Ensuring HIPAA compliant employee communication in the age of ACA

Mobile FeaturesHealthcare is a complicated industry that is rapidly evolving with the implementation of Affordable Care Act (ACA). Quality Independent Physicians (QIP) is an accountable care organization that uses Red e App to meet their employee communications needs.

Red e App provides an open and dedicated channel of employee communication to exchange files, images, and for HIPAA compliant text messaging that is trackable and measurable. Above all else, patient care and attention is optimized, partner communications is consolidated, and all data is secure.

TechRepublic knows that companies have to evolve or be left behind in todays fast paced healthcare industry. They interviewed Tom Samuels, chief financial officer of QIP about how they use Red e App to stay ahead of the curve. Below are some snippets of their conversation:



Before Red e App, care coordinators were out visiting patients in hospitals or in their homes, and the only way care coordinators could securely communicate with the practices was to fax information back to the office and then wait for the doctor to respond back to them. We really couldn’t call the doctor because the doctor would be seeing patients in the office.


“So we were looking for a tool that was quick and easy and we looked at bunch of different communications apps,” Samuels recalled. “We came across Red e App and we felt like it solved a lot of communications problems. It’s just a simple application, strictly for communications.”


Samuels told me that the company looked at a couple of other apps for secure communications, but they were more focused around patient billing and had too many bells and whistles.


“We just thought Red e App was easy, simple, and the doctors could gravitate and use it on their cell phones and smartphones,” according to Samuels.


He added the Red e App includes a web portal application that enables office managers to send secure files that include patient health information (PHI).


“For example, we have members enrolled in our ACO,” Samuels explained. “We could send a listing to the practices and say ‘Hey, these are new members in the ACO, you need to get them in for their annual wellness visit. You need to get with them and do thing with them.’ When before you would have to fax it, or hand deliver it to the offices. It made for easier communications for us.”

At QIP, topics around the Red e App became part of the monthly committee meetings the ACO has with its doctors. The talks around Red e App adoption amongst the doctors included super users and covered:


  • Importance for HIPAA compliant communications
  • Demonstrating how to install the app on Doctor’s phones

If needed, somebody installed Red e App on the doctor’s phone during or after the meeting.


“It was a little eye opening,” Samuels said. For example, QIP had some doctors who would text (unencrypted) their specialist about patient.


“That’s a HIPAA violation,” Samuels said. “Some of these doctors were clueless and didn’t know.”


“You can still do that through Red e App and be secure,” Samuels noted.


“A lot of the doctors, once they learned texting was a HIPAA violation, then that gave them a little bit of motivation to jump on board,” Samuels recalled. “They liked the fact that Red e App is private, and they were not giving away their cell phone numbers.”

Read the full interview for more information about device security, QIP’s lessons learned, and improving healthcare employee communications in the age of ACA.

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