At last, doctors can say farewell to their pagers. The first, free
text-messaging application for all medical professionals unveiled its
new platform on Tuesday, combining lightning-fast technology with an
enhanced user experience.
Drs. Alex Grilli (left) and Rahul Shah (right) founded hippomsg, the No. 1 free text-messaging solution for healthcare providers. The HIPAA-compliant platform has created a robust and growing community of more than 3,000 medical practices that are communicating instantly and securely about their patients, while adhering to rigorous government standards for privacy protection. (Photo: Business Wire)
Over 3,000 medical practices are using hippomsg
to seamlessly and securely communicate health information protected
under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Under the law, all elements of a patient’s health record, including
information as basic as the patient’s name, must be encrypted when
transmitted between medical professionals. With hippomsg, now providers
will have a way to discuss a patient’s identity and medical history—even
share reports from a mammogram or MRI—quickly, securely and for free.
“Gone on the days when a colleague has to pluck through an interminable
menu to leave a message for another doctor. Finding another
professional—at any practice in the country—can now be as simple as
using hippomsg,” said Alex Grilli, M.D., co-founder of hippomsg and an
otolaryngologist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
In recent years, the Justice Department has levied millions of dollars
for HIPAA violations, which can reach up to $1.5 million per
occurrence. Because the fine can grow with each lost record, many
practices caution against using mobile technology to communicate about
patients and still rely on voicemails and pagers, believing those
systems are safeguarded to transmit health information. Yet this leads
to inefficient and choppy communication, often for life-changing
conversations about a patient.
Grilli and his co-founder, Rahul Shah, have brought in an accomplished
HIPAA expert as the company’s security and compliance officer and
established protocols that are consistent with all HIPAA standards. The
organization conducts routine security assessments, and messages
self-destruct after being read.
Medical institutions have been building messaging systems like hippomsg
to use within their organizations for years, but hippomsg is the first
to tear down walls and bring healthcare providers at different
organizations together—at no charge to the subscriber.
“There are plenty of products out there trying to make pagers obsolete,”
said Shah, M.D., M.B.A., an otolaryngologist at Children’s National
Medical Center. “The problem is the cost. How can a hospital system
spend six-figures on a solution tailored just for its staff, when many
are losing money? How can solo practices spend tens of thousands on a
messaging system, when they face declining reimbursements? They can't
and don't, but patients need their healthcare providers to communicate.
With hippomsg, they can and do.”
Drs. Alex Grilli and Rahul Shah are at the forefront of the mobile
health (mHealth) revolution. The two surgeons founded hippomsg in 2012
to bring medical care into the digital age by simply allowing healthcare
professionals to communicate instantly, securely and seamlessly using
their practices’ computers or their own mobile devices. The company’s
leadership brings together six decades of experience in medicine with
industry leaders in HIPAA compliance and technology.
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