After talking to so many healthcare organizations about secure messaging, we have learned that the term “secure messaging” means different things to different people, creating a lot of confusion and even misunderstandings. In some cases, the first thing people think of is “Direct Messaging” and they incorrectly assume their secure messaging needs have been met if they already have that in place.

Direct Messaging is a national encryption standard for securely exchanging clinical healthcare data via the Internet.  It is just like email, but with an added layer of security and trust-in-identity operating behind the scenes.  If you have an email address, you know how to use Direct. The sender and receiver must have a Direct email address in order to exchange information via Direct.

Over the last few years, as more healthcare providers began using their mobile devices to communicate, secure messaging has evolved to mean secure texting. Secure texting allows providers to send encrypted Protected Health Information (PHI) from a desktop computer or mobile device. It is a quick and safe way to communicate with a care team about patient care. Like Direct, secure texting platforms should allow you to communicate outside your organization.

Direct and inbox messaging work well for non-urgent patient information. It is an easy and secure way to communicate, if that is all you want to do.

For the urgent message however, secure texting is more efficient. It can quickly facilitate patient care between providers and care teams. With secure texting, the message can be sent/received outside the health system and the EHR. The messages are received immediately via a mobile app or any web enabled device.

Others believe their EHR system’s inbox capabilities meet their secure messaging needs. While this can be a secure way to communicate, it is limited to care providers within the same system. As long as a user is on the same instance of the EHR, they can communicate using the inbox feature. What about the providers outside that EHR system? To truly have a successful secure messaging strategy, you must include providers and care teams across the entire healthcare continuum, not just within the hospital walls.

It’s important that secure messaging within your organization fits well into your clinician workflows and includes both inpatient and outpatient communication.

Our solution (RapidConnect) has been specifically designed to streamline urgent clinician-focused workflows, helping providers securely connect and collaborate across the entire healthcare continuum. RapidConnect also integrates with a hospital’s (or practice’s) existing technologies, including leading EMR/EHR solutions and call schedule management solutions. All of this leads to widespread user adoption, better resource utilization and ultimately better patient care.

Please contact me at rhonda.dowdy@mdinterconnect.com to get more information or to schedule a demo.