Beaufort Memorial Hospital switches to Imprivata secure texting system

Beaufort (S.C.) Memorial Hospital has mostly changed over to a secure texting app, formally inserting into its workflow what providers were already doing with their devices.

CIO Ed Ricks said he noticed three years ago that clinicians were already texting each other with information in the 197-bed hospital. Texting through consumer devices is not secure, so he decided to work with Lexington, Mass.-based Imprivata to implement its secure Cortext app. Because the physicians were already using texting to communicate, requiring them to adapt to the technology didn't take much, Mr. Ricks told mHealthNews.

Mr. Ricks recommended that healthcare executives engage physicians early in the process to gather their input throughout the implementation. He also said including auditing capabilities on the platform helps executives track the messages and ensure that care coordination protocols are being followed.

Although the project has been successful, Mr. Ricks said some departments are still using pagers. However, this isn't because of technological recidivism — physicians in the hospital's anesthesiology department, which still uses pagers, decided they need voice pagers because they need their hands free, he said. Allowing for that flexibility improves the department's workflow, he said.

Mr. Ricks will speak at HIMSS15 on April 14 in Chicago.

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