3 Reasons to embrace secure messaging for nurses
Smartphones are essential to effective and secure messaging for nurses in a hospital setting. While both doctors and nurses typically have access to a smartphone, doctors and nurses differ significantly in their use of the device. In part, this is because nurses have long been seen as an under-appreciated market for mobile health technology and one that differs significantly from doctors. But this should not be the case. Doctors as well as nurses need to embrace the use of secure messaging to increase their effectiveness and improve patient outcomes.
The goal of this blog is to:
- Identify the unique reasons nurses have for requiring smartphone messaging
- Enumerate the reasons for nurses to embrace secure messaging
- Highlight the advantages nurses will reap from implementing this change
Why secure messaging for nurses is important
One of the most important skills a nurse can have is effective communication with other members of the health care team. To do this effectively, nurses need tools that help them achieve this end. Secure messaging tools are a significant aid in this regard as they allow for nurses to reach one another as well as physicians in a secure, immediate platform that will improve patient outcomes.
Reasons for nurses to embrace secure messaging
Reason #1: Nurses need to enable escalation
Merely giving nurses secure texting capabilities isn’t enough. As one physician noted, it is requisite for nurses to have messages that can escalate.
Indeed, traditional pagers don’t permit escalation of communications. To enable this functionality, nurses need to rely on a secure smartphone application that enables them
to contact colleagues and know their alert will be escalated if the physician who is alerted is unable to answer the page.
Reason #2: Nurses need to improve care coordination
Nurses spend significant amounts of time coordinating care because care communications are siloed. Delays in coordinating care account for 54% of delays in patients receiving the necessary care. In part this is due to nurses not knowing if their pages were received and nurses having to wait for responses from paged colleagues. The benefits of bypassing this step were discussed above.
However, if nurses were able to spend less time waiting for a response from either doctors or nursing colleagues and improve messaging capabilities because they knew their messages were HIPAA compliant, they could ensure patients spent less time waiting for the care they need. The other benefit patients would receive is that they would receive more attention from the nurse on-call.
Reason #3: Nurses need to exchange images and documents
Another important part of effective care coordination and improved patient experience is nurses being able to exchange X-rays and lab results. Sending these sorts of files over an unencrypted and unsecured platform presents a HIPAA violation. However, at the same, nurses need to have the ability to exchange these very sorts of results with other nurses and doctors. Without this capability, nurses will seriously delay providing quality care to their patients.
However, if nurses are able to access HIPAA-compliant secure messaging platforms, they will have the capabilities to exchange secure images and documents without violation the patient’s privacy.
To read three more reasons for nurses to embrace secure messaging, download our whitepaper Secure Messaging for Nurses.