The Importance of Secure Messaging Among Hospice and Home Healthcare Workers

Hospice and home healthcare workers play a vital role in ensuring comfort, safety, and recovery for a uniquely vulnerable clientele. Be it the hospice worker ensuring thoughtful, compassionate care in end-of-life situations or the healthcare worker working with a patient to stabilize and recover within his or her home, these health professionals are truly on the frontline of patient care.

Given the sensitive and rapidly developing nature of home health and hospice care, quick, reliable communication systems are essential. However, this can be a challenge, since many home healthcare and hospice workers are constantly on the move as they provide essential health services to their clients.

One obvious means of communication for healthcare workers traveling from one clinical situation to another is the cell phone. Nearly everyone carries with them a cellular device of one kind or another, which allows for constant contact.

However, care must be taken when healthcare professionals such as hospice and home care workers are using Smartphones and other cellular devices. Much of the information shared in these clinical settings involves protected health information (PHI). There are many different types of patient data that fall under PHI, including names, contact information, health plan information, and social security numbers. Given the potential value of such information, PHI is especially attractive to hackers and identity thieves. A breach of PHI can be devastating to a patient, especially one dealing with a complex health situation.

Unsecure use of a cellular device can also be very costly to the home healthcare or hospice provider. HIPAA regulations mandate that electronic transmission of PHI be done through secure and protected channels. Most text message and email applications do not meet these security mandates. Fines for a HIPAA violation can be as high as $50,000 per incident or $1.5 million annually. 

However, as digital and cellular technology evolves, there are some options for home healthcare and hospice workers who want the freedom, convenience, and connectivity of their Smartphones. AMTELCO’s 1Call miSecureMessages allows for secure instant communication through cellular devices by utilizing end-to-end encryption that is completely compliant with HIPAA standards. Thanks to miSecureMessages, hospice and other home healthcare workers can focus on providing the best care possible to their clients, and not have to worry about breaches of sensitive and costly information.

 

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