It’s time to exchange health information securely
Say goodbye to fax, instant messaging apps and email.
The Australian Digital Health Agency has highlighted Secure Communication as one of the key priorities for the National Digital Health Strategy. The industry realises that the inability to easily and securely share information leads to poor health outcomes and inefficient processes. The prior lack of interoperability and standards meant that uptake of Secure Message Delivery has been poor in many areas.
An Outdated Process
Healthcare providers who still use traditional communication will be using methods like cutting and pasting, transcribing or printing information. This information is then sent via post, fax, uploaded online, or unsecured email, which then results in extra time, cost of resources, and lack of security.
Information from other providers usually arrives in hard-copy letters, faxes, reports and unsecured emails. This information must then be copied and added to their clinical records. During this process, there is the risk for information to be missed, added to the wrong record, corrupted or any other kind of human error.
Secure Message Delivery
Securely exchanging patient information between healthcare practitioners and organisations is paramount in improving patient care, whilst maintaining the privacy of personal information and reducing health care administrative costs.
Global Health (and ReferralNet) has been a key part of the working group leading the industry in creating and adhering to standardised, universal secure messaging capabilities. ReferralNet and Argus were the first messaging vendors to successfully be two-way interoperable (since November 2017). Since then, the volumes of messaging between both vendors continues to grow.
The benefits of using Secure Messaging:
- Secure exchange of private clinical information and documents such as referrals and discharge summaries
- Less paper usage in the practice, as well as postage costs
- Efficient workflows with reduced human errors
- Less time chasing up referrals as you will be notified of message delivery failure
- Communicate with other health providers in a faster manner which improves the overall quality of patient care
Dr Jill Tomlinson, who is a surgeon and member of AMA Federal Council, is enthusiastic about the benefits that Secure Messaging has brought to her practice.
“Secure messaging provides real benefits for my practice,” Dr Tomlinson said in an AMA article. “It improves our administrative workflow and gets letters out fast. I’ve had times when I’ve left a phone message for a referring GP about a shared patient I’ve seen and by the time we connect via phone a few hours later they’ve already received the correspondence.”
The time has come for all medical professionals to embrace Secure Messaging and go fax free. If all healthcare workers start using secure messaging, then everyone will be able to reap the benefits.