Apps Increase Clinical Communication and EMR Operability

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Thursday, 25 September 2014 18:10

In a 24/7 world, accessing patient records, receiving medical images and secure texting are all features needed and wanted by healthcare professionals. But clinical communication through tablets and phones has its risks as well as its rewards. Choosing your e-options carefully can ensure HIPAA-compliance in an ever-changing electronic world.

Access to personal health information is important for many practitioners, especially those with long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) facilities where a wide range of people from those inside the facility to those involved in transitioning care in or out of the facility are involved. The penalties can be high. One unknowing violation can incur fines as high as $50,000 per situation up to $1.5 million.

There continue to be a variety of options to keep you compliant. HIPAA-compliant mobile companies such as MyMedPix247, TigerText and Diagnotes are quickly gaining traction.

MyMedPix247 specializes in instant access to medical images, files and studies via a secure website. Files can be shared with other health care professionals and patients via secure logins.

Apps such as TigerText and Mediprocity offer secure, fully encrypted texting and sharing of electronic personal health information (ePHI).  The messages can include lab reports, radiologic images, photos, documents and other attachments. The messages have a short lifespan and are deleted from the device when they are no longer needed. Mediprocity also offers an option to allow for e-referrals.

The Diagnotes app is a modular platform. The secure web-based interface can include components for secure texting, provider scheduling, clinical documentation, answering service automation and EMR integration.

Apps with EMR integration can positively identify patients and automatically deliver key EMR data. Health care professionals can see the entire patient record even if the patient is part of another health care system. Patient-specific alerts can be set up for key milestones such as admission, discharge and transfer. Like with secured texting, there is no stored/cached data or ePHI left on devices.

While smartphones and tablets are increasingly common for personal use, ensuring that protected health information remains so, is key to innovative technology created for clinical communication.