Sensitive Medical Data Hacked by Unsophisticated Software
There’s a solid rationale behind replacing antiquated technology, as they fail to keep pace with how the healthcare environment is evolving. One such invention is the good, old pager.
Recently, the U.K.’s National Health Service Trust (NHS) was on the radar when the organization’s sensitive medical data was hacked by an individual in North London. The malicious party intercepted radio waves, converting it into legible text on his computer monitor.
This episode demonstrates how, with some cheap and basic software, hackers can easily interpret medical records, taking advantage of a pager’s vulnerability. NHS, despite being a strong advocate of purging pagers, has been unable to do so, and is now paying its price for its inactions.
If you’re thinking about an alternative to this dysfunctional hospital and pager relationship, you’re on the right track to enhancing healthcare communications.
The best-known alternative to pagers is mobile phone applications, providing HIPAA-compliant texting between patient and physicians within the broader scope of healthcare communication.
Benefits of Pager Replacement Apps
Pager replacement apps provide capabilities that make pagers easy to forget and move on from. For instance, a powerful, pager replacement solution such as OnPage, allows healthcare organizations to benefit from:
- SSL encrypted messaging for enhanced communication security
- A sign-on process to grant access only to authorized users
- Two-way messaging with contextual attachments (i.e., images and voice memos) to convey more information for better decision-making
- Remote wipe capabilities to delete sensitive patient data and records when a staff member leaves the healthcare organization or loses his smartphone
- Cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, ensuring that pages are always received regardless of a physician’s current location
Today’s pager replacement apps create a sense of urgency, ensuring that high-priority notifications are always heard and addressed. Unlike the antiquated pager and other legacy communication tools, paging apps get rid of frustrating phone tag-based conversations, enabling healthcare facilities to provide the best possible patient care during life or death situations.