WHY SECURE TEXTING
Texting is a natural human behavior in 21st century. We text just like we talk or we eat. It’s difficult to resist the ease of communicating things without actually talking to a person with such a powerful always connected device in your hands.
With the ease of use, it is very vital to ensure the security of the communication. Increasing smartphone adoption has high risk of PHI leaks.
It’s not only about HIPAA violation but it is also about quick, accurate and seamless communication among the care team to assure highest quality of care. It is proved in several surveys that pager systems and other traditional communication methods add delays in the process of care coordination. Secure texting is efficient way to stay connected and reach to people faster. It is an essential solution for any healthcare provider.
There are many solutions in this space from varied vendors and product companies. While most of them do a good job of secured texting, many of them still lacks clinical intelligence and basic integrations, as basic as integrating with active directory (ldap), which allows you to provide access to your team flawlessly. Without bridging texting with organisation’s basic infrastructure the solutions have a very little adoption and impact.
Some of them do offer customisation opportunities but they come with high price. When the solution itself is very generic in nature i.e. designed to “fit for all”, lot of customisation is required to make it fit for your organisation, which escalates overall cost and budget beyond expectations or you have to compromise on customisations. In a view of this, perhaps it makes lot of sense to build your own secure texting solution yourself. Ola but it requires lot of technical research, resources and sweat to design and develop entire thing from scratch. This is the scenario where I think best fitted solution has to be platform based.
WHY PLATFORM BASED
Technically speaking there is a thin line between generic capabilities of the secure texting infrastructure and user facing features, GUI and in app navigation. What if there is a platform which takes care of foundational technical stuff e.g. HIPAA compliance, encrypted messaging protocol, server and database to support message archive and auditing etc. and allow your team to build meaningful applications on the top of it. This also helps if we are able to strategically integrate all of our applications for our peoples so that they can use only one app as a primary app depending on their role and profile to do maximum things in a busy day.
Physicians/Nurses don’t have time to open multiple applications for doing different things; moreover texting is quite natural language tool. So if you want to enhance your nurse rounding tablet application with secure texting; you should be able to do it with little development efforts. Ideally there can be applications targeted towards individual roles and responsibilities, catering to specific needs of your clinical team. These applications can share a common infrastructure (server, databases) to achieve efficient communication without leaving their primary application interface.
WHY IT HELPS IN ADOPTION
Everybody like to use things that are designed exclusively for their needs. Your mHealth applications has to be designed according to your physicians, patients, processes and systems. No Generic application can do it without extensive customization and expenses.
To make your clinical team adopt the software’s you release, it’s very important to make them part of your team and understand needs. Identifying internal team champions (preferably tech savvy physicians and nurses) is essential in this regard.
Involving them in early stages of development process as an advisor, helps a lot in fine-tuning the features as well as make their team adopt the solutions faster as they become advocate themselves. This is possible only if you design and develop your own customised application with continuous feedback, support and small iteration based roll out for them. With early feedbacks and validations from practical usage, it becomes more meaningful, impactful and creates win-win situation to all the stakeholders.
IT team and clinical team has to work together to create excellent stack of highly productive smartphone applications. If they do so, your organisation can be transformed to Healthcare innovation factory empowering care team with real productive mHealth tools.
With this scenario in mind we have developed collaboration platform (UHCP), specifically designed for healthcare providers keeping physicians and clinical team in mind. It provides SDK for developers with no/little knowledge about HIPAA compliance and other technical aspects. Developers can design and develop meaningful communication applications, leaving the foundational technical pieces on us.
Mobile health is picking up. Connecting dot across the continuum with strategic roadmap based approach is important aspect of any organisation’s mHealth success and adoption. Whether it’s a physician or patient, to engage them with your organisation is much beyond giving them access to the patient portal. Good texting solution establishes continuous communication channel between them to stay informed and engaged.