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HIPAA-Compliant Mobile Apps Mean Better Patient Engagement

HIPAA-Compliant Mobile Apps Mean Better Patient Engagement
 With organizations and bipartisan politicians lobbying for changes and improvements to HIPAA to accommodate mobile apps and technologies it's important to address just how much of an impact that HIPAA-compliant mobile apps can have, particularly in the role of patient engagement.  

By Rich Quatrocchi

With organizations and bipartisan politicians lobbying for changes and improvements to HIPAA to accommodate mobile apps and technologies it's important to address just how much of an impact that HIPAA-compliant mobile apps can have, particularly in the role of patient engagement.

Now, more than ever, hospitals are under pressure to improve patient outcomes and reduce readmissions. With billions of dollars on the line, patient engagement plays a key role to lowering costs.
 
Medical contact centers combined with mobile applications are positioned to revolutionize post surgical follow up. HIPAA-compliant apps with proper encryption and security can facilitate time- and cost-saving communications between and among patients and caregivers. For example, a HIPAA-compliant chat plug-in running securely within a hospital provided smartphone or tablet app enables patients or caregivers to communicate directly with medical professionals 24/7. When integrated to the EHR system with right middleware system, mobile apps can accept secure push notifications to remind patients to take medications, prompt for changing of dressings and bandages, and support live chat or voice conversations.
 
When using a HIPAA compliant mobile app, reminders can also be very detailed and include important instructions such as fasting before a blood draw. This saves both time and money while providing for more accurate diagnostic tests for routine tests such as cholesterol or fasting plasma glucose. And, since the interactions are fully encrypted and secure, patients can communicate freely without fear of personal medical information being transmitted in the clear over email or SMS.
Rich Quatrocchi will be speaking on the latest developments in digital health at MD&M Chicago.
Oct. 16, 2014

 
Hospitals can provide better care and communication without the risk of huge HIPAA fines. Patients or authorized caregivers can chat, send photos and push a button to talk directly with a nurse, physician or physician's assistant.
 
The same technology can be extended to wellness programs funded by employers and managed by insurance companies. Mobile apps can be leveraged to schedule follow up appointments and even support way-finding with door to door directions for office and lab locations.
 
Within the next 24 months there will be an explosion of mobile applications that engage patient populations. What is your organization doing to better to engage patients? Join the conversation by adding your comments below.
 
Rich Quatrocchi is a a senior leader, inventor and start-up specialist with 25 years experience in growing technology and healthcare businesses. Contact him at : [email protected]
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