RapidConnect FAQs

General:

Why is secure text messaging needed in healthcare?

  • There are two primary reasons for using secure messaging. 1) HIPAA requires that Protected Health Information (PHI) is protected and “secure” at all times.   2) Text messaging is an efficient way to connect with care givers and, when done correctly can be less disruptive than paging.
  • HIPAA stands for the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act”. HIPAA regulations mandate the protection of Protected Health Information at all times – including electronic, verbal and written forms. With the rise of text messaging in the last five years, attention is now being paid to the transfer of Protected Health Information via text messaging.

Can’t I just use my phone’s messaging app?

  • Standard SMS text messaging technology does not meet HIPAA guidelines. Its lacks encryption, there are no safeguards to ensure messages are not sent to the wrong person, messages can be intercepted and a patient’s health information will end up residing (stored) on a personal phone.

Can secure messaging replace pagers?

  • Pagers are useful and will never be fully replaced especially in the case of code/emergent situations. The majority of “page messages” that are sent and received regarding patient care can be handled with a system that is designed to ensure urgent messages are received. Furthermore, traditional pagers are not secure and therefore should not be used to transmit any Protected Health Information

Product

How is RapidConnect different from other secure messaging platforms?

  • RapidConnect is designed specifically for the clinical environment and the unique workflows in that world. Developed by a pediatric surgeon, RapidConnect was designed to unite the increasingly disparate inpatient and outpatient worlds.   In addition, RapidConnect is the only product on the market that is sensitive to a provider’s need to limit their availability and utilize their ancillary providers (NPs, PAs, residents, fellows, etc) to respond to critical needs.

Why do I have to select the type of message first in RapidConnect?

  • Research has shown that clinical service lines have different resources to handle different types of messages; and if these clinical workflows are not embraced within the technology, end user adoption is compromised, therefore preventing urgent communication.

What happens if I can’t find the person I’m looking for?

  • RapidConnect is unique in that it “loads” the entire medical staff into the platform even if they do not use the app, so all physician providers will be ‘searchable’ on the App.   For those providers who choose not to use the app, RapidConnect will route their messages to their pager or cell phone.  Users will not be allowed to send PHI to users who have elected to not use the App.

How do I know who is on call?

  • You no longer need to find out who is “on call” for clinical service. You merely type the service you want to reach (for example Cardiology) and RapidConnect does the rest. It searches the call schedule database, fills in the person who is on call, and automatically routes the message to the right level resource based on the clinical services’ rules (i.e. all calls for in-hospital patients should first go to the resident)

How do I know who received my message if I send to a role?

  • RapidConnect will automatically fill in the on call resources name so you always know exactly to whom your message is going and their role (i.e. attending, resident, PA, etc)

What happens if I am in the OR and I can’t access a message?

  • RapidConnect is the only solution on the market that allows you to respond to a message without interrupting you or interfering with patient care. Other products either require you to forward your phone to another person before entering the OR or make yourself unavailable. The expectation that providers will add this to their pre-op routine is unrealistic. Other solutions require someone to open the app on the surgeon’s personal phone to “securely” respond on their behalf. MD Interconnect has developed RapidPair (patent pending) as part of its RapidConnect platform, which allows the OR circulating nurse or technician to retrieve the message at the OR computer and read it without ever having to open the message on a provider’s personal cell phone. All of this is done in a HIPAA secure method with an audit trail.

Can I control when I get messages and when I don’t?

  • Our cascading system of availability allows you to control your time on and off more easily than ever.   At your initial logon, you will be prompted to set your availability (i.e. when will you receive messages).   The default is to be available 7am-7pm M-F, but this can be changed by the user to suit their schedule.   If you are on call, the system will automatically make you available.  To override the calendar (for example – you go on vacation or are simply in a situation where you don’t want disruption) you can change to manual mode with one simple switch.  Likewise, you can change your scheduled availability at any point with a few simple clicks.

Will residents be able to participate on RapidConnect?

  • Our enterprise platform ensures you have the ability to involve all of your clinical staff, including residents, fellows, midlevel providers and ancillary clinical professionals. What good does it do to have a secure platform if your house staff is still using SMS text.

Hospitals

Are there cost savings associated with using secure messaging?

  • There are several ways a system can achieve cost savings with secure messaging including the following:
    • Eliminating pager costs for a large percentage of current users
    • Decreasing operator utilization. By connecting the inpatient and outpatient clinical environment providers no longer have to call the operator to find out who is on call
    • Staff efficiency – floor nurses have more immediate access to providers, improving efficiency and increasing time for patient care.
    • Faster, more accurate return messages can reduce length of stay and improve care quality.
    • Avoidance of HIPAA fines for unsecure PHI ($5,000/incident)

How does RapidConnect drive revenue growth at the Health System?

  • It makes sense that community providers will seek out the specialists and facilities that are easy to access. By improving access, you create a referral system that is fast, easy, and reliable. ED transfers also become seamless and easy.

Will the nursing staff be able to use the application?

  • Yes, the web and mobile version work in concert so there is no limitation of how people can access the platform.

Physicians

How do I avoid being contacted when I’m busy or with patients?

  • With RapidConnect, you set your availability. Others can only reach you when you want to be reached. RapidConnect also works with your existing workflow, enabling you to automatically route messages based on content, time of day, patient location and your staff resources, in addition to designating backups and escalation protocols.  RapidConnect features such as RapidPair and RapidCover ensure that you are not interrupted and/or have backup coverage when needed.

Can residents/fellows get messages on my behalf?

  • RapidConnect allows you to include all members of your team including residents, fellows, PAs, NPs, etc. and to determine who receives what messages and when, based on existing workflows or special circumstances.

ACOs/CINs

How can RapidConnect help me control the Total Cost of Care?

  • RapidConnect helps you manage TCoC by streamlining access to your providers and facilities, avoiding unnecessary ED visits, eliminating duplicate tests and unnecessary procedures, optimizing clinical resources and creating other efficiencies.

Technical:

Does RapidConnect integrate to the EHR?

  • Yes, we have an integration that delivers consult orders created in the EHR to the destination physician using RapidConnect. Delivery and read receipts for the consult order message are logged back into the medical record of the corresponding patient in the EHR.

What other integrations does RapidConnect support?

  • Integrations are focused in four areas:
    1. User feed – delivered via SFTP periodically (daily or weekly) from the Hospital System to RapidConnect to keep clinician access to the RapidConnect app and back-end current with the Hospital employee database.
    2. User authentication – we support user authentication using Hospital credentials using either SAML V2 or LDAP Bind. The latter requires a VPN connection. Our future roadmap includes adding SMART on FHIR as a third option.
    3. We have out of the box call schedule integration with Lightning Bolt, AMiON, and QGenda. Custom integrations are also possible depending on the needs of the Hospital system. In addition, we provide a native call scheduling option in RapidConnect.
    4. EHR – we currently support the Consult hook integration mentioned above. Our future roadmap includes pulling Patient Lists from the EHR using web service/FHIR APIs.

What is required from the client’s IT team to install?

  • RapidConnect is a cloud-based service that is managed and run by MD Interconnect personnel. As a result, the impacts on the client IT team for the initial installation are small and include the following:
    • Allowing the RapidConnect URL to be accessed from the hospital network.
    • User feed integration via SFTP – send simple flat file with clinicians who have access to RapidConnect periodically.
    • User Authentication – for SAML V2 integration, add metadata for RapidConnect URL to the configuration. For LDAP Bind integration, configure the client end of the VPN connection.
    • Call Schedule Integration – typically no client IT effort unless a custom integration is required.

How do I know RapidConnect is secure?

  • RapidConnect is built to conform to the latest HIPAA/HITECH standards. Secure message data is encrypted both in transit and at rest. The RapidConnect App requires an additional security measure (pincode) in order to read a secure message. An Admin option is available to suspend mobile App usage for the case where a device is lost or stolen. We do a yearly security audit with a third party to verify our compliance.

What if I am someplace that has poor cellular service?

  • The RapidConnect App requires a data connection to be able to function, but it doesn’t have to be a high-speed connection. The App has a connectivity status bar that indicates when a connection cannot be established  – App connectivity is restored automatically whenever the device regains connectivity.

How much of my monthly data will RapidConnect use?

  • Based on our calculations, a heavy RapidConnect user would use just more than half a GB of data per month from their RapidConnect App worst case – assuming all messages are sent over their cell phone’s data plan.
    • Average secure message size – 15,000 bytes
    • Max number of messages/day for heavy user – 20
    • Total messages per month – 600
    • Total bytes per month for messages – 9,000,000,000 (9 megabytes which is .009 gigabyte)
    • Attachments average size is 10 MB (Picture).
    • 10% of messages have attachments so that will be 2 per day
    • Additional data: 20 MB per day, 600 MB per month on average
    • If we combine attachments with message data above, total data usage for the month for messages and attachments is 609 MB which is .609 GB

Can the paging system and software be replaced by secure messaging?

  • See above.

How long does installation take?

  • It depends greatly on the size and magnitude of the organization, but in most situations RapidConnect can be installed in less than 8 weeks, provided access to appropriate information and protocols is available from the organization