Improving Care Coordination with Secure Messaging

Physicians rarely work alone these days. More and more, patients are treated by teams of providers who collaborate to deliver coordinated patient care. But unless the right tools are in place for systemwide communication, teams can’t function as effectively as possible.

This is why secure messaging is not only crucial for HIPAA compliance, it’s also a key component for care coordination.

As defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, care coordination encompasses sharing information across functions, sites and people to meet patient needs. Coordination happens between primary care physicians and specialists, between in-hospital providers and ambulatory teams, between doctors and nurses, and countless other combinations.

Here are three ways secure messaging improves care coordination throughout a healthcare system:

Communication is faster

The core of care coordination is the timely delivery of information to the people who need it. Secure messaging allows medical practitioners to communicate directly. They can send complete messages without working through an answering service or playing phone tag. A primary care physician needing a consult can contact a specialist using the secure platform, and within minutes the specialist can respond and collaborate.

Patient health information is protected

Numerous high-profile data breaches have underscored the importance of complying with HIPAA privacy rules. Secure messaging is one line of defense to avoid inadvertent exposure of patient health information. The coordinated care environment necessitates frequent communication among numerous providers. A secure messaging system locks it all down so providers don’t have to think about HIPAA compliance.

Mistakes are averted

Robust, multifunctional messaging platforms include features designed to streamline communication and prevent errors. Escalating notification systems ensure that essential communication doesn’t go unread. Sophisticated software can group messages into threads so that it’s always clear what patient is being discussed. And, specialized hand-off systems provide efficient ways for providers to leave notes for the next on-call provider.  

Communication is a crucial component of coordinated care. Make sure your organization is positioned to communicate efficiently and safely with a robust secure messaging platform.