2.0 Tuesday: HIPAA-Compliant Text Messaging, Investing in Price Transparency and PwC Has Advice for Hospitals
As managers, providers and employees, we always have to be looking ahead at how the technology on our horizon will affect how our organizations administer health care. In the spirit of looking forward to the future, we present “2.0 Tuesday”, a feature on Manage My Practice about how technology is impacting our practices, and our patient and population outcomes.
We hope you enjoy looking ahead with us, and share your ideas, reactions and comments below!
Startup Medigram Delivers HIPAA-Compliant Provider-to-Provider Text Messaging
Care Coordination and team-based approaches get lot of air-time while discussing reducing healthcare costs, but few new solutions focus on one of our system’s most basic challenges: how doctors communicate with one another. Three Stanford alums are hoping to change that with Medigram, a new software solution that allows HIPAA-compliant group messaging between doctors. This will undoubtedly disrupt the world of traditional paging systems, but will ease almost global risk-management fears of sending PHI (Protected Health Information) over unsecured networks such as traditional SMS text messaging. Replacing pagers, Medigram allows groups to move their communication systems to a “BYOD” or “Bring Your Own Device” approach that would cut down on hardware costs and training time while increasing physician engagement. Medigram is currently in private Beta at three California Hospitals.
Healthcare Pricing Tool Castlight gets $100 Million in Funding to Inform the Consumer Patient
Another big front in the fight against healthcare costs is transparency in pricing – or the lack thereof. With prices for procedures that can vary widely, it is often very difficult for the patient to make an informed decision as a consumer or even do basic comparison shopping. San Francisco-based startup Castlight hopes to change that with a web application which offers quality and price information about medical procedures to self-insured employers and their workers who could use this information to save themselves and their companies money. Castlight already has about 40 clients, and recently made headlines when it announced it had raised a cool $100M in capital to expand its efforts. According to TechCrunch, it is “one of the largest venture rounds for a healthcare IT company on record”, with many speculating an IPO is in the works next. Clearly, the problem in Healthcare spending is big enough that those who can find ways to solve it should expect big financial opportunities.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Advises Hospitals to Connect Their Social Media Efforts to Their Business Plans
According to a new survey and report issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute, hospitals and hospital systems that neglect to engage in social media, or fully “connect” their social media plans to their business plans will risk missing out on opportunities to engage with their patients. Social media is more and more a place that patients are not only hanging out and talking to friends, but also looking for and sharing information. For now, the groups that have strong footholds in the social media arena are a little ahead of the curve, but as the demographics of our country shift older, their children are more and more accustomed to getting and distributing health information through these channels. So companies that ignore the space entirely are at risk of finding themselves with an antiquated marketing approach almost overnight.
Be sure to check back soon for another 2.0 Tuesday!