
Zynx Health is part of the Hearst Health network, which also includes FDB (First Databank), MCG, and Homecare Homebase. The mission of the Hearst Health network is to help guide the most important care moments by delivering vital information into the hands of everyone who touches a person’s health journey. Each year in the U.S., care guidance from the Hearst Health network reaches 76 percent of discharged patients, 133 million insured individuals, 30 million home health visits, 1.88 billion retail pharmacy prescriptions, and 3.26 billion prescription claims. Extensions of the Hearst Health network include Hearst Health Ventures and the Hearst Health Innovation Lab. hearsthealth.com