Care Thread Blog

An Ounce of Prevention

By Care Thread
originally published May 13, 2014

The evolution of communication in healthcare from pagers to mobile devices, paper notes to email, hospital visits (and re-admissions) to telehealth programs improves both the speed and quality of

care delivered to patients. For providers, access to secure mobile messaging and access to clinical information in real-time means being able to spend more time with patients, and less time chasing down colleagues or tapping into EMRs and other clinical systems for pending reports. For patients, it offers the opportunity to receive truly patient-centered care, with all members of their care team connected and aligned on the care plan in real time.

Yet, for healthcare IT professionals, the fact that patient data can now be easily moved, processed and shared via mobile devices creates new heightened levels of concerns about data integrity, security, privacy, and overall HIPAA compliance.

At Care Thread, we understand and empathize with the concerns of healthcare organizations when it comes to maintaining the integrity of PHI, and the significant risks posed in safeguarding data and ensuring regulatory compliance. And that’s why security is core to Care Thread’s mobile and web-based approach to clinical mobility and communication.

As healthcare organizations make their final preparations for the implementation of the HIPAA Omnibus rule on September 23rd, I would like to share a few ways in which Care Thread maintains the privacy and security of personal health information (PHI), and upholds HIPAA compliance.

Care Thread also encourages its partners to provide periodic training to its employees on the basics of HIPAA and the organization’s own privacy and security policies. Using a variety of methods, including lunch-and-learn presentations, tips published in internal newsletters, and signs posted throughout the facility, organizations can improve provider awareness of PHI requirements and professional compliance.

In a vocation that emphasizes prevention of disease and malady, “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure” when it comes to PHI and mobile connectivity.

Topics: Security Privacy HIPAA

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