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Top Five Reasons for BYOD and Mobile Applications

 

Not too long ago, the use of mobile devices inside organizations was a foreign and often heavily debated concept.  The rapid increase of BYOD integrations and Mobile Application Management (MAM) has become an evolving phenomenon with many personal mobile devices present in the work place.

 

BYOD offers the capability to support fewer employee network devices, yet still unleashes productivity amid employees and partners. A successful BYOD implementation leverages the organization’s network and gets the best out of consumer technology.  In combination with cloud-based applications, personal device expansion, and data center reorganization, BYOD and MAM provide an opportunity for organizations to build the best network design with mobility in mind.  Managing BYOD and MAM properly is an integral part of any growth strategy. Organizations that incorporate formal programs and successful training will reap five crucial benefits:

 

An Increase in Employee Productivity

 

People are more comfortable and productive when using their own mobile device.  The functions of an employee’s personal phone or tablet are familiar and can be quickly accessed and utilized.  BYOD also enables employees to stay connected during down time (i.e., evenings, weekends, and commuting). In a healthcare setting, physicians and staff can use Secure Text Messaging (STM) to share clinical information on a patient, omit some of the red tape that comes along with referrals, schedule appointments, and document a patient’s care. 

 

Lower Overhead Costs

 

BYOD eliminates the responsibility of an organization to provide mobile devices to all employees.  Utilizing STM, an organization can send messages securely through message encryption and stay compliant with security standards.  

 

Advanced Business Processes

 

There is no denying that mobile devices have evolved tremendously over the past few years.  Combining MAM and BYOD enables organizations to create new business processes to streamline responsibilities and/or facilitate new functionalities when workers are away from their desks.  With MAM in place, healthcare providers can use their mobile devices anytime from anywhere to do tasks such as document patient encounters, view schedules, view patient charts, and prescribe medications. 

 

Consistency Among Users

 

Multimedia personal devices on a corporate network can restrict the quality of a user’s experience due to the additional capacity required to support them. A mainstream BYOD policy can help IT managers understand the impact of BYOD and improve the infrastructure where necessary to secure a consistent user experience for everyone. 

 

Flexibility

 

Mobile technology continues to advance quickly. An organization investing in the very best of mobile devices will suffer when these devices are obsolete in two or three years.  When employees are forced to use outdated devices, productivity suffers.  Employees are people that consistently upgrade to the latest technologically advanced mobile devices. With BYOD and MAM incorporated, an organization leverages employees bringing necessary devices in order to adapt to new technologies.

 

Solutions

 

There are many more advantages of Mobile Application Management. By using HipLink for MAM, organizations see faster deployment, shorter learning curves, and increased Return on Investment (ROI) for communication solutions.

 

The HipLink Mobile Application provides the following features:

 

  •          Text Message App Overview
  •          Designed for Apple or Android and smartphones and tablets
  •          Supports Wi-Fi or Cellular Data connections
  •          HIPAA compliant encrypted text messages
  •          CJIS compliant encrypted text messages
  •         Alternative to SMS messaging
  •          Includes notification to desktops via pop-up alerts
  •          Audit trail to track delivery and read receipts

 

Additionally, HipLink Mobile has a suite of mobile application options that provide maximum flexibility and leverage optimum use of smartphones and tablets. Using HipLink Mobile, users have access to a priority view of important alerts, receiving fully-secure text messages, sending secure messages, and executing actions remotely.

 

Hiplink's proprietary protocol operates over TCP live connections so that text messages are sent completely independent of cellular SMS. The applications provide advanced messaging features for encrypted text messages, the ability to override phone settings for emergency messages, and one-click responses. Combined with the secure and easy to manage HipLink Platform, HipLink Mobile improves overall communication throughout the organization, regardless of location.

 

To learn more about BYOD and MAM, visit HipLink or call 1-800-524-7503 to learn more and to request a demo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Transforming Healthcare with Mobile Health Technology

 

Mobile health technology is transforming the entire healthcare system. The combination of innovative data analytics and mobile technologies are simplifying the methods used by healthcare professionals from the patient care experience to healthcare administration.

 

Healthcare providers faced obstacles with mobile health technology lacking essential protective measures as they relate to shared patient information, ensuring conformity of mobile devices with EMRs, and concluding which apps were the safest and most effective.  Today, the efficacy of mobile health technology has proven successful.  With access to a fully optimized, real-time, reliable mobile health app, healthcare providers have immediate access to vital information and the ability to share it with other pertinent team members. 

 

The Future Is Now

 

The 2015 HIMSS Mobile Technology Study consisted of 238 respondents who suggested that healthcare organizations are widely beginning to deploy mobile technologies with the aim of engaging patients within their organizations. Importantly, many of the respondents cited a need to fully optimize and leverage the diverse capabilities offered by mobile technology and platforms.  For example, almost 90% of respondents reported maintaining mobile devices to engage patients at their organizations. In addition, 47% of respondents indicated that implementing mobile services for access to information is a high priority in the future.

 

The prevalence of mobile technology in the health care industry is rapidly increasing as programs and applications for smartphones and tablets have progressively advanced. Mobile health technology (commonly referred to as mHealth) possesses the capability to improve patient care and boost efficiency of the staff and procedures.

 

In order to successfully incorporate mobile health technology into an organization, healthcare administrators must ensure that the app meets certain criteria:

 

1.    Does it offer timely and immediate access to information, whenever and wherever?

2.    Is it able to perform multiple tasks efficiently without having to switch from app-to-app?

3.    Is it organized to provide current, accurate, unbiased, relevant, and essential content during moments of care?

4.    Does it allow healthcare providers to receive and review the information they need, when and how they need it?

5.    Does it seamlessly connect with EMR (or EHR)?

6.    Does it help healthcare providers be more productive in and out of the office?

 

By using a mobile device to input data and update patient charts, a healthcare provider is able to spend more time with the patient and less time on the computer. 

 

Secure Text Messaging

 

Secure Text Message (STM) is used for securely sending and receiving texts and picture messages with an assortment of other mobile devices and workstations in a HIPAA-compliant manner.  Secure text messages are encrypted while being transmitted to meet the protection requirements PHI (Patient Health Information). 

 

By implementing an STM app, a healthcare team can communicate with colleagues in real time to rapidly address the needs of a patient.  Speeding up the process of ordering tests, lab results, and medications, affords the healthcare provider more time for more patients. 

 

HipLink offers an outstanding secure text messaging platform that works in real-time on Apple or Android phones.  The user can send secure text messages, encrypted for HIPAA compliance for both messages and attachments from a desktop computer and directly from the phone. HipLink Mobile provides a highly reliable and secure text messaging system.  Even if a user is not logged in, HipLink will alert the user and give them the option to login quickly. The sender will know the status of the message in all cases, whether it is pending, delivered, when it is read, and any responses – either phone-to-phone or desktop-to-phone.

 

By using Transport Layer Security (TLS), HipLink ensures the confidentiality of messages at the highest level of HIPAA compliance.  A very distinct feature HipLink has developed is a “single session” handshake process.  With this method, the TLS encryption key is constantly changing for each and every communications session between the HipLink server and the device.  This makes cracking the encryption virtually impossible as the key is constantly regenerating with each communication. 

 

Additional Features

 

HipLink also offers several other standard and advanced features with the Secure Text Messaging app.  Some of these features include:

 

  • Use message templates to promptly compose new messages and spend less time typing
  • Control your status by toggling between the “available” and “not available” mode
  • Quickly silence or mute all pre-defined alert setting for all severities to vibrate
  • Attach location coordinates
  • Execute pre-programmed custom commands and templates
  • Full administration and management controls
  • Draft messages, set Favorites, define alert tones
  • Streamlined workflows offer efficient functionality for all tasks

 

 

By incorporating HipLink mobile health technology into a healthcare organization, not only does the organization operate more effectively and efficiently, the satisfaction, engagement, and care of patients is vastly improved.  For more information about our mobile health technology including HIPAA Compliant Text Messaging, visit HipLink or call 1-800-524-7503.  

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The Joint Commission’s New Position on Patient Care through Text Messaging

 

 

On April 29th, 2016, the Joint Commission announced its new position on patient care through text messaging. This is a tremendous step forward in healthcare communication and will improve many aspects of patient care. At this time, physicians or licensed independent practitioners are able to text orders for patient care, treatment, services to the hospital, or other health care settings if they are using a secure text messaging platform.

 

The initial stance was that text messaging was not considered safe enough to use in healthcare settings due to unsecured text messages being transmitted via personal mobile phones. Additionally, the validation of information was difficult to obtain, as was the identity of the person sending the messages. The technology was simply not considered adequate to support a safe and secure use of text messaging for orders.

 

Times have changed however and there has been an incredible increase in secure text messaging platforms that address many of the concerns that the Joint Commission faced in the past.

 

The Joint Commission fully supports secure text messaging as long as the following is implemented:

 

·         A secure sign-on process

·         Messages have to be encrypted

·         Delivery and read receipts need to be incorporated

·         All orders have to be date and time stamped

·         Customized message retention time frames

·         Specified contact list for individuals authorized to receive and record orders

 

Furthermore, hospitals and other accredited organizations that plan to incorporate text orders must develop a verification process documenting the capabilities of their secure text messaging platform and define when text orders are either appropriate or not appropriate. They must also monitor how frequently text messaging orders are being used and assess the compliance with texting policies and procedures. In addition, they have to develop risk-management strategies, perform risk assessments, and conduct training for staff and licensed independent practitioners.

 

Although the topic is on texting orders, the Joint Commission expects that all forms of texting, including patient updates or other patient information is also used within secure text messaging platforms. They also noted that all accredited organizations must have policies that document text messages in an electronic health record- either electronically or manually.

 

By implementing HIPAA-compliant and secure text messaging, a healthcare team can connect with colleagues in real time and address patients’ needs quicker. They can order lab results, medications, or X-Rays, allowing the healthcare team to see more patients. A pharmacy may be able to receive text orders directly based on test results. The efficiently this can bring if implemented safely and securely can mean a great deal for patient satisfaction and help decrease staff burnout. 

 

HipLink® Mobile meets all of the requirements set forth by the Joint Commission and was developed to alleviate some of the communication challenges in the healthcare environment. Our HIPAA compliant, encrypted mobile application makes it incredibly easy to send full patient details and coordinate proper patient care. This can dramatically improve workflow and enable fast and accurate communication with ease. The physician or nurse can send secure text messages and attachments from a desktop and directly from the phone.  It's like a HIPAA compliant chat application.

 

With HipLink Mobile, the healthcare team is connected to the server in real-time and able to transmit reliable and fast messages. When one of the healthcare team members is not logged in, HipLink will automatically alert them to re-log in. The sender will always know the exact status of their messages, whether pending or delivered, and when they are read, along with any response, whether it is phone-to-phone or from the desktop to phone.

 

In addition to client applications, there are several features for Remote Device Management from the HipLink administrative interface that is built in the HipLink Mobile Application. An administrator can take action to disable access, delete data and enforce General Policy for all of their Users.

 

 

To read more about HipLink®’s, HIPAA compliant, encrypted mobile application, please click here

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Secure, Reliable Messaging and Ransomware

How do you keep your communication flow during a cyber attack? The recent cyber attacks in hospitals are raising many questions about safety and security within many organizations.

CNN just recently reported that Ransomware is growing and that the FBI received 2,453 complaints about Ransomware hold-ups last year, costing the victims more than $24 million dollars”. CSO Online reported that incident response teams are dealing with 3-4 Ransomware incidents weekly. They also report that ransom requests have increased considerably and that in many cases the cost of recovery is so extreme that the only valid option is to consider payment.

Criminals sneak in through various techniques such as “man in the middle” attacks, lock the system and demand a ransom to unlock it. They rely on Bitcoins (XBT) since those are difficult to trace to actual people. Many of these hackers have offshore accounts and the chances of actually getting your money back or catching someone a world away” is highly unlikely.

At HipLink we feel that the best solution is to minimize your attack surface and implement a communications platform with the ability to manage and secure your communications from end-to-end should one take place.  Our focus is to provide our customers with a complete solution for managing these requirements. Our business model has always been to build a strong communications hub with several layers of redundancy to minimize a central point of failure or compromise. This means that we do not put all of our eggs into one basket. We look at the big picture and we understand that implementation needs to be dynamic and offer seamless alternate ways to notify staff using automated intelligence.

Many of HipLink’s customers have remote and on-premise servers that communicate with HipLink and act as a back-up communication platform in case of an emergency that may compromise any of the mission critical systems running each day. HipLink’s ability to accommodate strategic communication pathways on behalf of both employees and infrastructure separate our systems from others, making them popular in many of the world’s most advanced data centers.

Our flexibility within a wide range of verticals allows us to place ourselves in a unique position that accommodates a broad range of communication requirements. This position not only improves daily workflow efficiency but can help save critical data and in many environments, lives.

   

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  • Wendy H.
    Wendy H. says #
    Great blog- thanks for posting. Really enjoyed reading it.
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Kootenai County has been a long standing customer of HipLink for both First Responder and Citizen Notification. In recent months the County has been plagued with wildfires that arose from extreme weather conditions, dryness and more recently, lightning strikes.  Some 25,000 to 70,000 acres of forest lands have been affected by the wildfires that erupted in eastern and central Washington and Idaho.  

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