While many customer-centric businesses today use text messaging extensively and to great effect, chances are, they don’t have to think all that much about security. For healthcare organizations, however, security isn’t only critical; it’s mandated by federal law in such provisions as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Text messaging among care providers has been on the rise according to a recent Spyglass report that revealed 42 percent of physicians are using personal smartphones to text message colleagues and medical staff to support patient care activities. At the same time, concerns about security are also on the rise.
Healthcare IT security company Imprivata is announcing the general availability of Imprivata Cortext, a free HIPAA-compliant text messaging solution for Apple iPhone and Android smartphones as well as Web-based chat for nurses without smartphone access. Designed in collaboration with and tested by care providers and hospital IT, Cortext enables efficiency and security to optimize clinical communications and workflows, empowering care teams to easily collaborate and make rapid, accurate decisions about diagnoses and treatments, said the company. Eighty-two hospitals have already enrolled in Cortext, including Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Memorial Healthcare and Sonoma Valley Hospital.
“The majority of hospitals we spoke to told us that standard, unsecured text messaging in the clinical environment was a major concern," said Omar Hussain, president and CEO of Imprivata in a statement announcing the release.
"Cortext is a great opportunity for hospitals to leverage a technology that care providers are already comfortable with to more efficiently communicate and collaborate with care teams and improve patient care. It literally puts healthcare in the palm of their hands,” he added.
The Imprivata Cortext is an iPhone, Android and Web-based application that uses its own secure cloud based architecture to send text and picture messages between care providers. The Cortext application uses a number of encryption technologies, both at rest and over the wire, to ensure information is sent and stored securely while delivering care providers a user experience that is as simple as their device's native texting application. Unique enterprise directory support provides synchronization to the hospital's active directory and robust data archiving.
Edited by Brooke Neuman