Answering Service Blog

Ditch the Pager with Secure Text  Messaging

Written by Peter DeHaan | March 17, 2017

Once the must-have communication status symbol, pagers have given way to the technology of the smart phone. Yet the pager has hung around in the healthcare industry as a preferred, reliable communication tool for many a long time healthcare provider. With the advent of secure text messaging it is now time to ditch the pager.

Secure Text Messaging is HIPAA Compliant

A chief concern with text messaging that comes standard on all smart phones is its failure to comply with HIPAA(the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Secure text message, an easy-to-sue smart phone app, turns vulnerable text messaging into HIPAA compliant, secure text messaging. Leading doctors answering services can send to the most popular apps.

It keeps patient information private, keeping the sender, the recipient, and the recipient’s company in compliance with HIPAA regulations. This not only meets a legal requirement, but also exceeds ethical expectation to maintain the utmost privacy for patients’ personal health information.

Secure Texting  Apps Allows for BYOD

Before secure messaging, healthcare professionals could not legally or ethically use their own communication device for medical messaging.

To use their device of choice, both the cell phone carrier and the device needed to receive approval for use with healthcare communications.

Approval took time and was too often not forthcoming. As a result many healthcare practitioners resorted to carrying two devices. They used one unit, such as a pager, for on-call situations and a second device, such as a smart phone, for all other communication.

That meant two devices to carry and care for. The pushback was understandable but not resolvable. At least not until the advent of secure text message apps.

It allows healthcare professionals to use their smart phone of preference on their network of choice. The only requirement is that they use a secure text-messaging app to keep all healthcare communication secure.

Sync Multiple Devices

What if a communication message comes in on a smart phone but ends up needing a tablet to complete it?

Users can synchronize up to three devices, so switching to the most convenient one does not present a problem. All secure messages appear across all three devices.

This way if the battery goes dead on a smart phone, the tablet serves as a backup. Or if one device is accidentally forgotten at home, all the needed information automatically appears on the other unit.

Advanced Features

Secure messaging also provides advanced management features not available with standard texting applications. First is message status tracking.

With message tracking, the sender can know when the message is sent, as well as if and when the recipient read it. With message tracking there is no more wondering if your message was received and read.

Next is a valuable message management option called message expiration. Too often obsolete messages sit on smart phone for weeks, months, and even years until someone thinks to manually delete them.

With message expiration, HIPAA compliance officers can set how long messages will remain on a device. Once the expiration date is reached, old messages will automatically delete.

The final advanced feature that secure texting offers is the ability to remotely erase all data on a smart phone if it is lost or stolen.

A single command can initial a remote wipe to permanently remove all information so that even if the device is hacked, there will be nothing to see.

With all the advantages the secure text messaging offers you can meet HIPAA regulations, keep healthcare staff happy, and ditch the pager for good.