The benefits of mobile messaging in healthcare

For healthcare professionals, having access to reliable and secure lines of communication is essential for delivering a timely and substantial level of care to patients.

In today’s modern practice, mobile messaging has become an integral component in the clinical workflow, due to its many benefits, which include:

Two-way communication
Unlike paging, mobile messaging is a form of two-way communication which works in real-time, on an individual or group level – it is also possible to see that the recipient or recipients have read and responded to a message. The direct and instantaneous nature of mobile messaging has therefore been proven to save valuable time in a healthcare setting, when compared with paging, for example.

Improves patient care
A recent study of two Pennsylvania hospitals found that care coordination teams were able to reduce their patients’ length-of-stay when communicating via a secure messaging platform, compared with those communicating via traditional paging services.

Improves patient / physician communication
Mobile messaging can improve communication between patients and healthcare professionals. There are obviously restrictions on the types of information that can be shared via a mobile message. If using a non-secure messaging solution, nearly any communication would require the patient to sign a statement of understanding. If the messaging solution is secured and encrypted, there are few restrictions because the information is encrypted and stored on secure servers by a business associate who has signed an agreement with the physician to secure all PHI.

Minimizes error
The Joint Commission estimates that around 80 percent of all medical mishaps stem from miscommunication, such as when patients are transferred to a new physician. Having the ability to send and receive secure messages facilitates a real time exchange of information, reducing the requirement for paging, emailing, faxing, and voice mailing, which are not particularly timely or secure.

Accessibility
Almost everyone owns a cellphone and carries it with them wherever they go. Mobile messages are sent and received right in the palm of the recipient’s hand, so the chance of a communication not being read is slim.

Reduces costs
Mobile messaging is a relatively low cost method of communication. Implementing a messaging system in a healthcare organization, partly in place of email, paging, or telephone calls can help to significantly reduce costs over time.

Secure mobile messaging in healthcare settings can be an effective way to improve care coordination and communication. Used responsibly, mobile messaging can enable the development of a care culture and help to close communication gaps that may impede or even harm patient care.