miSecureMessages Secure Messaging App Part 2 of 2 – Improving Workflows
Secure messaging can improve hospital operations. For example, Capital Health in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is using the miSecureMessages app to enable a porter services application that has improved the efficiency of the hospital porters. Before, porters carried pagers. If someone needed a porter, they would call a central dispatch number to place an order. The dispatcher would write down the details and send a message to the pager. The porter would then call in to get those details.
Now, all of the details of the order can be sent directly to smart devices that have been issued to the porters. Those placing orders can enter their own notes, which has made the dispatch process more efficient. Porters can better organize their calls since they can see all the details of each order at once. The porters also are leveraging their devices to send messages to each other to better coordinate their activities. They are even using the built-in cameras to take photos of broken equipment.
Unlike traditional phone-based messaging solutions, the system does not send SMS text messages. The messages do not pass through a third-party cellular provider (which is the case with SMS texts), and there are no associated messaging fees. The solution simply pushes out notifications that messages have been received. The messages themselves live only on the server and never pass onto the device.
miSecureMessages can be installed behind the corporate firewall, an option that is appealing to those organizations that want to maintain more control over data transmission and storage. It also can be deployed as a 100 percent cloud-based solution. The latter option can save time, cost, and labor hours that would otherwise be dedicated to deployment and support of the solution and its associated server.
Reduce Costs and Improve Patient Care
Hospitals lose on average $8.3 billion each year due to using pagers and other outdated technologies (Ponemon Institute). Secure messaging can reduce the cost of hospital communications. Clinicians can get rid of their pagers and use their smart phones and tablets (devices they likely already carry) to manage work-related communications, which further reduces the cost of IT and administrative support for multiple devices. The average cost of a wide-area pager is approximately $9/month per user, and if an organization is using a two-way paging system, the cost is even higher. Compare that to the lower cost of miSecureMessages, which not only provides two-way messaging as part of the base solution but also allows users to message more than 100 recipients simultaneously.
Because detailed information is available in the secure messages, hospitals can even reduce the amount of overhead paging in the care environment, reducing “noise pollution” levels and improving conditions for both patients and staff.
Secure messaging also improves messaging response times. One customer pilot study found that with traditional paging, it took an average of 2.5 minutes to send a message and obtain a response from the recipient. Using miSecureMessages, the same process took just 34 seconds. If a typical hospital sends out 2,000 pages per day, that would be nearly 67 staff hours per day in saved time, or more than 24,000 hours per year. At an average hospital wage of $20/ hour, that could lead to nearly $0.5 million dollars per year in labor savings. That total increases to over $1 million of savings annually when the result of reduced patient discharge times is also factored in.
Faster responses also mean that patient-related issues are handled more efficiently, without the need for time-consuming phone calls and note taking. Doctors can spend more time with their patients and reduce patient discharge time by 50 minutes (Ponemon Institute). The miSecureMessages app can be integrated with existing database solutions to improve access to EMR, decision support tools, and medical references.
The Future of Secure Messaging
The adoption of new healthcare technology is only going to accelerate. Ensuring that ePHI is secure and private will be an increasingly important and challenging task. Hospitals and other healthcare providers that want to move away from outdated and costly paging solutions have had limited alternative options. Many rely on SMS text messaging or e-mail solutions that are unencrypted, vulnerable to data breaches, and don’t really provide efficiency or operational improvements over the paging systems they are replacing.
Secure messaging provides a secure, fully encrypted replacement for traditional paging and enables new functionality that can improve patient care, streamline messaging procedures, improve productivity, and reduce costs.