Even Health Care Has Gone Mobile


Secure texting

Some of the biggest leaps in technology have been made their way into the health care industry in recent years. Patient files are now being converted into electronic records, and many medical facilities currently use these e-records exclusively. This is true for many hospitals and clinics around the world. In fact, in the Netherlands, 99% of their records have become electronic, and they lead the world in this category.

The main purpose of electronic records, and electronic dissemination of patient information, is to make the job of health care providers easier, and also give patients more immediate access to their own medical information. There are many physicians that can now get patient information using medical mobile apps, secure texting, and email. This instantly connects them to their patient’s files, and allows them to communicate with their patients more efficiently.

But like most electronic media, there are always risks involved. BYOD policies that hospitals and medical facilities implement allow doctors to use their own devices to access patient information. This poses potential threats, such as theft, interception of transmission by unauthorized persons, loss of the device, and improper disposal of the mobile device. Any of these things could result in unsanctioned access to medical mobile apps, patient information, and other critical health care data. For this reason, all BYOD policies and mobile patient health information transmission must follow Title II of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

The HIPAA, signed by President Bill Clinton and enacted by Congress in 1996, ensures the confidentiality of their health care to patients. Title II refers directly to electronic methods of communication, such as medical record keeping, and national identifiers for employers, health insurance plans, and providers. HIPAA requires that health care facilities follow particular standards and practices to safeguard patient information during electronic messaging. Each health care facility may arrive at different conclusions regarding electronic and text message security. Hospitals and medical facilities that do decide to use it should be aware of their HIPAA compliance policy before disseminating any patient information.

As long as these facilities use HIPAA compliant emails, texts, and apps, they can make use of perhaps the most efficient way to handle patient health information. And with so many patients going in and out of these facilities on a daily basis, electronically-based health care could be the best way to manage, organize, and fluidly handle the constant traffic. For more, read this link.

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