Vocera to Offer Free, Secure Text Messaging for Its U.S. Healthcare Customers

Vocera to Offer Free, Secure Text Messaging for Its U.S. Healthcare CustomersVocera wants to up the ante.

In a bid to be the provider of choice, the company has announced it will soon offer cloud-based secure texting at no cost to its 800-plus U.S. hospital customers.

“Vocera Secure Texting will connect seamlessly with Vocera Communication Systems installed in over 800 U.S. hospitals, enabling physicians to securely text care teams and improve care coordination, operational efficiencies, and patient experience,” said a company spokesman in a recent release.

The offering — called “Vocera Secure Texting” — combines convenience with privacy by “providing a secure, easy to use, HIPAA-compliant alternative to SMS. The solution will allow physicians to securely communicate with all members of their patient’s care team, while helping hospital CIOs improve security associated with protecting personal health information (PHI).”

Aside from the business aspect of the arrangement, why is Vocera motivated to make the offer?

“The lack of communication and coordination in health systems causes fragmented and inefficient care that can impact patient safety and patient experience,” noted the company. “The Joint Commission states that roughly 70 percent of accidental deaths and serious injuries in hospitals are linked to communication failures. According to a study by the University of Maryland, $12 billion is wasted annually as a result of communications inefficiencies.”

Communication — the industry now recognizes — is essential to quality healthcare.

“Enabling better communication and collaboration across the entire continuum of care is critically important in making the transition to value-based care,” said Bill Shickolovich, CIO of Tufts Medical Center. “We are working with Vocera to extend our communications platform to provide a secure means of keeping care teams in sync across sites and improve care coordination, safety, and ultimately, patient experience.”

Vocera execs are firmly in favor of communication and coordination.

“With the rise of Population Health, the importance of care coordination is greater than ever. The best way to improve how care teams communicate and collaborate is to provide solutions that are easy to use, secure, and integrated with other clinical systems,” said Brent Lang, president and CEO of Vocera. “Vocera Secure Texting is an important part of our care coordination solution that helps extended care teams reach the right person, at the right time, on the right device, with the right information, in the right place. Because protecting patient information is a priority for Vocera, we’re providing the solution to all of our U.S. hospital customers at no additional cost.”

The company said “Vocera Secure Texting” will be launched in Q2 of 2015.

It plans to exhibit demonstrations of the new technology at the 2015 HIMSS Conference, set for April 12-16 in Chicago.

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