The 2 Most Important Elements of a Mobile Healthcare Platform
In recent years, there has been a huge amount of attention given to improving communications in healthcare. This includes communications between healthcare professionals and doctor/patient communications as well. As a result, an increasing number of hospitals and healthcare providers are seeking ways to communicate more efficiently through a variety of platforms, including a mobile platform that would allow for secure text messaging. Whether text messaging or communicating via a mobile healthcare platform, some elements are critical and others are simply a convenience. So, what then are the 2 most important elements of a mobile healthcare platform?
1) HIPPA Compliant Security
Perhaps the very most important element of a mobile healthcare text messaging platform would be whether or not it is HIPPA compliant in terms of security. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 states that all patient information is private and must be kept secure. Under HIPPA, there is a subset which encompasses guidelines on electronic Protected Health Information, or ePHI as it has come to be known.
This means that security is of vital importance in the transmission of electronic or digital communications when any patient information is being transmitted. The law is quite specific on what information is to be protected and so any text messaging platform must be in compliance to assure any transmissions are secure.
2) System-Wide Integration
Next on the list of important elements within a mobile healthcare platform would be system-wide integration. Not all text messages are sent via smartphones as a good many of them are transmitted via other mobile devices such as laptops or tablets. Whenever a message is communicated to another party, it should be sent through a mainframe that disseminates communications as necessary. All information being transmitted is then logged into a data bank with a wide range of patient information so that it can be called up at any time in the future should the need arise.
This enables a variety of doctors and clinicians to share important information quickly and efficiently as the need arises. If a patient, for example, seeks emergency care and is either admitted or referred to a specialist, the ER record is logged into the system via an EHR platform that is fully integrated with a messaging system. Both the ER doctor and the specialist can confer via messaging with the patient’s records in front of them on the screen.
Improving Patient Outcomes
The entire thrust of a mobile healthcare platform should always be to improve patient outcomes. The speed at which a diagnosis can be made and then communicated to another provider is essential. With a mobile platform that has HIPPA compliant security, there are levels of security that ensure only properly authorized medical personnel can access patient data. However, that data is accessible immediately, should the need arise. If the attending physician from ER is not available for a consultation, the visit is accessible through the EHR and with a quick and secure text message, the referred provider can quickly shoot a text to ask for a phone consultation if necessary. Security and system-wide integration, then, work together to provide the ultimate patient outcomes.