Texting 1, 2, 3: Why secure messaging is critical to providing quality healthcare

pexels-photo-263370.jpeg

A recent Pew Internet study found that 97% of Americans use their phone’s texting feature at least once per day. Advanced healthcare providers are accustomed to texting friends and family, but still have to rely on pagers, notes, and meetings to communicate securely at work.

In an industry where fast, reliable communication is incredibly critical, messaging seems like the perfect solution for doctors, nurses, and administrative staff to quickly and easily share complex, time-sensitive matters. Yet, when confidential patient information is at play, these care teams can’t rely on a standard SMS.

In a letter to state survey agency directors, CMS Survey and Certification Group Director David R. Wright said, “In order to be compliant with the [Conditions of Participation (CoPs)] or [Conditions for Coverage (CfCs)], all providers must utilize and maintain platforms that are secure, encrypted, and minimize the risks to patient privacy and confidentiality as per HIPAA regulations and the CoPs or CfCs.”

With this CMS policy in place, should healthcare teams even bother? According to the research we’ve found while building Snapp, the answer is yes. Secure communication is an essential piece of the healthcare puzzle, especially as mobile health technology evolves. Here are four key reasons why a secure messaging platform can help advanced providers improve care:

Care Coordination

Did you know that 3 out of 10 medical tests are reordered because the results cannot be found? They’re typically lost when being passed between departments or across care facilities, an issue that can be eliminated with a strong collaboration system in place.

Whether you run a small clinic or a statewide hospital system, there are different departments that all need to clearly and effectively communicate on a regular basis (think: care teams, lab staff, billing, admins). By adopting a streamlined, secure communication system, each of these teams can pass along information and provide coordinated patient care in a more organized, efficient way. Snapp allows your team to securely communicate on one platform through integrated Sling encounter sharing, text messaging, and telechat.

Efficiency

A study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine showed that physicians currently spend 25% of their day on communication. On a day-to-day basis, that means doctors spend at least 2 hours on things besides patient care, like contacting nurses and providers and updating paperwork.

With an easy-to-use platform like Snapp, which centralizes secure communication, workflow management, and compliant documentation and billing, physicians can spend less time checking emails, making calls, and updating paper charts, and more time providing direct patient care. In fact, our secure mobile app saves users an average of 45 minutes per shift.

Error Reduction

According to the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, nearly 80% of all serious medical errors involve miscommunication during care transitions. Preventable medical errors, 86% of which are administrative, are still the third-highest cause of death in the United States, just behind heart disease and cancer. Strong and secure communication is more than just a practical tool -- it’s life or death. With effective communication systems in place, our healthcare providers can improve patient care and, most importantly, save lives.  

Cost-Savings

Ready for another staggering stat? The Journal of Healthcare Management found that U.S. hospitals waste over $12 billion each year due to communication inefficiencies among providers. That means that, on average, a 500-bed hospital loses upwards of $4 million per year due to communication inefficiencies. Using Snapp’s built-in communication system and efficient collaboration tools, medical clinics and hospitals can save time and significantly increase revenue each year.

 

At Snapp, our mission and vision is simple; to provide a collaboration solution that empowers healthcare providers to deliver quality care with ease. Our easy-to-use mobile app gives advanced care providers access to secure messaging, intuitive workflow management, and compliant documentation and billing, all in one centralized place. And just as CMS requires, we built a system that is secure, encrypted, and HIPAA-compliant, so your patients’ privacy is never at risk.

Ready to provide better quality care through improved communication?  Schedule a demo with our team of experts.

 

Ready to learn more?

 
 
Michael McEvoy