Cloud-Based Application Allows HIPAA-Compliant Texting Among Hospital Providers Interview with: Gautam M. Shah Vice President of Product Management at Interview with:
Gautam M. Shah
Vice President of Product Management at Vocera Editor’s Note: Vocera announced on February 5, 2015, it will “provide a cloud-based secure text messaging solution as a benefit to all of its U.S. healthcare customers, at no additional cost, for use by any of their affiliated healthcare providers. Vocera Secure Texting will connect seamlessly with Vocera Communication Systems installed in over 800 U.S. hospitals” (Vocera press release). Mr. Shah, from Vocera, answers some questions regarding this new technology for the readers of below.

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this technology?

Mr. Shah: The Vocera Secure Texting solution is a cloud-based, secure, HIPAA-compliant texting application that seamlessly integrates with the Vocera Communication System.  The solution will allow physicians to securely communicate with all members of their patient’s care team, while helping hospital CIOs improve security associated with protecting personal health information (PHI).

MedicalResearch: How will this texting method facilitate communication among health care providers?

Mr. Shah: This solution is being offered to all of our 800+ U.S. hospital customers at no cost, and to new customers for a nominal fee. Vocera Secure Texting will connect seamlessly with our award-winning communication system to enable physicians to securely text care teams and improve care coordination, operational efficiencies, and patient experience. What’s unique about Vocera Secure Texting is that it combines the convenience physicians need with the security health systems require. Our new secure texting app will be easy to use and provide a HIPAA-compliant alternative to SMS, as well as basic communication and collaboration capabilities for physicians and care teams.

Today, healthcare industry today lacks a communication system that enables care coordination by bringing together all the providers involved in the healthcare continuum. As the care footprint continues to grow outside of the acute care hospital, there is a need to be able to securely connect hospital based providers and staff with community-based providers, associated providers, and associated healthcare facilities. Vocera Secure Texting solves for this problem by providing a secure texting application with integrated voice calling capabilities that is supported by a clinical directory (managed by the acute care hospital) that opens a communication channel for community-based physicians and associated facilities.

MedicalResearch: Will providers be able to communicate with patients as well?

Mr. Shah: Vocera Secure Texting does not facilitate provider to patient communication at this time.  However, Vocera’s Patient Experience Management solutions have this capability.

MedicalResearch: Will the system interface with electronic medical records for documentation purposes?

Mr. Shah: Vocera Secure Texting does not integrate with EMR solutions at this time.  Vocera’s Collaboration Suite communications product does have this capability.

MedicalResearch: Are there significant up-front or maintenance costs to health systems for providing this service?

Since the messaging product is hosted in Vocera’s Cloud, there are no up-front installation or maintenance costs.  Existing Vocera customers have access to the Vocera Secure Texting application at no charge.