Impact of Secure Messaging on the Millennial Workforce

With a diverse range of mobile devices at their fingertips, it is only appropriate to hear about young individuals today embodying the phrase “glued to their phones.” From frequently checking notifications on their 5-inch screens to scrolling through updates, Millennials have placed a higher importance on being digitally engaged when compared to their older counterparts. In terms of the workplace, this generation group values efficiency and wants to see this reflected across their communication platforms.

According to the Pew Research Center’s analysis of US Census Bureau data, Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, surpassing Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation as of 2016. Armed with varying technical expertise, this group plans to adopt the best tools to make a strong impact in their respective organizations.

Millennial Communication in the Workplace

Not only are individuals of this generation avid users of technology, they are users who have completely fused various devices into their daily life. Among all the various communication methods, Millennials prefer forms of text messaging due to its quick and more concise responses. While messages are sent instantly, the individual can receive, consider a response, and then reply at their leisure.

In contrast, phone calls often interrupt and inconvenience the flow of the work day. Emails, although helpful for sending over important documents, are slow and users usually put off replying until later. Since messaging is limited to a certain amount of characters, it motivates the writer to clearly state their issue, making it easier for the reader to respond. While they desire fast yet effective communication, Millennials are also concerned about data security and privacy. As a result, various messaging applications will continue to evolve to ensure end-to-end encryption.

What Does This Mean for the Healthcare Industry?

The current environment of the healthcare industry involves systems that may be too slow, too manual, and too expensive to implement and maintain. Existing communication platforms – phones, pagers, intercoms – interrupt workflows, lack documentation, and ultimately lead to medical errors that could have been easily prevented.

With Millennials illustrating their inclination toward asynchronous communication methods, various healthcare providers are gradually realizing the inefficiencies of synchronous communication methods. The Institute of Medicine even reported that 44% of communication breakdowns ending in injury to surgical patients resulted from information that was communicated well but inaccurately received. Applications and systems with robust functionality and interface capabilities are greatly needed and it is only a matter of time before healthcare facilities incorporate these services as part of their daily operations.

Rise of Secure Messaging

As the number of Millennial workers in the healthcare industry increase, there is a greater need to implement messaging services that are secure, easily accessible, and HIPAA-compliant. Failing to follow requirements of secure messaging result in a few different consequences including increased risk of security breaches, higher administrative costs, and fines by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Secure messaging platforms ensure that exchanges between users are confidential and authentic. In addition, these services typically live on mobile applications, requiring fewer technical requirements and complicated installations. The benefits may vary depending on location, but this type of messaging integrates answering services and protects care providers from alarm fatigue.

However, it is not an optimal solution to only worry about implementing secure messaging simply for allowing two people to communicate. The industry demands other services including integrating critical test results, emergency notifications, and on-call scheduling systems. By incorporating certain policies and procedures centered around the patient and creating an open dialogue with all users, we can help reduce medical errors and prevent harmful events.

Why Does this Matter?

Through streamlining communication platforms in the workplace, Millennials can connect with aspects of a broader organizational culture. For this generation group, technology is simply the medium that facilitates the lives they want to lead, not the medium that leads their lives.

From physicians and nurses to clinical technicians, successfully incorporating new technologies into various facilities must be designed by those who use it. Utilizing text messaging reduces interruptions and limits time-consuming communication, leading to a better quality of care. As the healthcare industry continues to adopt developing technologies, it is vital to supply users with effective communication tools so they can concentrate on providing exceptional care.

Sources: Medium, Health IT Outcomes, Mobile Business Insights, CIO, Pew Research Center

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