Love Your Smartphone? Be Secure

It’s a simple scenario: You’ve just left the office, and your nurse texts you that Mr. Smith is having a reaction to the medication you’ve just prescribed.

She’s included his name and phone number in the text. You may know that texting protected health information (PHI) is not legal but feel justified because this is a serious medical concern. Perhaps you even believe that deleting the text right away will protect you — and Mr. Smith. In reality, this text message with PHI has just passed from your nurse’s phone, through her phone carrier, to your phone carrier, and then to you — four vulnerable points where this unencrypted message could be intercepted or breached.

In many situations similar to this one, texting is the fastest and most efficient way of sending important information. But physicians who text each other or their staff clinical information risk exposing themselves to the privacy and security violations of  HIPAA unless they use a secure messaging app that encrypts messages as they passes through all four points of contact.

Fortunately for TMA members, DocbookMD is breaking down this communication barrier between physicians, and now members of your clinical care team as well. DocbookMD is a FREE, members-only, application for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets that allows you to send HIPAA-compliant messages bundled with photos of x-rays, EKGs, wounds, and more just as if you were sending a text. DocbookMD’s new CareTeam feature lets you add members of your care team to your secure communication network.

More than 7,000 TMA members have signed on to use DocbookMD. It’s just one of the exciting technology developments that truly can help you in your practice. TMA’s next Tech Tuesday webinar will explore others. The Mobile Movement: Technology On the Go, scheduled for noon-1 pm on Sept. 17, 2013, will look at how smartphone and tablets are putting everything from more efficient patient registration to HIPAA-secure consultations within reach. Register now.

Published Aug. 27, 2013 


TMA Practice E-Tips main page 


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