Secure Text Messaging Can Cut Hospital Discharge Times by 50 Minutes

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Secure text messaging can cut hospital discharge times by 50 minutes potentially generating more than $3.1 billion in revenue annually.

Outdated communication technologies such as pager costs is causing the healthcare industry to lose more than $8.3 Billion annually, according to key findings from a May 2013 study by the Ponemon Institute. The study sponsored by healthcare security software and services company, Imprivata entitled “The Economic and Productivity Impact of IT Security on Healthcare” surveyed 577 clinicians, IT practitioners and other healthcare professionals that ranged from fewer than 100 beds to more than 500.

Respondents agreed that the continued use of pagers and other outdated communication technologies decreases productivity, increases discharge times and limits doctor/patient interaction. Clinicians waste an average of more than 45 minutes each day due to the use of outdated communication technologies, costing the U.S. healthcare industry more than $5.1 billion annually.

On average, it can take 101 minutes to complete the discharge of a patient and about 37 minutes of that time is due to waiting for the doctor, specialist or others to respond with information necessary for the patient’s release. 65 percent of survey respondents believe that secure text messaging is the answer that can cut discharge times by about 50 minutes, which the Ponemon Institute estimates could generate more than $3.1 billion in revenue per year across the healthcare industry. Key findings concluded that the average revenue loss per hospital each year is $557,253.

The study also highlights how HIPAA compliance requirements can be a barrier to providing effective patient care by reducing time available for patient care, making access to electronic patient information difficult and restricting the use of electronic communications. 51 percent of respondents believe HIPAA security and privacy regulations make it more difficult to deliver quality patient care.

Other key findings include:

  • Forty-four percent of respondents say their organization supports Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) today or expects to add support for EPCS within the next 12 months
  • The average economic impact of a data breach over the past two years for the healthcare organizations was $2.4 million
  • 62 percent of survey respondents say their organization is an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) or expects to become an ACO within the next 12 months.

Key highlights of the report is also included in the infographic shown below:

Secure Text Messaging Can Cut Hospital Discharges Times by 50 Minutes

Click here to download the full report.