Majority of healthcare institutions aren't using HIPAA-compliant mobile messaging services: 6 findings

Only 8 percent of healthcare institutions prohibit consumer messaging apps for employee communication, according to a study released today by Infinite Convergence Solutions.

Additionally, of the healthcare institutions using an official mobile messaging platform, only one in four are using an internal, company-authorized app, the study found. The rest are recommending or using consumer-facing messaging apps and services that fail tot provide the enterprise-grade security needed to comply with regulations like HIPAA.

"The global healthcare industry is under strict privacy and security regulations to protect patient information, but our study finds that the vast majority of healthcare institutions are not using mobile messaging services that are compliant with these regulations," Anurag Lal, CEO of Infinite Convergence Solutions, said in a news release. "Healthcare employees communicate inherently sensitive information, like patient prescriptions, medical information, etc., yet their employers do not have the proper mobile messaging security infrastructure in place to adhere to HIPAA or other regulatory requirements." 

Here are six findings from the study.

 1. The study found healthcare employees use mobile messaging more frequently than voice calling for their business communication. Sixty-five percent of healthcare respondents use email most frequently for business communication, followed by mobile messaging (22 percent) and voice calling (13 percent).

2. More than half — 52 percent — of healthcare respondents most frequently communicate with colleagues, followed by clients and customers (32 percent) and external partners or stakeholders (17 percent).

3. A majority of healthcare respondents — 52 percent — use SMS or MMS to communicate. The next most popular messaging apps are GChat, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

4. More than half —51 percent — of healthcare employees believe their company does not have an official mobile messaging platform, despite that 92 percent of these employees would use a company-wide mobile messaging platform if their employer implemented one.

5. Thirty-five percent of healthcare respondents use mobile messaging regularly throughout the day, while 91 percent use mobile messaging at least a few times per week.

6. For more information about the study, visit the website with complete findings.

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