Text Messaging for Physicians deemed “Unacceptable” by JCAHO

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Since the early 2000s, text messaging has been a mainstream communication. Primarily used for its ease of convenience and efficiency, text messaging has branched out from being a personal form of communication to an enterprise wide form of communication. Lately for businesses, the use of text messaging has come under scrutiny due to policies and regulations that it does not adhere to.

The healthcare industry is currently aware of this scrutiny as it has been brought up by JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.) JCAHO recently weighed in on the issue of physician and licensed independent practitioners using text messages to transmit orders for patients, hospitals or any other healthcare setting. JCAHO stated that the use of text messaging in healthcare environments is unacceptable due to its violations of the HIPAA Security and Privacy regulations that every healthcare professional is expected to adhere to.

These strict HIPAA guidelines include having unique user identifications, a method to authenticate those user ID’s and a secure way of transferring and storing the confidential messages. Text messaging does not adhere to any of these guidelines and therefore should not be used by physicians, practitioners or hospitals.

A solution that these individuals and organizations can count on that is similar to text messaging but adheres to all HIPAA guidelines is OnPage by Onset Technology. OnPage, a mobile pager application that provides messaging allows physicians the same convenience of using their smartphone, but with the reliability and security of a HIPAA approved solution.

OnPage adheres to all HIPAA guidelines by using unique user identifications called OnPage ID’s which are unique to each individual user. OnPage then authenticates each unique ID with a password known only by the individual user. When a message is transferred, OnPage encrypts the message and then stores it safely and securely.

Anserve America, a call center that provides answering services and total business solutions has partnered with OnPage in order to provide their customers with a HIPAA compliant solution that fits their particular needs. Anserve America’s integration with OnPage has provided unparalleled results, yielding in complete customer satisfaction for all participants involved.

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