Out on the hospital floor, things can get chaotic. The logistical demands of tracking patients, nurses, doctors, and materials can get exhausting. Amidst the coordinated chaos, frustrations about outdated communication methods and worries about HIPAA compliance shouldn’t slow providers down.
Yet when given the choice between stone-age pagers and non-HIPAA-compliant text messaging, many a nurse will opt for the one that brings results faster, regardless of security.
To many busy nurses, something as simple as a text message may seem innocent. However, with HIPAA compliance one text can lead to dramatic repercussions. Take, for example, a nursing home facility in North Carolina that was forced to work through a laborious 10-point correction plan due to just one text containing lab results.
The landscape of secure communication is exploding rapidly. “It’s like we’re watching a building be built before our eyes,” commented Paul Hess, research director at KLAS and author of this report. With so much innovation, this space has flooded with vendors offering products, apps, and services for secure messaging.
In 2015, KLAS released a perception report on secure communication solutions, identifying more than 120 vendors who provide solutions within the space. This year, KLAS narrowed down the field to 13 vendors split into two categories: standard and platform.
standard vendors typically provide just the foundational components of a secure communication system, while platform vendors offer not only the foundation but also many other building blocks to create a full communication platform.
In reference to their platform vendor, one provider stated,
“[Our platform vendor] is really making it easier for the clinicians to get ahold of each other and find people. I have heard a lot of good things about the solution from our unit secretaries. Instead of having to get up out of their desks and walk around the unit to find certain nurses, they just send the nurses [secure] text messages to let them know they have calls at the desk. I know that has greatly improved the process there.”
The idea of a complete and integrated communication system has started to solidify as the ideal among providers. We anticipate that the currently explosive market will consolidate into those vendors who truly listen to and satisfy provider needs.
The Secure Communication 2016 Report is intended to help providers seeking a communication platform learn the lay of the land, as well as identify which vendors offer the best solutions. We hope that providers will see the differences between standard and platform solutions and learn what best suits their needs.
Access the report here.