Don Dally

The Coming Fragmentation of Secure Messaging

By Don Dally  /  12 May 2014

The entire healthcare industry has been abuzz with the idea of interoperability. Providers are looking for ways to get all of their systems to talk to one another to improve their clinicians’ workflow and extract value from the data they’ve collect in each of their systems. Right now, providers are left with uncoordinated programs and complicated workflows, and until interoperability is truly realized, they’ll be stuck with disorganized systems. This effort has been primarily focused within the four walls of a hospital or health system. But moving forward, interoperability will need to span all care settings if a health care organization is to be viable in the long term. The trend in secure communications actually seems to be headed in the opposite direction. While there are vendors dedicated to providing secure messaging, all types of IT vendors—EMR vendors, clinical decision support vendors, single sign-on vendors … the list goes on and on—are beginning to include secure messaging as part of their platform. At large conferences, I notice hundreds of booths with signs proclaiming, “HIPAA secure messaging!” It’s clear that they are responding to a very real need. After all, it’s critical for providers to be able to communicate easily and securely through multiple types of communication channels. It’s easy for providers to end up with multiple “secure messaging” solutions embedded in solutions that solve other problems. In the short-term, it might be the easiest solution. But from the end-user experience, this fragmentation of communications is not ideal. Unless a unified secure messaging solution is deployed, physicians will be faced with multiple inboxes, messaging interfaces and applications to manage. This complexity will only add frustration on top of the already chaotic communications that they are bombarded with on a daily basis. In my view, all of this communications fragmentation will have to go through a period of consolidation—and the healthcare industry needs only to look at its current interoperability mission to see what a challenge that will be. To be successful, providers will need to take a long-term view and understand how unifying their secure communications tools will save their end-users—and IT departments—plenty of hassle. Posted By Don Dally

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *