Tag Archive | "PHI"

JCAHO Issues Ban on Physician Texting, Signifies Importance of Secure Mobile Communication Outside SMS

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) recently issued a so-called “ban” on physician texting, saying it’s “not acceptable” for medical professionals to communicate patient information via SMS.

In dealing with sensitive medical information, physicians risk violating HIPAA regulations and other security standards by communicating with patients over SMS.  Such violations can be costly and can lead to other repercussions for both the physician and the healthcare organization(s) they represent.  The JCAHO recognized this risk and used it as the basis for its ban on physician texting.  While many in the industry are seeing this as a warning sign to stop mobile communication altogether, it’s actually a step in the right direction to push physicians and healthcare organizations to begin leveraging new-age, fully secure forms of mobile communication.

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Diversinet Receives Patent for Storing Healthcare Data on Mobile Devices

It was announced today that Diversinet, who bills itself as a “leader in connected and protected mobile healthcare communication,” has been awarded a patent for its method for storing sensitive personal health information on mobile devices.

U.S. Patent # 8,051,297, “A Method for Binding a Security Element to a Mobile Device,” covers the security of information on smartphones and tablets, and prevents unauthorized access to sensitive data via an “Anti-Cloning Encryption” method.  This method prevents access to the information if it’s transferred to another mobile device and uses characteristics of a mobile device’s unique identity, such as its serial number, to create the encryption passkey.

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mobileStorm Launches the Latest Version of its HIPAA-Compliant, Cloud-based mHealth Communication Platform

mobileStorm today announced the launch of the latest version of its “mobileStorm for Healthcare” platform, a secure mobile messaging solution that allows HIPAA-compliant transmission of PHI (Protected Health Information) to members and patients via mobile devices.

The newest version of mobileStorm’s solution extends the ability to send messages from the previously available API integration to a SaaS based dashboard, designed from the ground up to manage member audiences, create and send healthcare communication as well as run powerful reports on their performance.  mobileStorm for Healthcare was originally launched in early 2011 as a platform that can “mobile-enable” systems by connecting to any CRM, database or electronic medical record repository via an API  (Application Programming Interface) and creating a secure message pipeline to a customizable inbox that can be placed within any smart phone app via an SDK.

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Keeping People Healthy: Relevant Conversations, Marketers & The PHI Problem

Mobile Communication

My philosophy is, to get a consumer to change their behavior (like for instance remembering to take their medication), you must have very relevant conversations. The hard part in healthcare is that the more honest your conversation is, the riskier it gets, and the less channels you have to communicate your message over.

PHI or “Protected Health Information” creates this problem, or shall I say, complicates things, because protecting our health information is a good thing right?

PHI is under the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and in a nutshell, is any information about health status, provision of health care, or payment for health care that can be linked to a specific individual. This includes any part of a patient’s medical record or payment history. PHI has a broad interpretation and as a result not everyone in the industry can agree exactly what type of data is considered PHI.

For instance, at mobileStorm we’ve witnessed compliance teams rule that including the name of your physician in an SMS text message is completely fine, while another team says that even a cell phone number can be considered PHI.  Communicating with large populations quickly is incredibly important in keeping America healthy; however PHI can make this tricky. While people interpret PHI differently, our experience has been that most companies will always err on the side of caution. Large fines for privacy violations has the industry on edge. In February the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a $4.3 m fine to Cignet Health Care of Temple Hills. The action is the first monetary fine issued since the Act was passed in 1996.

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