ClickCare Café

Nurses Risk HIPAA Violations With BYOD Texting

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Fri, May 30, 2014 @ 08:23 AM

pager resized 600

In many sectors, pagers are a technology that came and went with the '80s and '90s. With the advent of cellular phones, and then smartphones, the simple alarm-plus-message functionality became obsolete quickly.

In medicine, however, pagers are still ubiquitous. Most hospitals and medical settings use pagers as their main form of communication, primarily because they are viewed as low-risk communication tools. However, despite pagers being the more common choice, they're not necessarily the better choice. Pagers cost US hospitals $8.3 billion in 2013: $3.2 billion through lengthy discharge processes and $5.1 billion while clinicians wait for patient information.

The evidence shows that we may be reaching a crisis point regarding the viability of using pagers in medicine:

  • With so many providers at different parts of the continuum of care, and with so many handoffs within a given case, pagers can't keep up with care coordination.
  • In an age of increasing malpractice suits, having no record of communications or responses is riskier than ever. 
  • With pay-for-performance, rather than pay-for-service, being today's touchstone, it is no longer sustainable to be wasting time or money with an antiquated technology.

As usual, it is the providers themselves -- particularly the nurses -- who are taking matters into their own hands and finding efficient ways to communicate whether regulations or administrations support them in doing so. Hospitals are seeing a de facto Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) situation and 67% report nurses are using their smartphones to support clinical communications and workflow. According to research by Logicalis, the phenomenon is even more common in high-growth markets (like Brazil and India): almost 75% of users in these countries used their own devices at work, compared to 44% in places like the US. 

Why can't pagers support medical collaboration and coordination of care like smartphones can? Benjamin Kanter, chief medical informatics officer at Palomar Health, explains:

"The message is only one piece of the puzzle. You've got to provide context and you've got to be able to create action. Most secure texting systems don't take that into account."

When medical providers come to us for advice on how to coordinate care and collaborate without running afoul of hospital regulations or HIPAA, we acknowledge that it can be tricky. That's why we recommend the following: 

  1. Don't ignore HIPAA. While we do applaud the persistence of medical providers who just "get the job done" and use their own smartphones as necessary, we caution our colleagues to not use text messaging, email, or their regular camera roll as none of these are HIPAA-secure. The penalties are too great to risk it. 
  2. Be willing to go first. Sometimes a provider will be ready to use iClickCare for medical collaboration but hesitate because their institution doesn't already use it (even if it's allowed). If we're going to change medicine, we have to be willing to lead the charge -- first an individuals, and then as a community. 
  3. Be realistic about the complexity of your communication.  Popular messaging services don't incorporate the use of photos, videos, archiving, and consults with any provider. Communicating is great, and a great start, but the reality is that our medical collaboration demands more than a text message to really accomplish the communication and coordination we need. 

For our rundown of telemedicine options, pros, and cons, click here:

ClickCare Quick Guide to Telemedicine

 

Image courtesy of hades2k on Flickr, used under Creative Commons rights.

Tags: iPhone, medical collaboration software, coordinated care, medical collaboration, HIPAA, accountable care, iPad medical apps

Better Medical Collaboration: A Party for iClickCare on the iPad

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 @ 09:49 AM

iClickCare is a hybrid Store-and-Forward of text messages, video, PDFs and still images. 

iClickCare on iPad

It is also a hybrid of platforms because as providers we are not always mobile nor sedentary. We need the right tool for the right job at the right time. Indeed, that is what medical collaboration and telemedicine is all about anyway — the right provider, at the right time and at the right place — for the patient.

We have had the web-based browser of iClickCare for years. Eighteen months ago, we added the mobility of the iPhone. As physicians, we also found a need for an in-between size and thus we started work on the iPad. The iPad mini came along as we developed our solution. So now we have an in between with an in-between. And as the image shows, we are putting our party hat on as well!

Fortunately, you don't have to learn something new. The same relationship you have with iClickCare on the web applies directly to the iPad, iPad/mini and the iPhone.

Meaningful Use and Meaningful Records:
We have added features to the iPhone as well, and now you can use Invite Patient to give true meaningful use to your care as you collaborate with your colleagues. The patient is, if you choose, part of the process.

Also added is the Compare Visits function. There is nothing quite so satisfying as seeing improvement over time, and nothing quite so educational as following decline over time. Visits can now be compared on both the iPhone/iPod and the iPad and mini, as well as the browser.

Security and Speed:
There are many, many improvements and tweaks to security and speed. Even though information about your patient is delivered to you faster, the security is solid. Our security systems surpassed stringent HIPAA requirements before, but, they are even more robust now. We would remind you to use strong passwords. Passwords can be changed by you as often as, and whenever, you wish from the top of the login page. 

Searches and the “serving up” of images, video and PDFs are faster because our developers really understand the tasks and demands on providers, and know how to make things work in very sophisticated ways.

Current pricing for version 2.0 will apply through May 20, 2013 if either a renewal or new subscription is confirmed. As an iClickCare customer, all you do is upgrade from the iTunes AppStore and contact your sales rep before May 20. New user subscription pricing is posted on www.clickcare.com, but, as a new customer you will receive a 2 week free trial to start. We want everyone to continue to see how incredible iClickCare can be with the ease and clarity of the new iPads and the iPad minis.

Learn one, you know them all... any browser, the iPhone, the iPad, or the Mini... all as Version 2.0 on the iPhone. You will also discover that the Search is faster, and the presentation of images is better than ever. And our Online Help is ready to serve YOU, as always.

You can use iClickCare on your browser, your iPhone and now your iPad all with one click.

Click me

Tags: iPhone, medical collaboration software, medical collaboration, iPad, iPad medical apps, store and forward medical collaboration

We love our new medical iPad app & iPhone app, but they need attitude

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 @ 12:31 PM

We are excited about our brand new iClickCare® iPad app and updated iPhone app -- and how they can help you iPad and iPhone medical collaboration appwith healthcare collaboration. ClickCare® was formed for one reason: to help medical providers (17 years ago, we called them doctors, nurses and allied health professionals) help each other to help their patients. The iClickCare for the iPad app is about to ship to the Apple iTunes Store where it will join iClickCare for the iPhone. Both apps can be evaluated free for 14 days.

We use the guiding Mantra:

  • Access -- for the patient to the right care, at the right time, in the right place
  • Collaboration -- for those who care for patients on behalf of the patients and themselves
  • Education -- for those who join us anew or follow in our footsteps

We also have design goals of Simple, Secure and Spectacular.

With the hard work of our lead team, Marc Norman, Greg Born, and Nathan Uno, we are pleased to announce the new "iClickCare for the iPad" and upgraded "iClickCare for the iPhone" apps.

The new app features include even more:

  • Simple:
    • Easier to read.
    • A calming relaxing visual presentation.
    • A page design that mimics your workflow as a medical professional.
  • Secure
    • Backend enhanced security when images are served up.
    • A private, secure password-protected camera roll.
    • Continued high level SSL.
    • Firewall friendly.
  • Spectacular
    • Nothing really new to learn. iClickCare for the iPad is intuitive and integrated with our Web and iPhone apps.
    • Carefully chosen colors to highlight the patient and soften the intrusion of a form.
    • Maximum use of the Retina Display which supercedes our common encounters with imaging today.

We love this technology and are especially proud of iClickCare®. We need to make note, though, that for good patient care, efficient and cost effective healthcare, and a satisfying career, each of us needs to have the attitude that we want to collaborate. It takes effort on our part, no doubt, but the effort is worth the gain. To use iClickCare, we must do something different and take one step away from ourselves. The alternative is tedious telephone tag and reams of paper to be read and signed. The other alternative, “doing nothing”, is not acceptable.

We will be updating our book Medical iPhone Photography to INCLUDE being able to take pictures on the iPad as well as the iPhone. Stay tuned. In the meantime, to celebrate, we are offering an electronic copy of "Medical iPhone Photography" when you schedule an iClickCare demo.

Download Chapter 1 for your reading pleasure:

medical photography introductory chapter

Tags: iPhone, iPhone medical apps, Medical iPhone Photography, iPad, iPad medical apps

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