The way people communicate has drastically changed over the last few years, and it is no different for those working in the healthcare industry. Previously people communicated via calls or texts which could go unanswered or undelivered. In hospitals specifically, paging systems were (and sometimes still are) the chosen form of communication. With the latter in particular, there is very little accountability and time is wasted on follow-up calls and messages. However, technology has taken leaps forwards and this no longer needs to be the case.
There are few areas that can truly reap the benefits of mobile health innovations like healthcare workers, where time and efficiency are crucial for the provision of healthcare and care coordination. Many patients require care from more than one care provider. With the advancements of medical practices and healthcare technologies, the delivery of optimal, high quality care for patients has often come to involve a team of healthcare providers from primary physicians, nurses and carers. This is particularly true in the case of home health, where care coordination is vital.
It is well known within the industry that healthcare workers are using their personal mobile devices and smartphones to communicate, due to the convenience of texting. Given the dispersed working environment of caregivers providing post-acute care, they are working and communicating in transit. However traditional SMS texting is not secure, and is often done over insecure networks and this poses a significant issue when the subject matter is PHI. Texting puts patient information at a very high risk of being accessed by the wrong people in the event of a device being lost or stolen, and does not follow HIPAA guidelines. Secure mobile messaging overcomes these barriers by ensuring information is protected on devices and in-transit, and can be remotely wiped or removed.
Improved Efficiency and Accountability
Mobile home health care workers on the move need to be able to reach a number of different parties when coordinating a patient’s care, in a time-sensitive manner. Secure mobile messaging apps and platforms offer a streamlined form of communication for healthcare workers, with added functionalities that improve efficiency levels and accountability amongst workers. Features such as Read Receipts and Deep Search on Lua help to improve staff reliability and provide an easily accessible audit trial. Important attachments and files can be added to conversations ensuring all providers, patients and family members are up to date.
Keeping Everyone in the Know
An important element of the effectiveness of a secure messaging system in improving care coordination is that everyone on the patient’s care team and any family members can be reached securely. Lua’s External Messages feature means that even those who are not users of Lua’s network can still be contacted without any concerns that PHI is being compromised. This Lua feature is an important differentiator to other secure messaging solutions available on the market. Secure mobile texting offers convenient communication that allows providers to reach the entire care team and patients directly, encouraging patient engagement.
Care coordinators must be able to involve all parties in moving toward the shared objective of the best possible medical care without the concern of compromising sensitive information or wasting time having to follow up on messages. Mobile technology is transforming the way patients can manage their own health and how healthcare providers communicate and coordinate care, overall improving the continuum of care.
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