Introducing mobile healthcare solutions into hospitals and private medical practices has been an extremely controversial topic over the last couple years. Medical professionals argue that by implementing these technologies into the American medical landscape, they can streamline the exchange of information between healthcare providers and improve patient care overall. Many Americans, on the other hand, feel that truly secure messaging in healthcare is a fantasy.
As the American College of Physicians details, both sides of the argument are right. Hospitals that fail to properly use modern healthcare technology risk leaking their patients’ confidential information. That said, secure SMS doesn’t have to be a fantasy. By following the tips from IT experts, your practice can protect its patients and gain the benefits of secure SMS technologies.
How to Make Secure SMS a Reality for Your Hospital or Medical Practice
- Establish an Ironclad Messaging Policy
- Have Your IT Team Encrypt All Devices
- Use Specialized Software
For the online magazine Physicians Practice, the first step to secure SMS is creating a solid messaging and IT policy. A good messaging policy defines who can text at work and when those people can text. It also outlines disciplinary measures that will be taken when these rules are violated. It may seem harsh, but you need to show your employees — the people with the greatest access to sensitive information — that you take protecting your practice and your patients seriously.
Allowing text messaging in a medical environment mandates an extra level of security. That’s why the business and consumer technology news service Tech Target so strongly stresses having your IT team encrypt all of your employees’ devices. Installing encryption software can be as simple as plugging each device into a main hub in rapid succession. Yes, this will cost you some time and money, but trust us when we say that it’s far better than the alternative.
Recognizing a growing need for security in American healthcare, many software developers have engineered state of the art applications meant to facilitate and improve secure text messaging. One of the coolest features of these programs is their ability to scan texts, emails, and other forms of correspondence, automatically removing any information that could violate HIPAA laws. Do your research to find a software solution that matches your hospital’s or practice’s unique needs.
What other methods have you used to make secure texting possible? Let us know in the comments below. More.