TigerConnect Survey Finds 89% of Healthcare Providers Still Use Fax Machines and 39% are Still Using Pagers
Nov18

TigerConnect Survey Finds 89% of Healthcare Providers Still Use Fax Machines and 39% are Still Using Pagers

TigerConnect has released its 2019 State of Healthcare Communications Report, which shows that continuing reliance on decades-old, inefficient communications technology is negatively impacting patients and is contributing to the increasing cost of healthcare provision. For the report, TigerConnect surveyed more than 2,000 patients and 200 healthcare employees to assess the current state of communications in healthcare and gain insights into areas where communication inefficiencies are causing problems. The responses clearly show that communication in healthcare is broken. 52% of healthcare organizations are experiencing communication disconnects that impact patients on a daily basis or several times a week. Those communication inefficiencies are proving frustrating for healthcare employees and patients alike. The report reveals most hospitals are still heavily reliant on communications technology from the 1970s. 89% of hospitals still use faxes and 39% are still using pagers in some departments, roles, or even across the entire organization. The world may have moved on, but...

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Speakap Confirmed as HIPAA Compliant by Compliancy Group
Nov07

Speakap Confirmed as HIPAA Compliant by Compliancy Group

The communication platform provider Speakap has announced it has achieved compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Rules with Compliancy Group. Speakap has developed a communications platform that helps healthcare organizations communicate quickly and efficiently with their frontline staff, even if they do not have easy access to computers. Through a mobile app, healthcare organizations can maintain contact with deskless workers and communicate with the entire workforce through a desktop version of the app. The app is used by businesses in a wide range of industry sectors; however, in order to offer the communications solution to the healthcare industry, Speakap needed to ensure that its platform, policies, and procedures were in full compliance with HIPAA Rules. Since the platform can be used to communicate ePHI, Speakap is classed as a business associate under HIPAA and must ensure administrative, physical, and technical safeguards are incorporated into its solution and the company fulfils its responsibilities with respect to HIPAA. To ensure...

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Common Office 365 Mistakes Made by Healthcare Organizations
Nov01

Common Office 365 Mistakes Made by Healthcare Organizations

An Office 365 phishing campaign has been running over the past few weeks that uses voicemail messages as a lure to get users to disclose their Office 365 credentials. Further information on the campaign is detailed below along with some of the most common Office 365 mistakes that increase the risk of a costly data breach and HIPAA penalty. Office 365 Voicemail Phishing Scam The Office 365 voicemail phishing scam was detected by researchers at McAfee. The campaign has been running for several weeks and targets middle management and executives at high profile companies. A wide range of industries have been attacked, including healthcare, although the majority of attacks have been on companies in the service, IT services, and retail sectors. The emails appear to have been sent by Microsoft and alert users to a new voicemail message. The emails include the caller’s telephone number, the date of the call, the duration of the voicemail message, and a reference number. The emails appear to be automated messages and tell the recipient that immediate attention is required to access the...

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TigerConnect Named One of Best Places to Work in Healthcare for the Fifth Consecutive Year
Oct08

TigerConnect Named One of Best Places to Work in Healthcare for the Fifth Consecutive Year

Modern Healthcare has named TigerConnect one of the Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2019. TigerConnect achieved a top 50 ranking in this year’s list of suppliers to the healthcare industry.  This is the fifth consecutive year that the company has been included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work list. TigerConnect is the most widely adopted collaborative communications platform for the healthcare industry. The platform is used by more than 6,000 healthcare organizations and handles more than 10 million messages every day. The platform is used by physicians, nurses, care teams, and patients to securely communicate and is the only communications platform that supports voice, video, text communications, and clinical workflow requirements, along with bulletproof privacy and security controls. TigerConnect CEO and co-founder Brad Brooks attributes the consistent recognition to the company culture developed over the past 9 years. He explained that the company strives to create an environment where employees can not only make a positive impact on how healthcare organizations...

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Dental Practice Fined $10,000 for PHI Disclosures on Yelp
Oct03

Dental Practice Fined $10,000 for PHI Disclosures on Yelp

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights has agreed to settle a HIPAA violation case with Elite Dental Associates over the impermissible disclosure of multiple patients’ protected health information (PHI) when responding to patient reviews on the Yelp review website. Elite Dental Associates is a Dallas, TX-based privately-owned dental practice that provides general, implant and cosmetic dentistry. On June 5, 2016, OCR received a complaint from an Elite patient about a social media HIPAA violation. The patient claimed the dental practice had responded to a review she left on Yelp and publicly disclosed some of the PHI. When replying to the patient’s June 4, 2016 post, Elite disclosed the patient’s last name along with details of her health condition, treatment plan, insurance, and cost information. The investigation confirmed that to be the case, but also found it was not the first time that PHI had been disclosed without authorization on the social media platform when responding to patient reviews. Further impermissible PHI disclosures were found on the...

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Senate Fails to Remove Ban on Funding of National Patient Identifier System
Sep25

Senate Fails to Remove Ban on Funding of National Patient Identifier System

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is prohibited from using any of its budget to fund the development and implementation of a national patient identifier, but there was hope that the ban would finally be lifted this year. The House of Representatives added an amendment to its Departments of Labor, Health, and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Act of 2020 which removed the ban, which would allow the HHS to follow through on this requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). It now looks likely that the ban will remain in place for at least another year as the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee’s draft 2020 fiscal budget bill, released last Wednesday, has retained the text banning the HHS from acting on this HIPAA requirement. The ban has been in place since 1999 and was introduced because of concerns over patient privacy. The ban has been written into the Congressional budget every year since and the proposed 2020 fiscal budget bill is no different. The proposed fiscal budget bill includes the text, “None of...

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SpamTitan Named Cloud Email Security Leader by G2 Crowd for 3rd Consecutive Quarter
Sep22

SpamTitan Named Cloud Email Security Leader by G2 Crowd for 3rd Consecutive Quarter

SpamTitan has been named the leader in the G2 Crowd Grid Summer 2019 Report for Cloud Email Security. This is the third consecutive quarter that TitanHQ’s 100% cloud-based anti-spam and anti-phishing solution has been named leader in G2 Crowd’s Grid reports. G2 Crowd is an independent review website that provides SMBs and MSPs with insights into the best software companies and products on the market. The Grid reports cover the top-reviewed security products and software solutions. Each company’s position in the Grid is calculated from user reviews and aggregated data from online sources and social networks. G2 Crowd applies an algorithm to calculate scores for customer satisfaction and market presence, the latter being based on market share, vendor size, and social impact. Low customer satisfaction and a small market footprint see products/companies classed as niche players. Low customer satisfaction and strong market presence see a company/product classed as a contender. High customer satisfaction and a small market footprint place companies and products in the high performers...

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400 Million Medical Images Are Freely Accessible Online Via Unsecured PACS
Sep18

400 Million Medical Images Are Freely Accessible Online Via Unsecured PACS

A recent investigation by ProPublica, the German public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk, and vulnerability and analysis firm, Greenbone Networks has revealed millions of medical images contained in image storage systems are freely accessible online and require no authentication to view or download the images. Those images, which include X-rays, MRI, and CT scans, are stored in picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) connected to the Internet. Greenbone Networks audited 2,300 Internet-connected PACS between July and September 2019 and set up a RadiAnt DICOM Viewer to access the images stored on open PACS servers. Those servers were found to contain approximately 733 million medical images of which 399.5 million could be viewed and downloaded. The researchers found 590 servers required no authentication whatsoever to view medical images. PACS use the digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) standard to view, process, store, and transmit the images. In most cases, a DICOM viewer would be required to access the images, but in some cases, all that is required...

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Webinar: Social Media and HIPAA Compliance: Protecting Your Practice in the Digital Age
Sep17

Webinar: Social Media and HIPAA Compliance: Protecting Your Practice in the Digital Age

Social media is a potential minefield for HIPAA violations. One impulsive response to an online review could violate the privacy of a patient, breach HIPAA Rules, and leave and the practice at risk of a significant HIPAA violation penalty. In the digital age, healthcare providers have to deal with a whole new set of privacy concerns. Social media cannot be avoided, so it is important to understand what must be done to protect the business. “Proactively generating reviews and also responding to them effectively, in a timely manner is essential to marketing your practice. However, without proper precaution, health care providers could face serious privacy breaches and even HIPAA violations,” said Liam. In the webinar, Liam will explain how healthcare providers can respond to reviews in a manner that minimizes legal risk, while remaining fully compliant with HIPAA regulations. Register for our upcoming webinar to find out how to manage your online reputation–without risking your practice. Webinar Details: Date:    Tuesday, September 17th Time:    2:00 pm ET/11:00 am PT...

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TigerConnect Included in Constellation ShortList for Clinical Communication
Sep16

TigerConnect Included in Constellation ShortList for Clinical Communication

The leading healthcare communication platform provider TigerConnect has been included in the Constellation ShortList for Clinical Communication in Q3, 2019. The Constellation ShortLists are produced by Constellation Research to advise industry leaders on disruptive technologies that can be leveraged to help early adopters achieve their digital transformation goals. The Healthcare Clinical Communication shortlist was created to help healthcare organizations transition from outdated communications systems such as pagers and faxes to modern, powerful clinical communications platforms that improve communication efficiency and transform the patient experience. These next-generation clinical communications platforms help healthcare organizations transform to patient-centered care models, cut healthcare costs, improve patient care and outcomes, and increase staff and patient satisfaction. In order to be included in the list, Constellation Research requires solutions to meet the threshold criteria for the secure mobile platform, secure communications (voice & text), alert...

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Study Confirms Why Prompt Data Breach Notifications Are So Important
Sep05

Study Confirms Why Prompt Data Breach Notifications Are So Important

When healthcare organizations experience a data breach it is understandable that breach victims will be upset and angry. Information is provided to healthcare organizations in the understanding that safeguards have been implemented to keep that information private and confidential. When patients and health plan members learn that their sensitive, private information has been exposed or stolen, many choose to take their business elsewhere. According to a new study* by the credit reporting agency Experian, if the breach response is properly managed and the breached entity is transparent and issues notifications promptly, customer churn rate can be kept to an absolute minimum. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) Breach Notification Rule requires notifications to be issued to breach victims ‘without unreasonable delay’ and no later than 60 days from the discovery of the breach. However, a majority of patients expect to be notified much more quickly. The study showed 73% of patients/plan members expect to be notified about a breach within 24 hours of the...

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Repurposing a Text Alert System for Business as a HIPAA Compliance Helpline
Aug12

Repurposing a Text Alert System for Business as a HIPAA Compliance Helpline

Due to a text alert system for business lacking the mechanisms for HIPAA compliance, the concept of using a system as a HIPAA compliance helpline may seem a little out of the box. However, there are good reasons for suggesting this secondary use of a text alert system, which can also have benefits in training personnel to become more HIPAA compliant. In a medical environment, a text alert system for business is one of the most effective ways of alerting large numbers of personnel simultaneously to an emergency event. During the emergency event, the text alert system can also be used to coordinate emergency response and check on the wellbeing of personnel, and used for business continuity when other channels of communication are inoperative. A text alert system for business is typically fast and reliable, and – because text messages sent through the system are recorded for review – the messages are accountable. This makes the system an ideal tool for internal communications during non-emergency events; and one potential non-emergency use of a text alert system for...

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Preparing Emergency Text Notification for Business in a HIPAA Compliant Age
Aug07

Preparing Emergency Text Notification for Business in a HIPAA Compliant Age

Businesses subject to HIPAA regulations have to take care when using emergency text notification systems to ensure Protected Health Information (PHI) is not disclosed without authorization. HIPAA compliance policies can be difficult to enforce during an emergency, but a little preparation can help mitigate the risk of a HIPAA breach. Emergency text notification systems for business are an effective way to alert personnel to an emergency incident in healthcare environments (such as fires, active shooter events, and severe weather), especially when they are integrated with other alert systems such as sirens, visual alarms, and digital signage. However, in a healthcare environment, medical personnel are subject to HIPAA regulations which prohibit the unauthorized disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI). Under normal circumstances, it is difficult to think of many scenarios in which an emergency text notification for business would contain PHI. However, in a stressful emergency situation, the risk exists medical personnel might inadvertently disclose PHI while sending an...

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Sarah Shillington Appointed as TigerConnect SVP of Client Success
May16

Sarah Shillington Appointed as TigerConnect SVP of Client Success

TigerConnect, the leading clinical communications and collaboration (CC&C) solution provider, has appointed Sarah Shillington as Senior Vice President of Client Success. Shillington has more than 25 years of experience in Healthcare IT and has worked at several large-scale, global enterprises overseeing client organizations and leading client services, most recently at Leidos Health. At Leidos Health, Shillington led consulting advisory services and strategic partnerships and spent 19 years at McKeeson running the company’s education program, clinical consulting, and account management and teams. She also has extensive experience as a health educator from her time at the University of Wisconsin and Humboldt State University and holds a bachelor’s degree from North Central College and a masters in Education Administration and Health from Northwest Missouri State University. “We are entering an era in healthcare technology where the problems that need to be solved are highly complex,” stated Brad Brooks, CEO and co-founder of TigerConnect. “Sarah brings a deep reservoir of...

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Lawsuit Alleges Hospital Worker Disclosed Information about Woman’s Sexual Assault to her Attacker
May13

Lawsuit Alleges Hospital Worker Disclosed Information about Woman’s Sexual Assault to her Attacker

A lawsuit has been filed against Atchison Hospital in Kansas by a rape victim who alleges an x-ray technician at the hospital contacted her attacker and disclosed sensitive information about the treatment she received at the hospital. According to the Kansas City Star, after being raped, the woman sought treatment at the hospital. She underwent a rape kit examination, and allegedly made it clear to the hospital that she did not want her health information to be disclosed to third parties. Despite being against the patient’s wishes and a violation of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, information about the examination was disclosed to her attacker by a female X-ray technician at the hospital. The x-ray technician also told the man that he had been accused of sexually assaulting the patient. Following the disclosure, the man repeatedly harassed and threatened the patient by phone and text message over the following weeks. In addition to receiving a barrage of abuse from her attacker, the lawsuit claims the woman was also harassed by hospital staff. A complaint was filed with the hospital over...

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Workplace Safety Survey Shows Communication Issues are Placing Employees at Risk
Mar14

Workplace Safety Survey Shows Communication Issues are Placing Employees at Risk

Framingham, MA-based Rave Mobile Safety has published the results of its annual workplace safety and preparedness survey. The report shows that while preparedness for emergency is better than in 2017, there is still considerable room for improvement, especially in healthcare and education. The survey was conducted on 540 full time employees in the United States across several industries. The aim of the survey was to identify trends in emergency planning, obtain the views of employees about workplace safety, and find out more about the efforts that have been made to ensure effective communication in the event of an emergency and alert employees at risk. The survey shows companies are increasingly developing plans for modern emergencies, such as active shooters, workplace violence, and cyberattacks and system outages. However, greater effort is required to ensure that emergency plans are communicated to employees. Some 20% of workers were unaware of emergency plans for cyberattacks and system outages and 18% of workers were unaware of the emergency plan for active shooters and...

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TigerConnect and Call Scheduler Integration Simplifies Care Coordination
Mar06

TigerConnect and Call Scheduler Integration Simplifies Care Coordination

Call Scheduler has announced that its healthcare physician scheduling software has been fulling integrated with the secure messaging platform TigerConnect. TigerConnect is the largest provider of clinical communications solutions in the United States. The company’s HIPAA-compliant secure messaging platform has been adopted by 5,000 healthcare organizations and the platform now processes more than 10 million messages a day. Call Scheduler is a collection of scheduling tools that help medical practices manage on-call and daily work schedules and serves as a single source of truth for on-call information for hospitals and advanced practice providers. Call Scheduler is accessed by physicians through a web browser. The new integration with TigerConnect allows physicians to communicate with each other quickly, easily, and securely via text message, voice call, or video call from their web browser or smartphone. There is no need to switch to a pager or make a call. The TigerConnect platform is accessible through Call Scheduler. All contact information can be found through the platform and...

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IRS Issues Warning About Tax-Related Phishing Scams
Mar05

IRS Issues Warning About Tax-Related Phishing Scams

The IRS has launched its 2019 ‘Dirty Dozen’ campaign warning taxpayers about the most common tax-related phishing scams that lead to tax fraud and identity theft. Each year the IRS provides taxpayers, businesses, and tax professionals with information on the 12 most common phishing and tax scams to raise awareness of the most prevalent threats. During tax season, cybercriminals are highly active and seek tax information to commit identity theft and submit fraudulent tax returns. Each year, many consumers are fooled into disclosing their personal information and scores of organizations fall victim to these scams and disclose the tax information of employees to scammers. The scams are conducted over the phone, via text messages, on social media platforms, websites, and via email. On March 4, 2019, the IRS launched this year’s Dirty Dozen campaign with a warning about the most serious threat during tax season – phishing. On each of the following 11 weekdays, the IRS will highlight a different scam. Tax-related phishing scams are often cleverly disguised. Emails are sent that appear to...

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NHS to Phase Out Pagers by End of 2021
Feb26

NHS to Phase Out Pagers by End of 2021

The National Health Service (NHS) has commissioned a report on the costs of pagers and the extent of their use in NHS Trusts in the UK. The study revealed around 130,000 pagers are used in NHS Trusts – Approximately 10% of the world’s pagers – and the annual cost is around £6.6 million ($8.73 million). Advantages and Disadvantages of Pagers in Healthcare Pagers have served the healthcare industry well for several decades and they are still useful devices. Pagers are easy to use, they are small, easy to carry, and batteries can last months between charges. The pager system uses its own transmitters and frequencies and the signals can pass through structures. Consequently, coverage is excellent, and communication is fast and reliable. Pagers have one function and they perform that task very well. However, there are many drawbacks to pagers in healthcare. Most of the pagers used by NHS Trusts do not support two-way communication. When a message is received, a doctor must find a phone and call a number to receive the message. When an immediate response is not possible, messages are...

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TigerConnect Announces New Partnership and integration with OpenTempo
Feb20

TigerConnect Announces New Partnership and integration with OpenTempo

TigerConnect, the leading provider of clinical communications solutions in the United States, has announced a new partnership and system integration with OpenTempo. OpenTempo is a leading physician scheduling and clinical labor analytics platform. The platform provides powerful analytics and productivity tracking tools that help healthcare providers optimize physician scheduling, improve efficiency, and increase clinician satisfaction by providing greater transparency into their work assignments. The partnership with TigerConect has seen the company’s HIPAA-compliant text, voice, and video communications solution integrated into the OpenTempo platform. Customers that sign up to both OpenTempo and TigerConnect can use TigerConnect to send role-based and individual text messages and initiate video and voice calls without leaving the OpenTempo platform. The integration sees designated roles in TigerConnect paired with OpenTempo, which makes it much easier to track down on-call physicians and also eliminates the need for whiteboards and printed schedules. The TigerConnect platform can...

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KLAS Rates Lua Leading Post-Acute Secure Messaging Solution
Feb14

KLAS Rates Lua Leading Post-Acute Secure Messaging Solution

KLAS Research has given Lua Technologies’ HIPAA-compliant secure communications platform a score of 94 out of 100 in its 2018 Secure Communication Decision Insights Report. Lua was the highest scoring post-acute secure messaging solution and was recognized for the overall quality of the product, the value provided, and the performance of its secure communications platform. Lua developed its communications platform to meet the needs of a diverse range of healthcare professionals and help them communicate more effectively. The platform helps healthcare providers improve patient outcomes by ensuring healthcare employees can communicate quickly, easily, and efficiently with patients and all members of the care team. The platform incorporates privacy and security features to meet HIPAA requirements and allows protected health information to be shared quickly, easily, and securely with authorized individuals and ensures seamless communications across multiple devices and platforms to enhance mobile workflows in healthcare. “We are thrilled by the KLAS Research assessment of our...

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TigerConnect Announces TigerTouch Patient Communication Solution
Feb10

TigerConnect Announces TigerTouch Patient Communication Solution

TigerConnect has announced a series of enhancements to its clinical communications and collaboration (CC&C) platform ahead of the 2019 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Symposium event in Orlando, Florida, This is far from a routine update of the CC&C platform. Several major updates are soon to be rolled out, including the addition of TigerTouch: A communications solution that allows healthcare professionals to communicate directly with patients by text, voice, or video calls in a secure, HIPAA-compliant manner. The new Tigerconnect feature was developed in response to requests from healthcare providers already using the Tigerconnect platform. Large healthcare systems had expressed interest in brining patients into the care conversation and requested a solution from Tigerconnect to help engage patients on their mobile devices. According to Tigerconnect, healthcare providers that adopt the platform and give their physicians, nurses, case managers, and home health caregivers a quick, easy, and secure method of communicating with patients will...

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Life Lua Wins Fierce Biotech Innovation Award
Dec16

Life Lua Wins Fierce Biotech Innovation Award

Life Lua, the developer of a HIPAA-compliant web and mobile access technology platform, has been named winner of a 2018 Fierce Innovation Award, Life Sciences Edition, in the Digital Health Solutions Category. Each year, Fierce Biotech recognizes companies that have gone the extra mile and are conducting leading-edge work in the field of health and biotechnology. On December 13, 2018, Rebecca Willumson, publisher of Fierce Biotech, confirmed Life Lua Technologies had been named category winner. Life Lua Technologies, a subsidiary of Life Biosciences Inc, has developed a mobile-first communications platform for the healthcare industry that allows healthcare professionals to communicate efficiently and effectively, no matter where they are located. The platform supports voice and video calls, file sharing, and promotes collaboration with all members of the care team to ensure the best possible care can be provided to patients. The platform also incorporates leading security protections to ensure all protected health information collected, maintained, stored, or transmitted through...

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TigerConnect Recognized by KLAS in Secure Communication Report for High Consideration, Retention, and Performance
Nov13

TigerConnect Recognized by KLAS in Secure Communication Report for High Consideration, Retention, and Performance

TigerConnect has been recognized by KLAS in its 2018 Decision Insights: Secure Communication Report for “High Consideration, Retention, and Performance.” The Santa Monica-based secure communications platform provider was one of just three vendors recognized for their achievements in each of these areas. Additionally, TigerConnect was recognized as the leading secure communications platform provider, having by far the biggest market share, and being the most considered solution out of the 20 platforms assessed for the report. In particular, the solution’s secure messaging functionality was found to “drive high satisfaction and very deep adoption.” There are many secure communications platforms on the market, some of which are focused on secure text messaging while others, such as TigerConnect, offer much broader communication functionality to streamline communication across the entire organization. Many acute care organizations are opting for these broad communications platforms, while ambulatory organizations are primarily concerned with the secure HIPAA-compliant messaging...

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Lua Acquired by Life Biosciences Inc.
Oct03

Lua Acquired by Life Biosciences Inc.

Boston-based Life Biosciences Inc. has announced it has acquired the mobile communications platform developer Lua. The move is part of the company’s plan to create a proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) platform which will help to accelerate research for new therapies, technologies, and pharmaceutical products to tackle age-related decline (ARD). Biosciences Inc. will use Lua’s technology as the basis for a platform that allows comprehensive analyses of study data to be performed more quickly. The technology will also help to integrate scientific studies conducted at each of its daughter companies into a universal life Biosciences system more rapidly. Lua was formed in 2010 with the aim of developing a mobile-first communications platform for use in healthcare to improve patient outcomes by removing the barriers to communication between providers and patients. The communications platform includes a secure text messaging solution, supports voice and video calls, and allows files and medical images to be shared quickly and securely with all members of the care team. The...

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Arnot Health Reduces ER Door-to-Floor Times by 36% with QliqSOFT
Aug10

Arnot Health Reduces ER Door-to-Floor Times by 36% with QliqSOFT

Arnot Health has implemented a new communications solution that has improved communication efficiency, slashed the time it takes to transfer patients from the emergency room to new units, and has improved both the level of care provided to patients and staff satisfaction. Arnot Health runs a 475-bed health system in southern New York State and constantly evaluates the healthcare services it provides to patients and searches for new opportunities to improve patient care. One area where there was considerable room for improvement was the admissions process, especially in its emergency department. “The amount of time it was taking to align all the appropriate resources was causing delays, and nobody wants to sit in an ER longer than they need to,” said Mike Connor, director of business information systems at Arnot Health. “We recognized an opportunity in the admissions process to greatly improve patient and staff satisfaction by eliminating the old school way of handling admissions and embracing a more mobile approach.” While many patients can be treated in the...

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Unencrypted Hospital Pager Messages Intercepted and Viewed by Radio Hobbyist
Jun26

Unencrypted Hospital Pager Messages Intercepted and Viewed by Radio Hobbyist

Many healthcare organizations have now transitioned to secure messaging systems and have retired their outdated pager systems. Healthcare organizations that have not yet made the switch to secure text messaging platforms should take note of a recent security breach that saw pages from multiple hospitals intercepted by a ‘radio hobbyist’ in Missouri. Intercepting pages using software defined radio (SDR) is nothing new. There are various websites that explain how the SDR can be used and its capabilities, including the interception of private communications. The risk of PHI being obtained by hackers using this tactic has been well documented.  All that is required is some easily obtained hardware that can be bought for around $30, a computer, and some free software. In this case, an IT worker from Johnson County, MO purchased an antenna and connected it to his laptop in order to pick up TV channels. However, he discovered he could pick up much more. By accident, he intercepted pages sent by physicians at several hospitals. The man told the Kansas City Star he intercepted pages...

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More than 90% of Hospitals and Physicians Say Mobile Technology is Improving Patient Safety and Outcomes
Jun12

More than 90% of Hospitals and Physicians Say Mobile Technology is Improving Patient Safety and Outcomes

90% of hospitals and 94% of physicians have adopted mobile technology and say it is helping to improve patient safety and outcomes, according to a recent survey conducted by Black Book Research. The survey was conduced on 770 hospital-based users and 1,279 physician practices between Q4, 2017 and Q1, 2018. The survey revealed 96% of hospitals are planning on investing in a new clinical communications platform this year or have already adopted a new, comprehensive communications platform. 85% of surveyed hospitals and 83% of physician practices have already adopted a secure communication platform to improve communications between care teams, patients, and their families. Secure text messaging platform are fast becoming the number one choice due to the convenience of text messages, the security offered by the platforms, and the improvements they make to productivity and profitability. 98% of hospitals and 77% of physician practices said they have implemented secure, encrypted email and are using intrusion detection systems to ensure breaches are detected rapidly. Many providers of...

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QliqSOFT Launches Snap & Fax Service to Integrate Faxing Capability into its Secure Messaging App
Mar30

QliqSOFT Launches Snap & Fax Service to Integrate Faxing Capability into its Secure Messaging App

The secure messaging platform provider QliqSOFT has launched a new clinical collaboration solution that allows physicians and nurses to integrate their current medical fax solution into their daily mobile-focused workflow. Faxing may now be an antiquated method of communication, but faxes are still extensively used in healthcare to send important patient information and are an integral part of healthcare workflows. While alternative communications services have been widely adopted in other industries, faxing still accounts for approximately three quarters of all medical communications in healthcare. The new QliqSOFT service, named Snap & Fax, brings faxing into the modern era. The service allows healthcare professionals to quickly create and fax documents directly from their mobile phones using the Qliq secure texting mobile app. The new service provides the same functions of traditional fax machines with the added convenience of sending documents directly from mobile devices and not having to print out or scan documents. The solution is based on QliqSOFT’s Snap & Sign...

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Centra Health Chooses QliqSOFT to Improve Clinical Collaboration
Mar28

Centra Health Chooses QliqSOFT to Improve Clinical Collaboration

Providing quality care to patients requires collaboration with specialists from different teams within a healthcare facility, and oftentimes with third-party healthcare providers across the country. Many of those organizations use different EHR systems which makes quick and efficient communication and collaboration a major challenge. While it is possible to communicate on the telephone and send information via email and fax, those communication channels are far from efficient. The Virginia cancer care center, Centra Health, grew frustrated with communications problems and sought a solution that could be used to document and share information about the stage of lung cancer patients’ tumors with the entire care team. Centra Health considered several secure communication platforms before opting to implement QliqSOFT’s communications solution. The platform proved to be a huge success, speeding up communication and allowing the entire care team to collaborate efficiently, eliminating phone tag and frustrating communication delays. Once the communication benefits for lung cancer patients...

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The Soldiers Project Protects Veterans’ Data with Lua Secure Mobile Communications Solution
Mar21

The Soldiers Project Protects Veterans’ Data with Lua Secure Mobile Communications Solution

The Soldier’s Project provides free, confidential mental health support services to post-9/11 military veterans and active service members and their loved ones. Those support services naturally involve contact with sensitive health and mental health information. All sensitive information collected, maintained, or received by The Soldier’s Project is stored securely and a range of safeguards have been implemented to ensure health and mental health information remains 100% confidential and protected against unauthorized access. In order to provide quality care and support, the Soldier’s Project must transmit sensitive information to healthcare professionals and others involved in an individual’s care. To ensure all sensitive information is protected in transit against unauthorized access, The Soldier’s Project has partnered with the leading secure mobile messaging solution provider Lua. Lua’s HIPAA-compliant secure communications platform was created to allow sensitive data to be quickly, easily, and efficiently shared. The platform allows health information such as medical images to...

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TigerConnect Announces New QGenda Integration
Mar15

TigerConnect Announces New QGenda Integration

Customers of QGenda, the leading provider of automated, cloud-based scheduling software, can now easily obtain the full benefits of the TigerConnect secure healthcare communications platform now that the two solutions have been integrated. The new integration ensures QGenda users can instantly access staff schedules embedded in the workflow and quickly and accurately communicate with all members of the care team in a secure, HIPAA-compliant manner. The TigerConnect Connection Hub has been integrated into QGenda On-Call to allow data and critical communications to be intelligently routed to individuals or designated care teams in real time. This ensures information can be accessed, shared, and acted upon in the shortest possible time frame. The integration allows communication by voice, text, or video call from the point of care via healthcare professionals’ smartphones. QGenda On-Call is an innovative solution that improves access to on-call schedules and creates a single source of truth on on-call providers and staff. Through the platform, all members of the care team can find out...

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HIPAA Social Media Rules
Mar12

HIPAA Social Media Rules

HIPAA was enacted several years before social media networks such as Facebook were launched, so there are no specific HIPAA social media rules; however, there are HIPAA laws and standards that apply to social media use by healthcare organizations and their employees. Healthcare organizations must therefore implement a HIPAA social media policy to reduce the risk of privacy violations. There are many benefits to be gained from using social media. Social media channels allow healthcare organizations to interact with patients and get them more involved in their own healthcare. Healthcare organizations can quickly and easily communicate important messages or provide information about new services. Healthcare providers can attract new patients via social media websites. However, there is also considerable potential for HIPAA Rules and patient privacy to be violated on social media networks. So how can healthcare organizations and their employees use social media without violating HIPAA Rules? HIPAA and Social Media The first rule of using social media in healthcare is to never disclose...

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TigerText Rebranded as TigerConnect to Better Reflect Broad Functionality of the Clinical Communications Platform
Mar07

TigerText Rebranded as TigerConnect to Better Reflect Broad Functionality of the Clinical Communications Platform

Santa Monica, CA-based TigerText, the provider of the most widely used secure communication and collaboration platform in healthcare, was officially rebranded as TigerConnect on March 1, 2018. The new branding will be phased in gradually across the full range of TigerText products and services throughout 2018. The name change is intended to help usher in a new era of clinical communication and better reflects the broad functionality of the company’s clinical communications platform, which supports voice calls, video calls, text messaging, and provides instant, always-on connection between data and people. The new name also characterizes the company’s commitment to advancing healthcare-related outcomes for healthcare professionals and patients. Along with the name change comes a new logo, which is formed by four interlocking C’s which represent Connected Clinical Communication and Collaboration. “Our new name – TigerConnect – allows us to clearly articulate the true value our solutions deliver. We connect care teams, existing data systems, and ultimately healthcare communities...

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KLAS Rates QliqSOFT ‘Top Performing Vendor’ in its 2017 Secure Communications Report
Jan30

KLAS Rates QliqSOFT ‘Top Performing Vendor’ in its 2017 Secure Communications Report

The Healthcare IT data and insights company KLAS Research has released the 2017 KLAS Secure Communications Report. The report examines current levels of adoption of secure communications platforms in the healthcare industry together with how those solutions are performing in a clinical setting. KLAS Reports are relied upon by healthcare organizations to provide in-depth information on the best IT solutions on the market, saving providers valuable time when searching for a suitable IT solution to meet their needs. To create its reports, KLAS Research analysts interview healthcare providers and gather feedback on the performance of software solutions, how easy they are to implement and use, the level of service and support offered by solution providers, and what healthcare providers think of the solutions. KLAS also identifies the market leaders and solution providers that have gone the extra mile and have incorporated a comprehensive range of features into their software solutions to better serve the healthcare industry. The 2017 KLAS Secure Communications Report covers 15 top...

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CMS Clarifies Position on Use of Text Messages in Healthcare
Jan03

CMS Clarifies Position on Use of Text Messages in Healthcare

In November, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) explained in emails to healthcare providers that the use of text messages in healthcare is prohibited due to concerns about security and patient privacy. SMS messages are not secure. The CMS was concerned that the use of text messages in healthcare will lead to the exposure of sensitive patient data and could threaten the integrity of medical records. While this is understandable as far as SMS messages are concerned, many secure messaging applications satisfy all the requirements of HIPAA – e.g. transmission security, access and authentication controls, audit controls, and safeguards to ensure the integrity of PHI. The use of secure messaging platforms was raised with the CMS by some hospitals; however, the position of the CMS, based on the emails, appeared to be a total ban on the use of text messages in healthcare, even the use of secure messaging platforms. In the emails, the CMS said, “After meeting with vendors regarding these [secure messaging] products, it was determined they cannot always ensure the privacy...

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Is Google Voice HIPAA Compliant?
Dec28

Is Google Voice HIPAA Compliant?

Google Voice is a popular telephony service, but is Google Voice HIPAA compliant or can it be used in a HIPAA compliant way? Is it possible for healthcare organizations – or healthcare employees – to use the service without violating HIPAA Rules? Is Google Voice HIPAA Compliant? Google Voice is a popular and convenient telephony service that includes voicemail, voicemail transcription to text, the ability to send text messages free of charge, and many other useful features. It is therefore unsurprising that many healthcare professionals would like to use the service at work, as well as for personal use. In order for a service to be used in healthcare in conjunction with any protected health information (PHI) it must be possible to use it in a HIPAA compliant way. That means the service must be covered by the conduit exemption rule – which was introduced when the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule came into effect – or it must incorporate a range of controls and safeguards to meet the requirements of the HIPAA Security Rule. As with SMS, faxing and email, Google Voice is not...

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Is Facebook Messenger HIPAA Compliant?
Dec22

Is Facebook Messenger HIPAA Compliant?

Is Facebook Messenger HIPAA compliant? Is it OK to use the messaging service to send protected health information without violating HIPAA Rules? Many doctors and nurses communicate using chat platforms, but is it acceptable to use the platforms for sending PHI? One of the most popular chat platforms is Facebook Messenger. To help clear up confusion we will assess whether Facebook Messenger is HIPAA compliant and if the platform can be used to send PHI. In order to use any service to send PHI, it must incorporate security controls to ensure information cannot be intercepted in transit. In sort, messages need to be encrypted. Many chat platforms, including Facebook Messenger, do encrypt data in transit, so this aspect of HIPAA is satisfied. However, with Facebook Messenger, encryption is optional and users have to opt in. Provided that setting has been activated, only the sender and the receiver will be able to view the messages. However, there is more to HIPAA compliance than simply encrypting data in transit. There must be access and authentication controls to ensure only...

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TigerText, Geisinger, and George Washington Hospital Form New Patient Safety Committee
Dec08

TigerText, Geisinger, and George Washington Hospital Form New Patient Safety Committee

TigerText has announced the creation of a new multi-organizational Patient Safety Committee for hospitals and health systems using clinical communication and collaboration technologies. The new Committee consists of executives from TigerText, George Washington University Hospital, and the integrated health services organization Geisinger. The Committee will work together to identify new best practices for clinical communications tools and will develop notification and alert protocols and beta testing to create a safe patient environment. The Committee will meet every quarter to discuss strategies and best practices to improve patient safety and determine how the use of new, advanced communication and collaboration technology can enhance the delivery care and improve outcomes. Medical Director of Geisinger In Motion, Dr. Jonathan Slotkin, has accepted the position of Committee Chair after being nominated by TigerText. “I am thrilled that TigerText approached me to lead this initiative,” said Dr. Slotkin at the inaugural meeting of the Committee in late November. “Geisinger leverages...

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TigerFlow Enterprise Clinical Communications and Collaboration Platform Launched by TigerText
Nov29

TigerFlow Enterprise Clinical Communications and Collaboration Platform Launched by TigerText

TigerText has announced the launch of a new clinical communications and collaboration (CC&C) platform – TigerFlow Enterprise – that the firm believes will revolutionize the way care teams communicate and interact with patient data across the entire organization. TigerText is currently the most broadly adopted secure messaging solution in healthcare. The company is a pioneer in secure messaging and has spent almost a decade developing and perfecting its secure, HIPAA-compliant messaging solution. The new CC&C platform has been three years in development and will further cement the company’s position as the leading secure healthcare communication solution provider. TigerFlow Enterprise is a workflow-enhancing communications platform that automates and delivers system information across the entire healthcare organization through embedded workflow communications. Some of the largest health systems in the United States have provided their input on the features and capabilities of the platform to ensure it addresses their advanced communication and collaboration needs. The...

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HIMSS Draws Attention to Five Current Cybersecurity Threats
Nov02

HIMSS Draws Attention to Five Current Cybersecurity Threats

In its October Cybersecurity report, HIMSS draws attention to five current cybersecurity threats that could potentially be used against healthcare organizations to gain access to networks and protected health information. Wi-Fi Attacks Security researchers have identified a new attack method called a key reinstallation (CRACK) attack that can be conducted on WiFi networks using the WPA2 protocol. These attacks take advantage of a flaw in the way the protocol performs a 4-way handshake when a user attempts to connect to the network. By manipulating and replaying the cryptographic handshake messages, it would be possible to reinstall a key that was already in use and to intercept all communications. The use of a VPN when using Wi-Fi networks is strongly recommended to limit the potential for this attack scenario and man-in-the-middle attacks. BadRabbit Ransomware Limited BadRabbit ransomware attacks have occurred in the United States, although the NotPetya style ransomware attacks have been extensive in Ukraine. As with NotPetya, it is believed the intention is to cause disruption...

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Is Skype HIPAA Compliant?
Oct13

Is Skype HIPAA Compliant?

Text messaging platforms such as Skype are a convenient way of quickly communicating information, but is Skype HIPAA compliant? Can Skype be used to send text messages containing electronic protected health information (ePHI) without risking violating HIPAA Rules? There is currently some debate surrounding Skype and HIPAA compliance. Skype includes security features to prevent unauthorized access of information transmitted via the platform and messages are encrypted. But does Skype satisfy all requirements of HIPAA Rules? This article will attempt to answer the question, Is Skype HIPAA compliant? Is Skype a Business Associate? Is Skype a HIPAA business associate? That is a matter that has been much debated. Skype could be considered an exception under the Conduit Rule – being merely a conduit through which information flows. If that is the case, a business associate agreement would not be necessary. However, a business associate agreement is necessary if a vendor creates, receives, maintains, or transmits PHI on behalf of a HIPAA-covered entity or one of its business associates....

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Is WhatsApp HIPAA Compliant?
Oct06

Is WhatsApp HIPAA Compliant?

When WhatsApp announced it was introducing end-to-end encryption, it opened up the prospect of healthcare organizations using the platform as an almost free secure messaging app, but is WhatsApp HIPAA compliant? Many healthcare employees have been asking if WhatsApp is HIPAA compliant, and some healthcare professionals are already using the text messaging app to send protected health information (PHI). However, while WhatsApp does offer far greater protection than SMS messages and some other text messaging platforms, we believe WhatsApp is not a HIPAA compliant messaging platform. Why Isn’t WhatsApp HIPAA Compliant? First, it is important to point out that no software platform or messaging app can be truly HIPAA compliant, because HIPAA compliance is not about software. It is about users. Software can support HIPAA compliance and incorporate all the necessary safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI, but those controls can easily be undone by users. HIPAA does not demand that encryption is used. Provided an alternate, equivalent measure is...

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HIPAA Compliance for Home Health Care
Oct05

HIPAA Compliance for Home Health Care

HIPAA compliance for home health care workers can be difficult due to unique challenges they encounter that do not exist in brick and mortar hospitals. Home health care workers provide a valuable service for patients in the community – either visiting patients who are unable to attend hospital in their homes, or checking on their well-being via phone or video. These two scenarios raise unique challenges, and complicate HIPAA compliance for home health care workers – particularly with regard to the permitted disclosure of Protected Health Information. Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, patients have the right to request details of their illnesses are withheld from some or all third parties. These third parties can include friends, family members and members of the clergy. Even when consent is given, health care workers – wherever they are located – should not disclose more than the minimum necessary Protected Health Information to third parties. This can cause awkward situations – and awkward relationships – in home environments when friends and family...

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TigerText and Samsung Collaboration Helps to Accelerate Speed of Care and Improve the Patient Experience
Sep29

TigerText and Samsung Collaboration Helps to Accelerate Speed of Care and Improve the Patient Experience

The secure healthcare communication and collaboration platform provider TigerText has announced a new strategic collaboration with Samsung Electronics America, Inc. to deliver a purpose-built healthcare solution that can be used to accelerate the speed of care and improve the patient experience. The new solution has been developed for clinical staff members in hospitals and other care facilities and incorporates the dependability, security, and ease of use of Samsung smartphones with the communication and collaboration capabilities of TigerText. TigerFlow, TigerText’s clinically integrated workflow engine, draws information from EHRs, nurse call, scheduling, admit/discharge/transfer, medical imaging, and lab test results, which can be accessed through a single interface to provide mobile-centric notifications and communication in real-time. Through the use of the platform, continuity of care can be streamlined, and less time is wasted playing phone tag, tracking down colleagues, and completing redundant admin tasks. The time savings mean clinicians can spend more time providing...

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Researchers Call for Updates to Guidelines for Emailing Patients
Aug30

Researchers Call for Updates to Guidelines for Emailing Patients

Researchers from Indiana University have conducted a study of current guidelines on emailing patients and have identified major weaknesses, a lack of up-to-date best practices, and outdated security practices that are no longer required due to changes in technology. Additionally, they confirmed there is a lack of information on new methods of communication such as secure texting and a lack of evidence showing the effectiveness of proposed practices for emailing and texting patients. There was little to no evidence on how using email or text messages to communicate with patients could improve patient outcomes and a lack of information on how new communication tools could be used effectively by practitioners. The researchers studied 11 sets of guidelines on electronically communicating with patients and found weaknesses across the board. The pace of change of technology is not reflected in the available guidelines, with many of the recommendations no longer required. The researchers were unsure if any of the valid recommendations in the guidelines are actually being followed. The...

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Survey Shows Only a Quarter of Hospitals Have Implemented Secure Text Messaging Platforms
Jul25

Survey Shows Only a Quarter of Hospitals Have Implemented Secure Text Messaging Platforms

The use of secure text messaging platforms in healthcare has grown over the past few years, although a recent survey published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine suggests adoption of HIPAA-compliant messaging systems remains relatively low, with only a quarter of hospitals using a secure platform for sending messages to clinicians. The survey was conducted on 620 hospital-based clinicians identified from the Society of Hospital Medicine database. Secure text messaging platforms comply with HIPAA Rules and feature end-to-end encryption to prevent messages from being intercepted. Access controls are also incorporated to ensure only the intended recipient can view messages. Since messages cannot be sent outside the system, the platforms prevent accidental disclosures of PHI. Multi-media messages can also be sent, including test results and images. Secure text messaging platforms are a natural replacement for outdated pagers, allowing much more meaningful communication, although the survey suggests only 26.6% of hospitals have introduced the systems. Even when secure messaging systems...

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TigerText Secure Messaging Platform Update Helps Optimize Clinical Workflow
Jun03

TigerText Secure Messaging Platform Update Helps Optimize Clinical Workflow

TigerText, the leading HIPAA-compliant secure text messaging platform provider, has announced a new release of its platform. The updated version of the TigerText platform includes a host of new features that improve usability and help reduce the costs of care delivery and improve clinical workflow efficiency.     The new features include an automatic message forwarding function, priority messaging feature and a new standalone desktop application. The desktop app helps healthcare professionals coordinate patient care more efficiently and speed up the exchange of information. TigerText collects comments from platform users via its voice-of-the-customer program. Hundreds of comments have been submitted which were reviewed and evaluated by the product development team. Requests for updates and new features were prioritized to ensure the most beneficial changes were brought to market quickly. The full list of updates for Android, iOS and desktop applications are detailed below: New Desktop App: The new app includes automatic updates and alerts and allows the TigerText...

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Patient-Physician Texting to Be Covered at AMA Annual Meeting
May10

Patient-Physician Texting to Be Covered at AMA Annual Meeting

Text messages are a quick and easy method of communication, although for healthcare professionals the use of SMS messages carries considerable privacy risks. While text messages can be used to communicate quickly with members of a care team, the inclusion of any protected health information (PHI) or personally identifiable information (PII) violates HIPAA Rules. SMS texts are unencrypted, potentially allowing unauthorized individuals to access the messages and view the contents. SMS messages may also be stored on the servers of service providers. Those messages may remain on unsecured servers indefinitely. Copies of SMS texts can remain on the sender’s and recipients phone. In the event that either the sender or recipient’s phone is lost or stolen, PHI/PII in messages may be exposed. With SMS messages, there are no HIPAA-compliant controls to verify the identity of the recipient or for the recipient to verify the identity of the sender. The lack of safeguards in place to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of PHI and limited authentication controls means the sending of any...

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Majority of Organizations Failing to Protect Against Mobile Device Security Breaches
May05

Majority of Organizations Failing to Protect Against Mobile Device Security Breaches

A recent report published by Dimensional Research has highlighted the growing threat of mobile device security breaches and how little organizations are doing to mitigate risk. Cybercriminals may view employees as one of the weakest links in the security chain, but mobile devices are similarly viewed as an easy way of gaining access to data and corporate networks. According to the report, the threat of mobile cyberattacks in growing. Two out of ten companies have already experienced a mobile device cyberattack, although in many cases, organizations are not even aware that a cyberattack on a mobile device has occurred. The survey, which was conducted on 410 security professionals, found that two thirds of respondents were doubtful they would be able to prevent a cyberattack on mobile devices and 51% believed the risk of data theft/loss via mobile devices was equal to or greater than the risk of data theft/loss from PCs and laptops. Yet, a third of respondents said they did not adequately protect mobile devices. 94% of respondents said cyberattacks on mobile devices will become more...

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New HIPAA Guidance in 2017: Texting, Social Media, & Case Walkthrough
Feb22

New HIPAA Guidance in 2017: Texting, Social Media, & Case Walkthrough

At HIMSS17, OCR’s Deven McGraw shed some light on the HIPAA guidance OCR expects to release in 2017. OCR may be busy with assessing the findings of the HIPAA compliance desk audits of healthcare organizations and their business associates, but a swathe of new HIPAA guidance is set to be released this year. Last year, the Joint Commission lifted the ban on the use of text messages for orders, although within weeks of the announcement the ban was back in place. Late last year, the Joint Commission partially lifted the ban, saying the use of a secure text messaging platform was acceptable for doctors when communicating with each other, although the use of text messages – regardless of whether a secure, HIPAA-compliant platform was used – remained prohibited. OCR receives many questions from physicians and covered entities on the use of text messaging and HIPAA Rules. McGraw has confirmed that in response to the many questions, OCR will be issuing HIPAA guidance on text messaging later this year. In an interview with Information Security Media Group, McGraw explained “There are a...

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Vizient Inc., Awards Group Purchasing Contract to QliqSOFT Inc.
Feb21

Vizient Inc., Awards Group Purchasing Contract to QliqSOFT Inc.

The clinical communications solution provider QliqSOFT has been awarded a group purchasing contract by Vizient, Inc., the largest member-driven, healthcare performance improvement company in the United States. Under the terms of the agreement, QliqSOFT will offer its popular HIPAA-compliant secure messaging platform – Qliq – its CareChannels collaboration solution, and its OnCall Scheduling service to Vizient members at contract rates, providing enhanced savings to Vizient’s membership and customer base, which includes pediatric facilities, community medical centers, academic medical centers, integrated healthcare delivery networks, and non-acute healthcare providers. “We are extremely excited about our agreement with Vizient to offer our flagship secure texting solution to its membership at contract pricing,” said QliqSOFT CEO Krishna Kurapati. “This validates QliqSOFT’s model of providing the most robust cloud-based secure texting service that does not store PHI in the cloud.” The healthcare industry in the United States has been slow to adopt modern communications solutions....

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TigerText to Provide Healthcare Messaging for New Hampshire Health Information Organization
Feb20

TigerText to Provide Healthcare Messaging for New Hampshire Health Information Organization

TigerText has announced that the company´s secure messaging platform has been selected to provide secure healthcare messaging for the New Hampshire Health Information Organization. The New Hampshire Health Information Organization (HNNIO) is a non-profit organization created to facilitate the digital exchange of patient health information. The HNNIO connects more than one hundred healthcare providers in New Hampshire in order to share patient health information needed for informed care decisions, and to improve quality, efficiency and patient safety while reducing healthcare costs. The organization has selected TigerText to provide secure messaging in order that physicians, nurses, and care providers can quickly connect with one another in a secure and compliant manner that ultimately improves patient care, workflow and ROI. Mary Beth Eldredge, Board Chair of NHHIO said “The use of secure texting can greatly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of care coordination and provider communication.” The TigerText platform will provided the network with an efficient and secure method...

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Role-Based Scheduling Automation Launched by TigerText
Feb17

Role-Based Scheduling Automation Launched by TigerText

TigerText has unveiled a brand-new feature of its healthcare messaging app – Role-based Scheduling Automation – that dynamically populates role assignments and user profiles within the app. The Roles function solves one a major communications challenge in healthcare – Ensuring healthcare staff get in touch with the right person, at the right time, without knowing who is on call or the person’s name. A great deal of time is wasted finding out this information and oftentimes off-shift workers are disturbed during downtime by misdirected calls. The Role-based Scheduling Automation feature was developed to solve this communications challenge. TigerText worked closely with users and conducted interviews and performed market research to determine the functions and features required ad performed extensive testing to fine tune the new feature. Data is fed into TigerText from scheduling applications such as Amion, ensuring role owners are accurately reflected in the TigerText app, even during shift changes. Roles allows administrators to assign specific staff members to functions such...

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Faxing Error Sees PHI Sent to Local Media Outlet
Feb16

Faxing Error Sees PHI Sent to Local Media Outlet

Seven doctors’ offices in the Fort Worth area of Texas accidentally faxed patients’ protected health information to the wrong fax number. The faxes contained a range of highly sensitive patient information including names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, medical histories and much more. While such a mistake could potentially see patients’ health information fall into the hands of criminals, in this case the errors saw the faxes sent to local media outlet, WFAA. The faxes received by WFAA related to at least 28 separate patients and should have been sent to Baylor Surgicare of Oakmont. The fax number used by the Fort Worth medical facility was identical to WFAA’s except for a single digit. In this case, the seven doctors’ offices were contacted and informed of the error and the faxes were securely destroyed, although the incident shows how easy it is for sensitive patient data to be sent to incorrect recipients by fax. While an incident such as this is unlikely to result in a HIPAA violation penalty from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights,...

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Healthcare Pages Intercepted and Posted Online
Dec30

Healthcare Pages Intercepted and Posted Online

Providence Health & Services, a not-for-profit health system operating in Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, has discovered its paging system has been breached by an unauthorized individual. Pages were intercepted and posted online exposing a limited amount of patients’ protected health information. The individual responsible for the pager attack posted pager transmissions that included patients’ names, room numbers, medication data, birth dates, medical record numbers, symptoms, diagnoses, and details of medical procedures. Providence Health & Services reports that the information sent via its pager network was limited to the minimum necessary information, in accordance with HIPAA Rules. Pages were accessed and disclosed publicly between October 25 and October 28, 2016. The breach was discovered on October 27. The breach notification letters sent to patients explain that PHI was only accessible on the website for a “couple of minutes at most.” The incident was not limited to Providence Health & Services. Other healthcare organizations were also...

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Joint Commission Ban on Secure Messaging for Orders Remains in Place
Dec22

Joint Commission Ban on Secure Messaging for Orders Remains in Place

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare’s (Joint Commission) ban on the use of secure text messaging platforms for patient care orders will remain in place, according to its December newsletter. In April 2016, the Joint Commission took the decision to allow the use of a secure texting platform for sending orders. The ban was not totally lifted, as the Joint Commission required certain components to be in place and certain standards to be followed to ensure patient safety was not placed at risk. The ban was originally put in place as SMS messages were not secure. It was also not possible to verify the sender of a message nor for original message to be retained for auditing purposes. Since the original ban was introduced, a number of companies developed secure text messaging platforms that incorporated all of the necessary security features to ensure messages could not be intercepted. Those messaging platforms also allowed the identity of the sender to be verified, ensured that messages were retained for auditing purposes, and a slew of other privacy and security controls...

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Security Risks of Unencrypted Pages Evaluated
Dec20

Security Risks of Unencrypted Pages Evaluated

Pagers are still extensively used in the healthcare industry even though the devices have been shown to pose a considerable security risk. Trend Micro has recently demonstrated – in the company’s ‘Leaking Beeps’ series of reports – the extent to which pagers leak data and how easy it is for sensitive information to be intercepted by cybercriminals. The equipment needed to intercept unencrypted pages can even be purchased for as little as $20. The third installment in the Leaking Beeps series of reports has just been released, further highlighting the risk of exposure of healthcare data and showing how cybercriminals could attack the systems to which pagers connect. Trend Micro draws attention to two tools in particular that could be used by hackers to gain access to systems and data: SMS-to-pager gateways and email-to-pager gateways. SMS-to-pager gateways use specific numbers to receive SMS messages and forward them to pre-configured pagers. SMS-to-pager gateways are commonly used by healthcare organizations and the data transmitted is often unencrypted. Not only can messages...

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TigerText Announces Record-Breaking Year for Growth
Dec16

TigerText Announces Record-Breaking Year for Growth

TigerText, the nation’s leading secure healthcare messaging platform provider, has announced it has recorded another record-breaking year for growth, signing up over 300 healthcare organizations in 2016. The company now boasts more than 3,000 healthcare customers in the United States, including five of the top ten largest health systems in the country. More than 10 million secure messages are now being sent via the TigerText platform every day and the platform is used in over 5,000 healthcare facilities in the United States. TigerText was originally developed as a standalone messaging platform, yet over the course of the past 6 years it has evolved into a comprehensive clinical communications platform. The platform has been tailored to meet the exacting needs of healthcare organizations, including the strict privacy and security controls required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This year has seen two major new developments. Earlier this year, the TigerText platform achieved the prestigious HITRUST certification and in October the company launched...

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Study Highlights Risk of PHI Exposure from Unencrypted Healthcare Pagers
Oct27

Study Highlights Risk of PHI Exposure from Unencrypted Healthcare Pagers

Many healthcare providers have now transitioned from pagers to more secure forms of communication. Secure text messaging platforms allow protected health information to be shared quickly and efficiently between physicians and care team members. Those platforms incorporate the necessary security features to ensure messages cannot be intercepted and viewed by unauthorized individuals. However, pagers typically lack security controls such as encryption. Many even lack the functionality to be able to authenticate users. As such, many pager systems used by healthcare providers are violating HIPAA Rules. A recent study conducted by Trend Micro has clearly shown just how easy it is for healthcare pager messages to be intercepted. Researchers found they could intercept and decode pager messages using only a software-defined radio (SDR) and a USB dongle – Equipment that can be purchased for as little as $20. Further, it is not even necessary to be in close proximity to the source of the pages to intercept messages. The $20 equipment is capable of picking up messages many miles from the...

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TigerText Launches TigerFlow: A Clinical Communications Platform for Value-Based Care
Oct20

TigerText Launches TigerFlow: A Clinical Communications Platform for Value-Based Care

TigerText, the leading secure messaging platform provider for the healthcare industry, has announced the launch of Tigerflow: A new enterprise-wide clinical communications platform for healthcare providers.  TigerFlow has been developed to help healthcare organizations streamline communications with care teams and provide physicians, nurses, and support staff with easy access to actionable information through a single mobile-friendly ecosystem. The workflow-centric platform has data integration capabilities allowing information that would normally only be accessible through disparate workstations to be accessed by a wide range of healthcare professionals through their mobile devices, naturally with appropriate access controls to ensure only individuals authorized to view the information are granted access. The new platform incorporates a range of functions designed to accelerate adoption, reduce operational costs, raise productivity of the workforce and improve patient outcomes. The platform can integrate with clinical electronic medical record systems and features intelligent...

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TigerText Receives HITRUST CSF Certification
Jul28

TigerText Receives HITRUST CSF Certification

Secure healthcare messaging platform provider TigerText has achieved CSF Certification from the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST). TigerText is the first vendor in its class to earn HITRUST CSF certification. HITRUST CSF was developed to help organizations in the healthcare sector certify that they have implemented the necessary privacy and security controls in compliance HIPAA and HITECH legislation, in addition to globally recognized standards and frameworks developed by NIST, ISO, PCI, FTC, and COBIT. Since the HITRUST CSF was developed it has fast become the most widely-adopted security framework in the U.S. healthcare industry. In order for organizations to earn HITRUST CSF certification they must be able to demonstrate that they meet key healthcare regulations covering the protection of sensitive healthcare information and that they are effectively managing risk. As Ken Vander Wal, Chief Compliance Officer at HITRUST, explains “The HITRUST CSF has become the information protection framework for the healthcare industry, and the CSF Assurance program is bringing a new...

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Lifting of Joint Commission Ban on Secure Text Orders Delayed until Fall
Jul18

Lifting of Joint Commission Ban on Secure Text Orders Delayed until Fall

The lifting of the Joint Commission ban on secure text orders was welcomed by healthcare organizations and secure messaging providers; however, the ban is now back in place. Text orders cannot currently be sent, even if a secure messaging platform is used. Joint Commission Ban on Secure Text Orders Lifted Only for a Month The lifting of the Joint Commission ban on secure text orders was announced in the May Perspectives newsletter, although the June Newsletter explained that organizations wishing to use a secure messaging platform must first be provided with further guidance to help them incorporate the texting of orders into their policies and procedures. The May Perspectives newsletter explained that “effective immediately” the Joint Commission ban on secure text orders was lifted. The newsletter explained that in order for healthcare organizations to start using text messages to transmit orders a number of conditions needed to be satisfied. Standard text messaging platforms could not be used due to the risk of data being intercepted. The texting of orders would only be permitted...

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TigerText Announces Collaboration with Honeywell
Jun02

TigerText Announces Collaboration with Honeywell

TigerText, the leading provider of secure text messaging solutions for the healthcare industry, has announced that users of the Honeywell’s new Dolphin™ CT50h smartphone can now use the TigerText secure messaging app. TigerText has been working closely with Honeywell to develop a customized version of its app which can be downloaded onto the Dolphin smartphone. The new version of the TigerText app works with the next-generation scanner on Honeywell’s Dolphin™ CT50h smartphone, which can be used to verify patients’ identities. TigerText has incorporated its bot technology which allows healthcare data to be pulled directly from healthcare providers’ electronic medical record systems. Physicians can use the app to retrieve critical up-to-date health information about patients’ medications by scanning barcodes with the Dolphin smartphone. The TigerText app allows physicians to obtain EMR data in real time, ensuring they can access all patient data including recent procedures and notes entered by all members of the care team. Having access to the most up-to-date patient information will...

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TigerText Launches HealthBot Capable of Automating the Provision of Healthcare Information to Patients
May13

TigerText Launches HealthBot Capable of Automating the Provision of Healthcare Information to Patients

TigerText has launched a new secure, HIPAA-compliant, messenger service for web portals and mobile applications which automates a wide range of tasks that previously required the time of support staff. All too often patients face extended wait times when calling hospitals and other healthcare facilities and hold times in excess of 30 minutes are far from uncommon. Obtaining answers to questions and making routine appointments is rarely a quick process, causing considerable frustration for patients. Patient web portals are a convenient way of communicating with patients more efficiently, yet healthcare staff are still required to man the web portals. Many of the questions asked by patients via web portals can be easily handled by a messenger bot. Automating these services can reduce patient waiting times and provide patients with instant answers to their questions. With the cost of healthcare expected to increase by 5.8% each year, healthcare organizations need to find new ways to improve efficiency and lower operational costs. Messenger bots can allow patients to receive...

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Lua Secures GSA Advantage Schedule 70 Contract for its Secure Messaging Platform
May12

Lua Secures GSA Advantage Schedule 70 Contract for its Secure Messaging Platform

Sengex, a data security firm that provides mobile security solutions to government agencies, has announced that the Lua secure mobile communication platform is now available on the Sengex platform though the US General Services Administration’s (GSA) Advantage Schedule 70 contract. The GSA is responsible for managing and supporting the basic functioning of government agencies. Part of its role involves establishing long-term contracts with commercial companies and securing their products and services at bulk discount rates for use in all federal agencies. GSA awards an Advantage Schedule 70 contract to commercial technology vendors that are in compliance with all appropriate laws and regulations and have been determined to offer quality products and services at a fair and reasonable price point.  While it is not necessary for a company to be awarded an Advantage Schedule 70 contract in order to provide products and services to government agencies, the contract removes a lot of red tape and using those pre-approved companies can significantly reduce administrative costs. Lua has...

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HIPAA Incident Highlights Importance of Using a Secure Messaging Platform
May11

HIPAA Incident Highlights Importance of Using a Secure Messaging Platform

Earlier this year, BioReference Laboratories Inc., (BRLI) discovered that a number of phlebotomists had adopted the practice of using their smartphones to take photographs of laboratory test requests in order to transmit them to BLRI. The practice was drawn to the attention of BRLI on February 9 this year. An investigation was conducted which revealed smartphones had been used by some of the company’s phlebotomists in Florida for this purpose since January 2013. The practice continued until February 10, 2016. Over the course of four years, the lab test requests relating to 3,563 individuals had been photographed and transmitted over an unsecured network. The data typically photographed included full names of patients, birth dates, addresses, medical record numbers, admission/discharge dates, health insurance information, details of the laboratory tests that were ordered, diagnosis codes, and Social Security numbers. BRLI has no reason to believe that any of the photographs were intercepted, obtained, or viewed by unauthorized individuals or that any data have been used in...

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Joint Commission Ends Ban on Clinician Text Messaging
Apr29

Joint Commission Ends Ban on Clinician Text Messaging

For the past five years the Joint Commission has banned the use of text messaging by licensed independent practitioners (and other practitioners) due to security risks. That ban has now been lifted with immediate effect, although there are conditions. Test messaging is permissible, although only if a secure text messaging platform is used. Furthermore, that secure text messaging platform must meet the following criteria: The text messaging platform must incorporate a secure sign-on process All text messages must be protected by end to end encryption The platform must incorporate read and delivery receipts Messages must include a date and time stamp The platform must incorporate a contact list of individuals authorized to receive and record orders, and The platform must allow customized message retention time frames to be set Standard text messaging is still prohibited as encryption is not used, there are no authentication controls to ensure that only the intended recipient can view the messages, and original messages cannot be retained in order to validate information entered into...

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U.S. Cellular Customers Can Now Take Advantage of Secure Text Messaging from TigerText
Apr18

U.S. Cellular Customers Can Now Take Advantage of Secure Text Messaging from TigerText

Customers of U.S. Cellular – the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States – can now take advantage of secure text messaging from TigerText in order to protect confidential conversations and data. According to a press release issued earlier today by the Santa Monica based secure messaging provider, individual and corporate customers of U.S. Cellular will be able to take advantage of TigerText´s secure text messaging technology to protect private and restricted conversations with the security and level of confidentiality required by legal regulatory standards such as HIPAA, SOX and FINRA. TigerText is a leading provider of secure, real-time messaging solutions in many regulated industries. Committed to keeping mobile communications secure, private and impermanent, TigerText has been rated by KLAS as the most widely-adopted solution in the healthcare industry, with four of the top five largest for-profit healthcare systems in the country relying on the company´s secure messaging solutions to keep communications safe, improve workflows and comply...

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One In Five Companies Has Suffered a Data Breach Involving Mobile Devices
Apr03

One In Five Companies Has Suffered a Data Breach Involving Mobile Devices

One in five companies has suffered a data breach involving mobile devices according to a study recently published by Crowd Research Partners. 39% of respondents said malware had been downloaded onto devices supplied to employees by their company or used under BYOD schemes, and almost a quarter of respondents said devices had connected to malicious Wi-Fi networks. The number of devices that had been compromised is a concern; however, what is more worrying is the extent to which organizations are monitoring the devices that are allowed to connect to their networks. When asked whether devices had connected to malicious networks, 48% of respondents said they were not sure. When asked whether malware had been downloaded onto mobile devices, 35% said they were not sure, and 37% could not say whether mobile devices were involved in security breaches at their organizations. These results suggest that while mobile devices are allowed to connect to work networks, the controls put in place to keep those devices secure were insufficient in many organizations. When asked about the risk control...

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TigerText´s Latest Update Will Help Deliver Faster, High Quality Healthcare
Mar23

TigerText´s Latest Update Will Help Deliver Faster, High Quality Healthcare

TigerText has released a number of new features on its secure messaging solution that will help deliver faster, high quality healthcare in compliance with HIPAA. According to Brad Brooks – the company´s co-founder and president – the new features in the latest Spring 16 TigerText release are the result of listening to and translating customer feedback into useful and relevant updates. He explained that through TigerText´s “voice of the customer” program, requests for new features were shared regularly with the product development team, who prioritized the most relevant requests and brought them to market. Among the innovative features in the latest TigerText release: • A new self-updating desktop app with built-in alerts will allow any authorized user to access TigerText from a PC or Mac. • Messages will automatically be auto-forwarded to a colleague when a user´s app is in “Do Not Disturb” mode. • Priority messages will now remain at the top of the recipient´s inbox and emit a distinctive ring for instant differentiation. • TigerText users will now be able to set up...

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Non-Compliant Hospital Pager Use Persists
Mar18

Non-Compliant Hospital Pager Use Persists

Communicating protected health information (PHI) over unsecured networks is not permitted under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Rules, which means pagers cannot be used to send PHI unless messages are encrypted. Encryption alone is not sufficient to ensure compliance with HIPAA. Not only must messages be encrypted to prevent interception, there must be a means of verifying the identity of the user. User authentication is essential, as there is no guarantee that a message containing PHI will be received by the intended recipient. If a pager is lost, stolen, or is left unattended, PHI could potentially be accessed by an unauthorized individual. It is also necessary to implement controls to automatically log off users and allow messages to be remotely erased in the event that a pager is lost or stolen. Due to the cost implications of applying these safeguards, and the difficult in doing so, many hospitals implement policies that prohibit the transmission of PHI over the pager network. If PHI needs to be communicated, a pager message is sent and the...

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University of Louisville School of Dentistry Improves Care Coordination with Lua Text Message Platform
Mar10

University of Louisville School of Dentistry Improves Care Coordination with Lua Text Message Platform

The University of Louisville School of Dentistry has implemented a new, secure messaging system to improve communication between its 1,000 staff and students. UoL School of Dentistry runs graduate programs and teaches general dentistry and dental hygiene to around 600 students. Due to the sensitive nature of data that must be communicated it is essential to have a highly secure communications platform in place. That platform must be mobile friendly as the majority of communications take place using mobile devices, but also be suitable for use on other devices such as desktop computers. The solution must also be compliant with all provisions of HIPAA to ensure that protected health information can be transmitted safely and securely using the platform. Before the new system was introduced, staff were reliant on consumer messaging apps for internal communications. While these apps allowed staff to collaborate, they were only of use for casual discussions as they were not HIPAA compliant. Text messages were convenient, but their use was limited as they could not be used in conjunction...

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HIPAA Compliance for Small Medical Practices Remains a Problem
Mar01

HIPAA Compliance for Small Medical Practices Remains a Problem

While large healthcare systems have mostly got to grips with HIPAA Rules and implemented controls to safeguard ePHI from external and internal threats, HIPAA compliance for small medical practices remains a problem according to a recent survey conducted by NueMD. NueMD surveyed 900 healthcare professionals last month to gain an insight into how small medical practices are faring with their compliance efforts ahead of the next round of OCR compliance audits due later this year. 588 respondents worked in practices employing 1-3 physicians, 131 were from practices employing 4-10 providers. 80 larger practices that employ over 10 healthcare providers also took part in the survey. 86% of respondents were from medical practices and 6% worked in billing companies. The survey produced some surprising and worrying results. 60% of respondents were unaware of the upcoming HIPAA compliance audits Only 69% of respondents were aware of the 2013 Omnibus Rule 30% did not have a HIPAA compliance plan in place Only 58% conducted annual staff training on HIPAA Rules Only 68% were aware they needed...

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HiMSS Publishes Report on Pagers
Feb29

HiMSS Publishes Report on Pagers

HiMSS Analytics has published a new report offering insight into the real cost of pagers in healthcare. The report quantifies the cost of pagers and highlights the advantages that can be gained from switching to more efficient methods of healthcare communication such as HIPAA-compliant secure messaging apps. Healthcare Providers Reluctant to Retire Pagers Many industries have embraced new communications technology and are now using smartphones to communicate with employees; however, many healthcare organizations are still using outdated pager technology to communicate with physicians and nurses. Pagers have served the healthcare industry well for decades, yet they are inefficient, only allow one-way communication, and can cause communication delays and workflow disruptions. While it is clear that the technology is outdated and needs to be replaced, a great many healthcare providers have been slow to make the move to new channels of communication. This has been attributed, in part, to misconceptions about the value offered by pagers and inaccurate estimates of the actual cost of...

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TigerText´s Latest Collaboration with Box will Accelerate Consults and Diagnoses
Feb29

TigerText´s Latest Collaboration with Box will Accelerate Consults and Diagnoses

The latest collaboration between TigerText and Box adds DICOM imaging to the types of files that can be shared between medical professionals on the TigerText platform. Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) is a healthcare industry standard for managing, storing, printing and transmitting information associated with medical imaging that has a file format definition designed to eliminate data inoperability barriers. DICOM facilitates the integration of servers, workstations, scanners, printers and network hardware from various manufacturers into a universal picture archiving and communication system that is widely used by hospitals and other medical facilities to share X-rays, CT scans and ultrasounds. Now, due to the collaboration between TigerText and Box, medical professionals will be able to collaborate on DICOM images securely and with no risk of HIPAA compliance issues – accelerating consults and diagnoses, and enhancing patient care. Improving Communications across the Healthcare Continuum TigerText first announced the integration of secure messaging...

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TigerText´s Secure Messaging Apps Available for Salesforce Health Cloud
Feb29

TigerText´s Secure Messaging Apps Available for Salesforce Health Cloud

TigerText has announced that the integration of its secure messaging apps will be available to extend the capabilities of Salesforce Health Cloud. Salesforce Health Cloud is a patient relationship management solution that enables healthcare providers to gain a complete view of the patient using data from electronic medical records (EMRs) and wearable electronic health apps. The concept behind the management solution is that it enables greater patient engagement across their caregiver networks, enabling healthcare providers to make better informed care decisions. The platform also enables healthcare providers to safely and securely manage patient data. With the addition of TigerText´s secure messaging apps, Salesforce Health Cloud customers will now be able to embed the TigerText secure messaging service in their Health Cloud portals, enabling healthcare providers to conduct HIPAA-compliant conversations for streamlined care coordination and patient handoffs. Communication the Key to Effective Care Delivery According to Joshua Newman – Chief Medical Office at Salesforce...

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New Research Reveals the Hidden Costs of Pagers for Healthcare Organizations
Feb26

New Research Reveals the Hidden Costs of Pagers for Healthcare Organizations

New research has revealed that the “soft costs” of pagers in healthcare organizations could mean that hospitals are overpaying to maintain legacy paging services. The study – sponsored by TigerText – was conducted by HIMSS Analytics and concerned pager use in more than 200 hospitals throughout the U.S. The majority of the survey´s participants had a direct role in the selection, purchase or management of pagers, and the study was supported by interview-based research with senior executives at the largest participating hospitals. The report resulting from the study – “The Hidden Cost of Pagers in Healthcare” revealed that 90% of the surveyed organizations still use pagers and on average spend around $180,000 per year – with the average paging service costing $9.19 per month per device, compared to TigerText´s own research showing the cost of their secure messaging alternative to be less than $5 per month per user. Commenting on the conclusion of the survey, Bryan Fiekers – Director of the Advisory Services Group for HIMSS Analytics – said: “This...

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Secure Healthcare Messaging Vendors Assessed by KLAS
Jan29

Secure Healthcare Messaging Vendors Assessed by KLAS

Which is the top vendor for HIPAA-compliant secure messaging? It depends. Established players and up and coming companies have recently been assessed by KLAS. The independent research company has rated the current options available to healthcare providers looking to improve communication between care teams without falling afoul of HIPAA Regulations. The cost of healthcare provisioning is rising, placing increasing pressure on healthcare providers to reduce operational costs, improve efficiency, and increase the productivity of healthcare employees. Currently many physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals are forced to use slow and inefficient communications systems, resulting in many hours of wasted time each week per employee. The use of SMS text messages would solve many of these problems. The communication channel is fast, convenient, and practical, but SMS messages are unsecure. This poses a problem for healthcare providers and other HIPAA-liable entities. HIPAA Rules prohibit the transmission of Protected Health Information (PHI) via SMS as the messages can all too...

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TigerText Launches Healthcare Pager and Fax Replacement
Jan15

TigerText Launches Healthcare Pager and Fax Replacement

TigertText has announced the release of two new communication solutions for healthcare providers. The two new products have clear potential, and could convince many healthcare providers to start phasing out pagers and faxes. The new products, named TigerPage & TigerFax, are aimed at healthcare providers that would like to transition to a more secure, HIPAA-compliant method of communication but who are reluctant to give up the communication tools they have relied on for decades. Rather than totally replacing pagers and faxes, the new solutions allow them to continue to be used. If fact, the speed and efficiency that pages and faxes can be received and responded to is greatly improved. Rather than carrying a pager and a Smartphone, healthcare workers can have pages and faxes sent directly to their Smartphone. Healthcare Providers Reluctant to Relinquish the Pager Pagers and faxes have been an essential communication tool for the healthcare industry for decades, yet despite reliable, HIPAA-compliant communication systems being available for some time, healthcare providers are...

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The Slow Pace of Technology Adoption in Healthcare Explained
Jan14

The Slow Pace of Technology Adoption in Healthcare Explained

When it comes to implementing new technology, the healthcare industry lags behind every other industry sector. It is a well-known fact that the industry appears to resist change, even when those changes stand to significantly benefit patients. In an age of Smartphones, tablets, and the Internet of Things, many people would be amazed to find out that archaic communication methods such as pagers and faxes not only still exist, but are extensively used throughout the healthcare industry. In some cases, the new technology now being introduced by healthcare providers was first introduced in other industry sectors many years ago. There are very good reasons why the pace of change is so much slower in the healthcare industry rather than, say, the financial sector or manufacturing industry. Itamar Kandel, Chief Strategy Officer of TigerConnect, is well aware of the slow pace of change. During his time working with healthcare organizations at VERITAS Software and more recently at TigerConnect, he discovered the reasons why adoption of new technology is slow, even when technology can clearly...

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Benefits of Healthcare Text Messaging Highlighted by New Study
Jan06

Benefits of Healthcare Text Messaging Highlighted by New Study

Further evidence has emerged showing the benefits of healthcare text messaging. A study recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association clearly showed that an automated mHealth intervention using text messages and Smartphone tracking apps can prove to be an effective strategy for increasing patients’ physical activity levels. The benefits of increasing activity levels, in particular for sufferers of cardiovascular disease, cannot be underestimated. However, under 50% of adults are failing to reach the recommended daily exercise targets, in spite of many initiatives to get the nation more active. In fact, activity levels have not increased substantially since they were assessed as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted between 1988 and 1994. According to the American Heart Association, there is a critical need for research into new, effective strategies that can be used to promote increasing daily activity levels. With this in mind, Seth S. Martin, MD, MHS et al, conducted a study at an ambulatory cardiology center in Baltimore to...

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TigerText Launches HIPAA Compliant Secure Texting App for Desktops
Dec18

TigerText Launches HIPAA Compliant Secure Texting App for Desktops

TigerText, the leading provider of secure text messaging solutions for the enterprise, has announced the launch of its latest initiative, TigerText Anywhere: A HIPAA compliant secure texting app for desktop computers. TigerText’s HIPAA compliant text message platform is already hugely successful. To date, more than 250,000 healthcare professionals have adopted the secure messaging platform. The company now counts 4 out of 5 of the largest for-profit healthcare systems in the United States among its clients. According to TigerText co-founder and CEO, Brad Brooks, “TigerText has reached the scale necessary to truly improve the quality of care our healthcare customers deliver, while at the same time reducing the costs to do so.” In fact, the potential cost savings from using the HIPAA compliant secure texting app are considerable, as Brooks explains. “By connecting electronic health records, critical alerts, real time shift data, and other essential components of patient care and productivity, we think that secure, real-time messaging could save the healthcare industry $30-$50 billion...

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TigerText Comes Top of the KLAS for Secure Messaging in Healthcare
Oct28

TigerText Comes Top of the KLAS for Secure Messaging in Healthcare

TigerText has been named as the most widely adopted secure messaging solution in the healthcare industry in a recently released report by KLAS Resources. According to the KLAS report – “Secure Messaging 2015: First Look at Who Providers are Considering and Why” – TigerText not only had the biggest market share among secure messaging vendors, but also the biggest “mindshare” – with the company being considered by healthcare organizations as a provider of secure messaging more often than the next top six competitors combined. KLAS researchers attributed the company´s market position to the “high speed-to-value proposition offered by TigerText” and validated its conclusions by publishing selected comments from survey respondents: On Care Coordination “TigerText is our care coordinators’ lifeline. They would all walk out the door if we took it away from them. They are able to get the doctors engaged and take action, make decisions, and provide advice because the doctors don’t mind responding to TigerText messages.” “We use TigerText in a couple of different ways. In...

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Physicians Choose Secure Texts to Engage Patients
Oct10

Physicians Choose Secure Texts to Engage Patients

In today’s healthcare environment it is essential to involve patients more in their own healthcare and greater efforts must be made to engage patients. Physicians are now expected to achieve more during patient consultations, yet the cost of healthcare provision must also be decreased. There are numerous ways this can be achieved. Pre-visit check-ins can be performed, patients can be enrolled in remote health monitoring programs, and offered telehealth services. More online visits should also be conducted. However, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, specifically the Security Rule, poses problems for physicians looking to improve care and engage patients in their own healthcare. The Security Rule places a number of requirements on HIPAA covered entities to ensure that patients’ Protected Health Information (PHI) is protected at all times. Any healthcare provider wishing to take advantage of the wealth of new technology now available must ensure that efforts are made to keep private data secure. If insecure communication channels are used to communicate with...

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Lua Recognized by Aragon Research for Strategy and Performance
Sep10

Lua Recognized by Aragon Research for Strategy and Performance

Aragon Research has named Lua a Contender in its in 2015 Tech Spectrum for Mobile Collaboration. Aragon Research assesses companies based on their strategy and performance and produces a market evaluation tool that represents emerging and mature markets and vendors in graphical form. Being included in the Contender category confirms Lua has a solid business strategy that is driving the company forward. Aragon Research also recently named Lua one of the top three hottest vendors of 2015 in its Hot Vendor in Mobile Collaboration report. Mobile collaboration is now a necessity for most businesses to provide support to an increasingly mobile workforce. Without mobile communication apps such as Lua’s HIPAA-compliant mobile-first communication solution, it would be impossible to provide remote workers with the same level of support as those based in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. “Mobile collaboration apps like Lua are making it easier for people to interact with internal and external colleagues and partners on any device without barriers,” said David Mario Smith, Research...

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Secure Texting Can Help Patients with Insulin Management Says New Study
Aug30

Secure Texting Can Help Patients with Insulin Management Says New Study

Secure text messaging has been shown to help patients manage their dosage of insulin according to a recent study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. The study was conducted by researchers at Bellevue Hospital in New York City with the aim of assisting patients with insulin dosing, with a primary focus on assisting low-income individuals. 61 participants consented to take part in the Mobile Insulin Titration Intervention Diabetes Program. 33 patients were sent reminders to check their blood glucose levels every day, and had to send their blood glucose readings to the hospital via text message. By sending the information to the hospital, nurses were able to remotely monitor blood glucose levels: If the readings were too low or too high, patients had their insulin dosage altered accordingly. The control group, consisting of the 27 participants, received standard care, and titrated their insulin at home during visits from remote healthcare workers. The results of the survey clearly show the benefits of Bellevue’s diabetes program: 88% of participants were able to get...

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FCC Confirms Rules Regarding HIPAA and Patient Telephone Calls
Jul30

FCC Confirms Rules Regarding HIPAA and Patient Telephone Calls

The Federal Communication Commission has issued a Declaratory Ruling and Order to clarify the rules regarding HIPAA and patient telephone calls. Some healthcare providers have had trouble understanding the rules regarding HIPAA and patient telephone calls, and how the rules comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Now, 19 years and 24 years after the respective Acts were introduced, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Declaratory Ruling and Order to clear up any confusion. The ruling clarifies the rules regarding HIPAA and patient telephone calls made by covered entities and their Business Associates. The ruling also exempts covered entities and Business Entities from certain TCPA legislation in certain circumstances. Rules Regarding HIPAA and Patient Telephone Calls The FCC´s order clarifying the rules regarding HIPAA and patient telephone calls states that, if a patient provides a contact telephone number to a healthcare provider, the provision of that telephone number constitutes express consent for telephone calls to be made, subject to...

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Lua Adds Do Not Disturb Feature to Secure Texting Platform
Jul14

Lua Adds Do Not Disturb Feature to Secure Texting Platform

Lua has updated its secure communications and texting platform and added a new “Do Not Disturb” mode to the platform to improve communication control. The new feature can be set by any user on the system and acts a mute button. DND mode can be activated during off-time, meetings, or when messages cannot otherwise be viewed and calls cannot be taken. When users activate DND mode they can set an optional status message to inform users the reason why contact is not possible. When DND mode is activated it is made clear to other users that the person is temporarily unavailable through status messages. Text messages will still be delivered and the senders of those messages can see when their messages have been read. Users can choose to accept messages and view them without having to move out of DND mode. Lua chose this subtler method of notification to enhance employee workflow by showing when it is an appropriate time for conversation while minimizing unnecessary alerts. The new feature will be of particular interest to shift workers and for anyone who uses a personal device for work...

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Samsung Galaxy Hacking Vulnerability Worrying for BYOD Schemes
Jun24

Samsung Galaxy Hacking Vulnerability Worrying for BYOD Schemes

Despite a security vulnerability existing on Samsung Galaxy devices, the electronics giant has yet to issue a fix 7 months after the company was first alerted to a hacking vulnerability affecting S3 to S6 models of Samsung Galaxy phones. The Samsung security vulnerability could potentially allow the phones to be hijacked by hackers, allowing information entered or sent via the phones to be viewed. The security vulnerability concerns the software used for the phones keyboard, according to researchers at NowSecure. What is especially worrying is the owner or user of the phone does not need to take any actions to allow hackers to gain access the mobile phone; the security vulnerability can be exploited remotely. How are Hackers Gaining Access to Samsung Phones?   Fortunately, the hack is not straightforward to pull off. It requires considerable technical skill and can only be executed at specific times; when the keyboard software is being updated. The researchers point out that a hacker with access to Wi-Fi networks, or with the ability to otherwise manipulate a user’s network...

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Lua Joins App Configuration for Enterprise (ACE) Program
Jun20

Lua Joins App Configuration for Enterprise (ACE) Program

The secure mobile messaging platform provider Lua has announced it has joined the App Configuration for Enterprise (ACE) program. The ACE program was recently launched to create a standard approach to configuring and securing apps in the enterprise. ACE has developed an operating framework incorporating APIs from operating system platforms such as Android and Apple iOS. By using the framework, developers can create new, secure apps with minimal effort. Lua has joined founding members Cisco, Salesforce, Workday, Box, Xamarin, and AirWatch in the program. The Lua platform has also been made available on the AirWatch Marketplace. The new ACE integration allows all organizations running the EMM solution to easily administer Lua as a managed application. “As a member of ACE we are able to offer customers mobile messaging in a secure, easy-to-manage EMM environment,” said Brian Feller, Vice President of Corporate Development at Lua. “Executives across all industries are concerned with security and amplifying their employees’ productivity. Secure mobile messaging is the cornerstone of a...

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Secure Text Message Service Improves Response Times at Chicago Cardiology Institute
May29

Secure Text Message Service Improves Response Times at Chicago Cardiology Institute

The Chicago Cardiology Institute, a leading healthcare provider offering treatment for cardiovascular and peripheral vascular diseases, has implemented a new secure text message service that allows its nurses, physicians and other healthcare staff to communicate in a timely and efficient manner, without running the risk of violating data privacy and security legislation. HIPAA Prohibits the Transmission of PHI over Insecure Networks   The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) places a number of restrictions on healthcare providers to ensure patient privacy is protected and Protected Health Information (PHI) is secured. HIPAA does not permit the transmission of PHI over insecure networks; meaning pagers, Smartphones and other mobile devices cannot be used to communicate PHI, unless the data is first encrypted. Healthcare providers wanting to improve communication between care teams, and speed up the exchange of healthcare information, must implement a system to secure communications. One of the most efficient and easiest ways to do this is to use a secure...

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Healthcare Apps Helping to Improve Patient Care and Reduce Costs
Apr25

Healthcare Apps Helping to Improve Patient Care and Reduce Costs

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference this year provided healthcare professionals with even more than in years gone by. HIMSS 2015 was bigger and better than ever and attendees got more opportunities to learn, discuss and debate the current issues facing the healthcare industry. HIMSS also published the data from the 2015 HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey. The survey asked questions of 238 respondents’ use of mobile technology as a method of engaging patients in their own healthcare. The results indicate that healthcare professionals are taking great strides to embrace new technology and communicate with patients in a format that they are comfortable with using. According to mobile usage data from the Pew Research Center, in January, 2014, 90% of Americans owned a cell phone and 64% owned a Smartphone. 81% used the devices to send or receive text messages, 60% for internet access and 52% for sending emails. The explosion in mobile usage has been rapid and the healthcare industry appears to be keeping up. Not only are telehealth services now being offered...

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Apple Watch to Include HIPAA Compliant Text Message Apps
Apr21

Apple Watch to Include HIPAA Compliant Text Message Apps

The Apple watch has finally been released, of sorts, with the device now being available online; although it will not be available on Apple stores until the summer. The long awaited new Apple product was given a release date of 24th April although Apple appears to be selling the device on a “built to order” basis, rather than filling its stores with a device that potentially has only limited appeal. Stores will not release the watches until late May. The Apple Watch includes a number of features that could make it an invaluable wearable device in the healthcare industry, although the success of these devices depends not so much on the device itself, but getting third party developers on board to offer applications and additional functionality. It is these applications that really help to build support for a new wearable device as those offered by the manufacturer can be limited. The watch appears to be attracting a number of developers which is a good sign so far. There are a number of apps that could well benefit physicians and other healthcare professionals. These include a...

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Faster Delivery of Lab Test Results Achieved by Pathology, Inc.
Apr15

Faster Delivery of Lab Test Results Achieved by Pathology, Inc.

Privately owned pharmacies and laboratories are covered by HIPAA Rules, and they must therefore ensure that all Protected Health Information (PHI) stored and transmitted, is appropriately secured, with the security measures used dictated by the standards laid down in the HIPAA Security Rule. The privacy of patients must be assured at all times. Highly sensitive health information, such as medical test results, could cause patients to come to harm if accidentally disclosed to the wrong individuals. Efforts should therefore be made to ensure any transmission of data cannot be intercepted and read. To reduce the risk of HIPAA breaches, many laboratories stick to tried and tested delivery methods, and accept there will be a delay in data reaching physicians. Some companies have risen to the challenge, and now ensure faster delivery of lab test results by utilizing new technology. They have leveraged Smartphones to coordinate patient care more efficiently and ensure treatment to patients is provided more rapidly. This smart use of technology has allowed HIPAA-covered entities to improve...

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A-Lign Auditors Confirm Atlantic.Net Hosting Service is HIPAA-Compliant
Apr14

A-Lign Auditors Confirm Atlantic.Net Hosting Service is HIPAA-Compliant

Atlantic.Net has announced it has been verified by a third party as fully compliant with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Rules and fully meets its responsibilities as a business associate of HIPAA-covered entities. Atlantic.Net has developed a HIPAA-compliant hosting platform for the healthcare industry. The platform incorporates a range of technical safeguards to ensure that its customers’ data remains 100% secure at all times and protected against unauthorized access. To ensure that all provisions of HIPAA had been satisfied, Atlantic.net engaged the third-party, full-service security, assurance, and compliance solutions firm A-lign to conduct a compliance audit to assess Atlantic.Net controls and safeguards against the HIPAA Security Rule. “Our audit finds Atlantic.Net is in full compliance with the relevant controls and meets all HIPAA compliance standards and requirements for physical and environmental controls, and the management oversight of the environment,” said Gene Geiger, Partner, A-lign. The Orlando-based hosting...

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TigerText Announces First Secure Messaging App for Apple Watch
Apr14

TigerText Announces First Secure Messaging App for Apple Watch

TigerText – the leading provider of secure messaging solutions for the healthcare industry – has today announced details for the first secure messaging app to be made available for the Apple Watch. From early next month, Apple Watch users will be able to take advantage of TigerText´s secure messaging capabilities in order to send and receive secure, encrypted messages from their wrist. TigerText for the Apple Watch will enable users to securely communicate with anyone hands-free, helping them save valuable time – especially in critical care settings. TigerText’s Apple Watch app brings all the benefits of the healthcare industry’s leading secure messaging app to the wrist. As with the TigerText apps for mobile device and desktop computers, users will be able to see when a message has been sent, delivered and read. The TigerText Apple Watch app will also have these key features: • Speech-to-Text: As an alternative to typing out a text message, users will be able to dictate to the app – which will then translate the words into text. • Receive Notifications and...

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Atlantic.Net Enjoys Massive Growth of HIPAA Compliant Hosting Business
Apr08

Atlantic.Net Enjoys Massive Growth of HIPAA Compliant Hosting Business

Over the past 12 months, the Orlando, FL-based hosting company Atlantic.Net has been enjoying a period of tremendous growth. Atlantic.Net is a web hosting provider that has been providing specialized cloud hosting, hybrid hosting, private virtualization, VPS cloud hosting, and HIPAA complaint hosting services for more than 20 years. The company offers a secure, isolated hosting environment compliant with HIPAA/HITECH Act requirements and holds SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type II and SOC 2 Type I reports. The hosting platform and services have proven popular with healthcare organizations and the company has enjoyed massive growth in customer numbers as more and more healthcare providers, health plans, and business associates of HIPAA-covered entities take advantage of its HIPAA-compliant platform and managed services. This week, Atlantic.Net announced that another major healthcare organizations has chosen its platform to host highly sensitive medical records. Electronic medical record company Genensys is now running its EMR system, Simplify EMR™, on Atlantic.Net infrastructure. “We welcome...

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Does your Organization Need a Secure Text Messaging Service?
Mar26

Does your Organization Need a Secure Text Messaging Service?

Text messaging has revolutionized worldwide communications. Since the first service was provided in the United States in 1995 it has grown to become one of the most popular – and most frequently used forms of communication, with 74% of mobile users – some 2.4 billion individuals worldwide – now using SMS to communicate with colleagues, friends and relatives. SMS messages are also used extensively in healthcare. 87% of healthcare professionals now use their mobile devices in the workplace, whether that is their own phones – via hospital Bring Your Own Device schemes – or those issued by a healthcare provider. According to a Manhattan Research/Physician Channel Adoption Study, physicians spend 64% of their online time looking for information that allows clinical decisions to be made. However, while extremely prevalent in healthcare, text messaging is inherently insecure. Any PHI transmitted over the mobile network can be potentially viewed by numerous unauthorized individuals. Text message can be relayed and routed via multiple carriers, the messages can remain on servers – in...

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How Providence Anesthesiology Leveraged Smartphones to Improve Communication with Field Staff
Nov18

How Providence Anesthesiology Leveraged Smartphones to Improve Communication with Field Staff

Healthcare providers have a challenge ahead of them if they are to improve communication with field staff and other mobile workers; how to do so without exposing patient data and violating HIPAA Rules. Providence Anesthesiology Associates opted to use a secure messaging platform to help stay in touch with critical members of the care team, and is now reaping the rewards. Communicating with mobile workers and field staff is convenient, fast and easy via Smartphones; whether they are owned by an employee under a BYOD scheme, or provided by employers. However, ensuring communications remain HIPAA-compliant is difficult. PHI cannot be transmitted via insecure channels, meaning standard communication methods available through mobile devices cannot be used. If PHI is to be transmitted via an insecure channel, HIPAA requires the data to first be encrypted. To ensure remote workers do not inadvertently violate HIPAA Rules by using insecure channels to communicate PHI, HIPAA –covered entities should consider using a HIPAA-compliant text message platform that will allow the transmission of...

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Healthcare Professionals Violate HIPAA with Personal Phones
Nov05

Healthcare Professionals Violate HIPAA with Personal Phones

There is a worrying practice taking place in healthcare centers across the country: The use of personal mobile phones for communicating with care teams and sending patient data. The practice is a clear HIPAA violation, yet text messages, attachments and even photographs and test results are being shared over insecure networks without data encryption, albeit with individuals permitted to view the data. Even if the recipient of the message or communication is authorized to have access to that information, sending of PHI over an insecure network without the protection of a firewall is a clear security risk. If messages are sent via the hospital’s password-protected WI-Fi network this may be permitted under the HIPAA Security Rule; the sending of text messages via an AT&T network for example, is not. The Department of Health and Human Services enforces HIPAA compliance via the OCR, which is issuing financial penalties for HIPAA violations and taking a particular interest in the use of mobile technologies and communication of PHI in healthcare centers and between healthcare...

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Leading Texas Hospice Embraces Secure Messaging
Oct08

Leading Texas Hospice Embraces Secure Messaging

The Solaris Hospice is one of the largest palliative care providers in the Southwest – operating from sixteen locations to provide care and support for more than four hundred patients each day. The hospice´s 150 physicians and nurses work in a vast rural area in which effective communication is a must in order to maintain the organization´s reputation as a healthcare leader among the communities it serves. One of the biggest issues experienced by the organization was maintaining the integrity of its client´s protected healthcare information (PHI) while its workforce was distributed throughout the community. Following the enactment of new regulations within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), all PHI now has to be encrypted and monitored when it is at rest or in transit. The new regulations mean that “traditional” methods of communicating patient data – such as SMS and email – are effectively outlawed, and this created an issue for community nurses who wanted to escalate patient concerns to the organization´s medical team or send images...

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Unencrypted Hospital Communications are HIPAA Violations
Jul27

Unencrypted Hospital Communications are HIPAA Violations

Text messages may be a quick and convenient method of communication for doctors and healthcare professionals; however two medical professionals from North Carolina have recently discovered that the use of unsecured text messages to transmit medical data is a HIPAA violation. For the professionals concerned, the action was innocent and believed to be in the best interest of the patient. A doctor was visiting a patient at a nursing home and requested that a nurse send the patient’s laboratory results via text message. The message was sent and only two people viewed the patient data, both of whom were authorized to access the records. However by sending the data over an unencrypted and insecure connection, the records could potentially have exposed to a third party. Text messages can be used in healthcare, but in order to be HIPAA compliant data has been encrypted. The nursing facility was given an e-class deficiency by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) which resulted in a 10-point Directed Plan of Correction (DPOC) which must be implemented within 15 days. The...

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TigerText Announces Free Healthcare Communications Webinar Entitled “Ask the Experts”
May14

TigerText Announces Free Healthcare Communications Webinar Entitled “Ask the Experts”

TigerText has announced it will be hosting a free healthcare communications webinar in which former HHS regulator Adam Greene will be discussing best practices for implementing a HIPAA-compliant mobile communications strategy. “Ask the Experts: Tips for a HIPAA Compliant Mobile Strategy” has been designed to address the security and mobility challenges faced by healthcare organizations striving to comply with the requirements of the HIPAA Security and Privacy Rules. During the discussion, former Health and Human Services regulator and attorney focused on health information privacy and security – Adam Greene – will advise attendees of tips and best practices to adopt in order to equip their medical facilities with a HIPAA compliant mobile strategy. The event will provide an opportunity for participants to learn from Greene’s in-depth expertise on healthcare rules and regulations. Greene will explain how to evaluate security risks, how to protect PHI from data breaches and unauthorized access, and provide insight on how to develop a secure and effective enterprise...

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Nurses Find a Replacement for Hospital Pagers
Apr08

Nurses Find a Replacement for Hospital Pagers

A survey has recently been conducted by Spyglass Consulting Group that indicates nurses are violating HIPAA regulations by using personal Smartphones in hospitals. The survey indicated that 67% of nurses were taking their iPhones and android phones to work and using them, even though 89% of hospitals do not permit the devices to be used at work. The Spyglass survey indicates that nurses are not being given a pager alternative, as only 4% of hospitals currently reported having a Smartphone system installed for nurses. Furthermore, out of the 53% of hospitals that did have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scheme in place, only 11% included nurses in that scheme. The situation does appear to be improving as more than half of the organizations taking part in the survey claimed to be about to extend coverage to nurses. The use of mobile phones for hospital communications is forbidden, as the devices are insecure and lack the necessary controls to keep confidential data secure. The sending of any PHI via text message is an immediate HIPAA violation, unless the text is sent via a secure...

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TigerText Offers Healthcare Organizations a $1 Million Guarantee against HIPAA Violations
Mar31

TigerText Offers Healthcare Organizations a $1 Million Guarantee against HIPAA Violations

TigerText has announced the company will indemnify healthcare organizations using its secure messaging app against fines imposed for violations of the technical safeguards in the HIPAA Security Rule. TigerText is one of the leading providers of secure messaging solutions for the healthcare industry. Using the TigerText secure messaging app, healthcare providers are able to quickly communicate Protected Health Information (PHI) from any desktop computer or mobile device without violating HIPAA regulations. TigerText enables healthcare organizations to embrace secure messaging as an alternative to unsecure channels of communication such as SMS and email; and the company is so confident in the compliance levels of its secure messaging app that it is offering a guarantee of up to $1 million against fines imposed for violations of the technical safeguards in the HIPAA Security Rule. Speaking about the TigerText compliance guarantee, the company´s co-founder and SEO – Brad Brooks – said: “At TigerText our number one priority is to keep patient data safe. It is imperative that...

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Practical Guidance Issued to Ensure Healthcare Mobile Devices are HIPAA
Dec16

Practical Guidance Issued to Ensure Healthcare Mobile Devices are HIPAA

The use of mobile devices has become commonplace in healthcare, with doctors now using mobile phones to communicate with members of care teams and send updates on the status of their patients. iPads and other tablets are also often used by doctors in hospitals when conducting their rounds and physicians and other healthcare professionals use laptop computers and Smartphones when visiting patients to provide homecare services. The rapid growth of portable devices in healthcare has undoubtedly improved the care that patients receive, yet the extensive use of mobile devices increases the risk of ePHI being accessed by unauthorized personal or being stolen by cybercriminals. Mobile devices are now a major problem area and many healthcare organizations are struggling to implement procedures and policies to ensure all their devices are made HIPAA compliant. Fortunately, healthcare organizations have been given some help in this regard, with both the Office for Civil Rights and the Office of the National Coordinator having provided guidelines and tips which healthcare professionals can...

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Surge in Popularity of Secure Texting Apps for Healthcare Providers
Oct04

Surge in Popularity of Secure Texting Apps for Healthcare Providers

If Protected Health Information (PHI) is to be sent by physicians and nurses from their mobile devices, those messages must first be encrypted; via a secure texting app, for instance. If text messages, and attachments, can be sent securely to healthcare staff, communication can be vastly improved and hospitals will finally be able to retire the pager. Secure Texting Apps for Healthcare Providers Assure HIPAA Compliance   Secure texting apps for healthcare providers must incorporate a number of security controls to prevent the PHI of patients from being exposed. Data must be encrypted from end to end, access controls must exist to prevent interception of downloaded messages, and all information must be controlled centrally. Now secure text messaging services are becoming more widely available, which include all of the necessary security controls required by HIPAA, uptake of the service has increased substantially. Data released by the leading provider of real-time messaging solutions for the enterprise, TigerText, clearly show that the rise in popularity of real-time messaging...

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Healthcare BYOD Schemes Here to Stay Says Ovum
Jun06

Healthcare BYOD Schemes Here to Stay Says Ovum

IT Research firm, Ovum, has released details of a study conducted on full time IT workers’ participation in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) schemes, and for the second year running participation has remained steady at around 60%. Healthcare professionals are using Smartphones and mobile devices at home, and they the preferred mode of communication for many physicians. They offer speed, convenience, practicality and they are familiar; as well as allowing the user to be in touch around the clock. However, being made to leave the devices at home or in lockers when coming to work, and instead being forced to use outdated modes of communication – such as pagers – is not something that all workers agree with. Many ignore company policies and bring their own devices to work anyway, even when BOYD schemes are not in place. The study showed that 15.4% of employees who owned their own Smartphone took it to work and used it and did not report use of the device to their IT department, while 20.4% said their employers were anti-BYOD yet they still took their devices to work and used them. If a...

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Next Gen Secure Enterprise Messaging App Great News for HIPAA Covered Entities
Apr23

Next Gen Secure Enterprise Messaging App Great News for HIPAA Covered Entities

A next generation secure enterprise messaging app has recently been released, offering HIPAA-covered entities a fast, convenient and secure method of communicating. The real time messaging app has all of the required security features to ensure HIPAA-compliant text messages can be sent quickly, easily, and 100% securely. Communication Problems in the Healthcare Industry   Hackers, malicious insiders, and thieves are trying to obtain healthcare data from HIPAA-Covered entities (CEs); and many are succeeding. The use of Smartphones and other mobile devices has caused concern, as the units are difficult to effectively secure. HIPAA places a number of demands on healthcare providers and other CEs to ensure Protected Health Information (PHI) is kept secure and confidential. There are mandatory data security requirements detailed in the HIPAA Security Rule, and many addressable areas, which ensure that healthcare providers achieve an acceptable standard of data security. Under HIPAA Rules, PHI cannot be sent via insecure networks unless it has been encrypted or deidentified. SMS,...

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How HIPAA Applies to Text messages and Emails Sent by Healthcare Professionals
Mar03

How HIPAA Applies to Text messages and Emails Sent by Healthcare Professionals

It was not long ago that doctors were required to carry pagers and call in when their pockets started to bleep. Today, pagers have been replaced by Smartphones with communications and notifications sent via text messages, Email or telephone calls. A number of healthcare centers and doctors have discovered that sending a quick text message can cause a HIPAA violation. If text messages or Emails are to be used, the appropriate technical safeguards must be put in place to protect the PHI of patients. When data is sent over the internet or mobile phone networks, it must be encrypted. A failure to implement these safeguards can result in huge fines being issued by the OCR. When HIPAA regulations were first drafted the internet was still in its infancy and mobile phones, tablets and multimedia SMS messages did not exist. However, over the years, the use of electronic communication has become commonplace. Back in 2001, 258.2 million text messages were being sent every month according to data from CTIA, while just 3 years ago, that number had risen to 193.1 billion per month in the U.S...

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Pediatricians Risking HIPAA Violations Sending SMS Messages
Oct25

Pediatricians Risking HIPAA Violations Sending SMS Messages

The pager has served doctors and medical professionals well since the 1940s and an estimated 90% of hospitals are still using the devices for communication between members of the care team. However an increasing number of medical professionals are turning to Smartphones to communicate, according to a recent survey conducted by the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita. The data even suggests that phone text messaging is about to take over as the primary mode of communication in U.S hospitals. Smartphones allow doctors to communicate quickly with other members of the healthcare team, but while modern mobile devices offer convenience, the use of SMS in hospitals could result in HIPAA Privacy and Security Rule violations. Text messages are not secure, and any unencrypted PHI sent via the SMS network could potentially be read by any number of people. Uptake of Smartphones has not been quick in healthcare due to the cost of purchasing the units and making them secure. However, since the majority of medical professionals have a personal phone, Bring Your Own Device (BOYD)...

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JCAHO Bans Physicians from Sending SMS Text Messages to Prevent HIPAA Violations
Nov29

JCAHO Bans Physicians from Sending SMS Text Messages to Prevent HIPAA Violations

A ban has been issued by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare on the use of SMS text messages and said the practice of physicians and other medical professionals using text messages to communicate PHI was simply “not acceptable”. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) places restrictions on the storage and transmission of patient medical records and other Protected Health Information (PHI). Doctors risk violating the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules by sending sensitive medical information via SMS. Not only does the person concerned risk exposing patient medical records, the organization for which they work can receive a heavy fine for non-compliance. The ban was the result of an assessment of the risks involved in sending protected information via text messages, which were deemed to be too high with this action taken to manage that risk. At present text messages are viewed as problematic to secure. The ban on text messages by medical professionals does not extend to other forms of mobile communication. Mobile phone Apps for example can be...

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