Recent advances in electronic technology have brought some interesting and valuable new tools to the medical field. Medicaid is just one healthcare sector in which new electronic applications can be extremely helpful and cost-efficient. For example, filling out one form electronically, which will then be automatically routed to the most appropriate program with minimal interaction and paperwork, allows for the Medicaid process to be more efficient and streamlined. These electronic applications, such as mobile healthcare applications allow doctors to receive information directly from the patient on their mobile devices through a secure messaging service.
Besides streamlining patient information right to the doctor, these messaging services are valuable due to their security. HIPAA, or the The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, was created by the United States Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. This act was developed to regulate and protect the privacy and security of certain health information. Today, with the use of a HIPAA messaging and other secure messaging services, health care providers can access patient information more rapidly and securely.
The use of these mobile medical applications not only benefit the doctors, but benefit the patient as well. In February of 2009, President Obama signed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, better known as the “Hitech” Act. This act provides $27 billion in financial incentives for digital health record use. The development and deployment of a BYOD (bring-your-own-device) programs for health care provides an opportunity so save a significant amount of money, but also requires careful planning to comply with security standards under the HIPPA act.
Very few threats to security exist while using these secure messaging services. Examples of potential threats include: Theft or loss of the mobile device, improper disposal of the device, or interception of transmission by an unauthorized person. Simply put, if the mobile devices are properly taken care of by the health care professional, and the patient, these applications will continue to provide efficient healthcare information securely.