Many pediatric hospital physicians are communicating with their staff through various text messages instead of using a secure HIPAA compliant messaging system. According to a University of Kansas study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference in New Orleans, 90% of respondents said they regularly use a smartphone and 96% are using text messaging as their priority form of communication.
It’s great to hear that the use of advanced technology is growing in hospitals and in the healthcare environment. However, with the use of smartphones comes the responsibility to adhere to certain compliance issues such as HIPAA. Text messaging is a convenient and favored form of communication nowadays but is not appropriate in healthcare environments because it does not adhere to these healthcare guidelines.
SMS or Text messaging is also not appropriate for physicians because it is a personal form of communication that should not be used for anything work related. Important and critical messages that come in the form of text messages on your personal phone can get bogged down by other text messages from friends or family. Physicians need to elevate and separate their critical messages from their personal ones with a priority inbox/outbox for their messages.
With OnPage, physicians and other healthcare organizations can have a secured form of communication to receive alerts that rise above the clutter with prominent alert until acknowledged. Also, doctors often rather use the pager to separate personal life form work life- with OnPage you have an ON/OFF button.