Solving the Challenge of Legacy Healthcare Communications

This article highlights challenges and solutions Health IT leaders face whilst preparing to modernise their healthcare communication strategy.


Research indicates ineffective communication in healthcare is one of the leading causes of medical errors and patient harm.

Human error remains one of the top contributing factors of data breaches within the health sector.

As healthcare organisations scramble to engage and service their professional network, various tools are applied under shadow IT, revealing security flaws, inefficiencies, and increased potential for litigation.

THE ISSUE

The health industry has an entrenched communication issue that is reliant on phone tag, WhatsApp, Facebook, personal email and fax. These tools are far behind modern forms of communication other industries benefit from. They inhibit rapid and accurate information transfer required for providing effective clinical care.

The need to quickly communicate between organisations, departments, and specialties across the health industry has seen widespread uptake of these unsanctioned consumer apps. 

How does the Health Industry currently connect?

The lack of a wide-reaching communication network across the health industry has driven doctors, nurses, and healthcare providers to WhatsApp, Facebook Groups, Facebook Messenger, personal email, and SMS to connect with their extended network.

Why is there a technology problem in the Health industry?

It is estimated that healthcare organisations lag approximately a decade behind other industries in terms of digital technology progress and adoption. There are many barriers Health IT leaders face while preparing to advance their digital readiness:

  • Privacy and security concerns
  • Integrating legacy systems with new digital/mobile technologies
  • Clinician resistance to integrating new solutions into workflows
    source

The finance industry, which operates under tight regulations, quickly overcame security fears and solved global interconnectivity. The constantly innovating industry leverages new technology to grow and gain a competitive edge, resulting in improved services and customer experience.

Public health institutions are often underpinned by legacy systems built on a mindset that a closed infrastructure is the only secure option. Granted, this is a strong security stance but the outcomes of siloed systems grinds innovation and interconnection to a standstill.

Consider Xero, a modern approach to accounting software. Xero has an ever-growing marketplace of verified integrations that are available. Xero users can easily click and connect a new service or tool that helps solve their business challenge. With an open approach to their platform, the Xero team doesn't need to solve every problem their customers face. They are able to benefit from a marketplace of verified apps while the Xero product continues to lead the market with a rich ecosystem of business tools.

With data-breaches at an all-time high, and with communication processes relying on dated systems and solutions not fit for purpose, there has never been a better time to bring together the health system in a modern, real-time secure setting.

 

So, what's is the solution?

‘Foxo’ has developed a modern, interoperable, purpose-built platform that securely connects health professionals in real-time.

Accessible on mobile or desktop, the platform gives health professionals instant access to information, media, and verified contacts in a secure patient-centric environment. Featuring collaborative environments built for multi-disciplinary teams, anyone can share critical information from their desktop or phone and benefit from clearer and faster communication. 

Foxo allows its users to securely integrate with siloed systems, connect with individuals or teams beyond their clinic, network or hospital boundaries, reduce time spent on hold with hospital switchboards and enable fast and easy access to information.

What are the direct benefits of Foxo?

Foxo can be utilised by doctors, nurses, administration staff, and other health professionals for:

  1. Integrations with leading clinical systems for accurate and fast clinical information transfer
  2. Secure messaging between individuals, groups, teams, and businesses that follow clinical workflows with a patient context
  3. Encrypted file sharing direct from your device or desktop without storing locally on your phone
  4. Hosting multidisciplinary team meetings in a patient context with cross-organisational participants
  5. Case management and collaboration between providers and organisations
  6. Task management and triagaing
  7. Permission management for recalling incorrect information or recipiants
  8. 1-click bookings between primary care and enterprise organisations
  9. Clinical handover
  10. Organisational broadcasting

...All in the one easy to use platfrom.


How is Foxo more secure?

Data residency is a trending policy health organisations are paying close attention to. If you are using Whatsapp and Facebook, and in some instances MS Teams,  the information you share will be distributed across servers beyond your region and often stored offshore. With Foxo, all data is encrypted at rest and in transit and stored locally. This means data is always secure, can only be accessed by the intended user at all states of flow, and information is stored securely in Australia or your preferred location.

Often, software providers undergo annual penetration testing to find any vulnerabilities that may result in a data breach. However, Foxo undergoes penetration testing every three months by an independent security firm.

The Foxo platform includes various environments and workflows built for secure clinical communication, file sharing, and case management. All users are verified on the network to ensure the platform is restricted to healthcare professionals (clinical and administrative).

As users engage with clinical information or other users, their actions and permissions are recorded and published in a permanent log.

The Foxo mobile app will never store clinical images on your phone. When you take a photo using Foxo, it stores it in an encrypted state on our Australian servers and can only be accessed by you. Foxo features a quick unlock pin that adds a layer of security to access your messages and media.

It is the many small, unobtrusive, and complementing features that keep the platform secure, powerful, and practical. A culmination of security, innovation, and interoperability has positioned the Foxo platform as the preferred method of secure communication and collaboration in Health.

 

References:

  • Improving Patient Safety Through Provider Communication Strategy Enhancements. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK43663/ [Accessed 21 January 2022].
  • OAIC. 2021. Notifiable Data Breaches Statistics. [online] Available at: https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/notifiable-data-breaches/notifiable-data-breaches-statistics/ [Accessed 21 January 2022].

  • Healthcare Innovation. 2021. Study: Healthcare Lags Other Industries In Digital Transformation, Customer Engagement Tech. [online] Available at: https://www.hcinnovationgroup.com/population-health-management/news/13030021/study-healthcare-lags-other-industries-in-digital-transformation-customer-engagement-tech#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20study%20authors,it%20applies%20to%20patient%20data. [Accessed 21 January 2022].

  • HealthcareITNews. [online] Available at: https://assets.unisys.com/Documents/Global/WhitePapers/WP_20190618_TheDigitalHealthContinuum.pdf [Accessed 21 January 2022].

 

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