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HIPAA Compliant Pagers. No Really, It's a Thing.
Aaron Boatin

By: Aaron Boatin on May 10th, 2016

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HIPAA Compliant Pagers. No Really, It's a Thing.


 If you’re a covered entity under HIPAA, you already know that protecting patient health information (PHI) is mission critical. This means that sending PHI to a regular pager is off limits.

We regularly get feedback from healthcare providers that we serve that they still like their trusty pager.

Many like pagers because they work well in the deep dark corners of the hospital where cell phones don’t reach.

Others like the ability to separate work life from family life, stuffing their pager in a dresser drawer when not on-call. Since HIPAA went into effect, the usefulness of the information that can safely be paged has declined sharply. Bad news for efficiency in health care.

The Pager is Dead, Long Live the Pager

It’s not all bad news for those who aren’t quite ready to put the pager out to pasture.

HIPAA compliant pagers now exist.

In fact, they have existed for about a year now. If you didn’t hear about it, you’re not alone. Most of the focus has been on the secure text messaging apps that are flooding your local app store.

Features of Encrypted Pagers

  • Industry standard AES‐128 encryption
  • Display lock to prevent unauthorized access
  • Remote data wipe

How to Encrypt Your Pager

Fortunately, it’s easy to upgrade your pagers to be HIPAA compliant. “Essentially, it’s as easy as swapping out your existing pager to an encrypted model. Your pager number will remain the same”, explained Sandy Butler, Senior Sales Executive at Spok Mobile.

Pro Tip: If you use a medical answering service or in-house call center make sure they connect to your paging company via TAP, SNPP, or WCTP protocols to ensure a HIPAA compliant connection to the paging terminal. Medical Answering Service: Everything You Need to Know ebook

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