A HIPAA-compliant texting app is an application that physicians, nurses, and hospital employees use to exchange patient protected health information (PHI). A HIPAA-compliant texting app must be employed when healthcare employees send messages that contain identifying patient information.
The purpose of a HIPAA-compliant texting app is to enhance clinical team collaboration and communication through a secure, cutting-edge pager replacement platform while still maintaining patient privacy.
Consequences of Not Using a HIPAA-Compliant Texting App
Failure to use a HIPAA-compliant texting app when sending messages to colleagues that contain PHI can constitute HIPAA fines. Indeed, HIPAA officials have cited health facilities for exchanging protected patient information that was neither encrypted nor password protected. When a HIPAA violation is found, the subsequent fine can reach several millions of dollars.
The mandate to protect patient privacy was set into effect by U.S. Congress with the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that decreed the importance of maintaining patient privacy and ensured its protection.
Since 2013, HIPAA-compliant messaging has gained even more importance as the 2013 legislation increased privacy and security protection for individuals’ personal health. The legislation also increased the penalty for breaches and penalties for noncompliance based on the level of negligence, with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million per violation.
Hospitals have also increasingly realized that exchange of PHI via pagers risks a HIPAA violation and could incur a significant fine. By exchanging PHI via pagers and not through a HIPAA-compliant texting app, sensitive patient information can be accessed by unauthorized third parties and used to defraud patients and their healthcare providers.
Modern healthcare institutions are moving toward a HIPAA-compliant texting app that provides secure messaging and upholds the mandates of HIPAA.
How Do You Maintain HIPAA-Compliant Texting?
Use of a HIPAA-compliant texting app is required when the physician or nurse sends a text or message containing patient information, care instructions or other sensitive patient details. When this type of patient information is sent, the content of the message must be both secure and encrypted.
When hospitals and clinics introduce HIPAA-compliant texting into their organization, they must maintain reasonable and appropriate administrative, technical and physical safeguards for protecting electronic protected health information (e-PHI).
Ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all electronic protected health information which is created, received, maintained or transmitted.
Protect against any reasonably anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of this information.
Protect against any reasonably anticipated uses or disclosures of this information.
Have a method for remote wipe of patient information from the HIPAA-compliant texting app if the app is lost or stolen.
Ensure compliance by users of the information.
The Industry’s Most ReliableHIPAA-Compliant Texting App
OnPage’s HIPAA-compliant texting app for healthcare professionals provides the industry’s only Alert-Until-Read notification capabilities.
The system ensures that critical messages are never missed and rise above the clutter®.
OnPage provides a secure, reliable, fast way to communicate with colleagues for better patient outcomes. Healthcare organizations trust OnPage for all their HIPAA-compliant messaging and alerting needs.