Mobile messaging myths debunked

Here we expose and solve four common myths about mobile messaging; a growing, yet often misunderstood means of communication in healthcare.

Paging is a better alternative to mobile messaging

The humble pager has long been a hallmark accessory for busy healthcare professionals across the country, and it is estimated that around 85% of hospitals still rely on these little buzzing boxes today. Times are changing, however, technology is evolving and pagers simply cannot match the flexibility of more modern mobile devices, teamed with a secure mobile messaging solution; two-way communication, group chat, and user verification are just three key features that pagers can’t provide.

Mobile messaging is costly
From home businesses to large enterprises, most mobile messaging packages can be customized to meet individual needs, and budgets. Simple scalability allows for users to add or remove users at minimal cost, while the familiarity of using a mobile app makes implementation relatively fast, further saving on training costs. Implementing a mobile messaging solution in a healthcare organization, partly in place of paging, email, or telephone calls, help to significantly reduce costs over time.

Mobile messaging does not benefit healthcare outcomes
Mobile messaging is more than just a modern paging alternative, it’s also been proven to improve patient health outcomes. One study of two Pennsylvania hospitals revealed that care coordination teams were able to reduce their patients’ length-of-stay when communicating on a secure messaging platform, compared with those communicating via traditional paging solutions. According to HIMSS, a major benefit of HIPAA secure messaging, is that it “allows patients and healthcare teams to communicate non-urgent, health related information in a private and safe computer environment”  – cutting time during these exchanges is vital for diagnosing and treating patients in the shortest amount of time possible.

Mobile Messaging is not HIPAA compliant
Standard SMS text messaging and secure mobile messaging are not the same thing. It’s important to understand the differences between the two before making assumptions about what is and what is not suitable for communicating within the healthcare setting.

Traditional SMS text messages are not HIPAA compliant because information is not encrypted when shared between devices, meaning potentially anyone could intercept a message that was accidentally sent to the wrong number, or be read by anyone should a device be lost or stolen. Secure mobile messaging platforms, however use strong encryption to protect data and documents while in transit and at rest, and use ID verification features to ensure information is only accessed by the intended recipient.

The ‘pager culture’ is extremely persistent in the realms of healthcare, but as the benefits of secure mobile messaging become more widely documented, this will change. Interested in giving mobile messaging a try? Sign up for a free 14-day DocbookMD trial today.