January 2017

Mobile Healthcare and Mobile Therapy Sessions are on the Rise — Do the Right Thing.

Mobile healthcare and mobile therapy—using smartphones and other mobile devices in the health care setting—allow us to walk the talk…pun intended, toward greater work/life balance, patient-centered care and value-based reimbursement. Simpler, better mobile patient communications, empower us to improve efficiency. However we also need to ensure our mobile healthcare communication solutions protect patient information shared on mobile devices, meet HIPAA compliance and more. Mobile healthcare technologies need to handshake with other technologies, like electronic health records and other mobile devices. And apps for delivering patient communications must be safe and effective.  It’s important to do the right thing to protect your patients, your practice, your reputation.

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Mobile devices are becoming as prevalent in the health care setting as they are in the rest of our lives. The trend is tremendously freeing. Facetime, text messaging and mobile calls offer flexibility.  More than 83 percent of physicians use mobile technology to provide patient care.1 Clinicians—including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and physician assistants—use mobile technology to update patient records, search for clinical information, and connect to colleagues. Patients use mobile technology to track health indicators, communicate with their providers, and search for health information.

Office managers and practitioners must be thoughtful in how they integrate mobile health technology while addressing “chinks in the armor”  and sensitive regulatory issues such as:

  • Clinical decision support: Evaluating and selecting the best apps to support clinical decisions;
  • Workflow efficiencies: Using simpler, better yet HIPAA compliant mobile-enabled devices, services, and software to optimize data retrieval and documentation, as well as health care transactions;
  • Communication and coordination: Appropriately connecting and sharing secured information among providers to better coordinate care;
  • Patient engagement: Supporting population health, improving compliance, and engaging patients in their care; and
  • Security: Maintaining the security and privacy of health information in a mobile environment.

Here are a few more stats reported by HIMSS on the growing use of mobile devices…and it’s only increasing.

“Sixty-nine percent of providers have used a mobile device to view patient information  and 36 percent used mobile technologies to collect data in the  exam room.”

In another HIMSS study, more than three out of four clinicians reported professional usage of smartphones. In 2014, 41 percent of clinicians qualified as “digital omnivores,” defined as those who utilize a tablet, smartphone, and computer routinely in a professional capacity.

What are Your Goals for Mobilizing Your Practice?

To get your practice up to speed for HIPAA this year, experts say, conduct a thorough evaluation of your practice operations to make certain you remain in compliance for data security, privacy, and reporting of breaches.

More information about the updated HIPAA regulations is available at https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Administrative-Simplification/HIPAA-ACA/index.html

 

Next time, I’ll talk more about the essential capability to integrate your mobile technologies with other technologies like EHR. I’ll get ready to close this post with a great quote from Mark Twain as I think about mobility and safety, security and flexibility in today’s health care setting. “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”

 

I’d enjoy a conversation with you about your mobile office operations and how we can simplify meeting regulatory requirements regarding patient communications. I can help you learn more about customizing our premier HIPAA compliant phone system and patient communications platform to specifically meet the needs of your offices. We’ve been building phone system and conducting live after hours answering services for more than 30 years. We can help simplify your patient communications, save you money on your phone system, increase efficiency and practice management and new this year…connect your mobile phones to other technologies with our API technology, grow your business with messaging and more.  Contact Heidi for more information @ hwieland@ringrx.com or 805-722-7413.

RingRx in the New Year with Simpler, Better HIPAA Compliant Patient Communications

Happy New Year. We at RingRx, makers of the premier HIPAA compliant phone system for doctors, have put together a quick checklist for you to help keep your practice HIPAA healthy while you manage more efficiently and grow and be more secure in 2017.

A Little HIPAA Primer

Changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) affect everything from how you secure your patients’ protected health information to the contracts you sign with vendors to what you need to tell patients about their privacy rights. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which developed the regulations, says the updates are needed to account for the widespread use of electronic health records and other changes in health information technology that have occurred since HIPAA was enacted in 1996.

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Compliance with the updated regulations requires you to do the following:

  • conduct a risk analysis to determine the vulnerability of electronic protected health information (PHI) to loss or theft, and document that they have done so;
  • encrypt patient PHI so that it can’t be used if it’s lost or stolen;
  • review policies and procedures for what do if PHI is lost, stolen, or inappropriately disclosed;
  • review contracts with vendors and other “business associates” that have access to PHI to ensure that the vendors have proper safeguards in place to secure patient PHI.

RingRx can help. We develop the HIPAA compliant technology for your patient communications–on the phone in the office, via mobile when you’re out and about and even with your calendaring system.  RingRx has the proper safeguards in place to secure patient PHI with its cost-effective phone system, designed for doctors, therapists,healthcare professionals and social workers.

Doctors and office managers report they are seeing significant cost-savings as well. Up to 60 percent savings on their phone systems with unfailing accuracy.

But don’t forget to do this or put it off because HIPAA compliance is a vital key to peace of mind for you, your staff and your patients. Remember the beautiful story of the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry?  I think of this quote often as we build our products: “People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.”

RingRx is helping to tame HIPAA compliance for you with your patient communications and your phone system, mobile device and calendaring systems. Plus we have  a simpler, better way to help you connect sensitive patient data and phi on the phone with electronic medical records. With RingRx, HIPAA compliance on the phone is that simple.

 

To get your practice up to speed for HIPAA this year, experts say, conduct a thorough evaluation of your practice operations to make certain you remain in compliance for data security, privacy, and reporting of breaches.

More information about the updated HIPAA regulations is available at https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Administrative-Simplification/HIPAA-ACA/index.html

 

tinareyesI’ll get ready to close this Little Primer with another great quote from the Little Prince as I think about the regulatory challenges you manage as you practice in the science and healing arts: “Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.” May you transform and grow your practice and reach your goals this year.

I’d enjoy a conversation with you. I can help you learn more about RingRx Free Trial and customizing it specifically for your offices. We’ve been building phone system and conducting live after hours answering services for more than 30 years. We can help simplify your patient communications, save you money on your phone system, increase efficiency and practice management and new this year…grow your business with messaging and more.  Contact me, Tina @treyes@ringrx.com or call me at 1-888-980-6860

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