“Hospital’s dirty little secret: Caregivers sharing clinical data via personal phones”

October 28, 2014 in In the News

“Hospital caregivers typically bring their own mobile devices to work and use them to share clinical and care coordination information other members of their multidisciplinary care team. It’s a practice that screams “HIPAA violation.”

Much of this information is transmitted via text messages or multimedia SMS. This can even include images.

This might be fine if the messages were transmitted on a Wi-Fi VoIP network within the hospital’s firewall. But this usually isn’t the case. SMS runs on cellular networks like those operated by AT&T and Verizon.

And as Health and Human Services (HHS) CTO Bryan Sivak pointed out here at VentureBeat’s HealthBeat conference in San Francisco, SMS messages typically make several hops when traveling over the cellular network. They might be cached on a local AT&T server or stored for a certain period on the network of a backbone operator like Level 3 Communications.

This is a clear violation of HIPAA. And the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) under the HHS, the office charged with enforcing privacy laws, is said to be getting tougher on HIPAA violations stemming from insecure communications technologies.

Insecure care-coordination communications in the hospital and in other care environments has been the elephant in the room for quite some time, but administrators may soon be forced to deal with it.

And this could create opportunity for startups. CareWeb, a software platform being developed at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center, provides an app that caregivers can use to share care-coordination information with team members.

The app is served from the Salesforce platform and looks like a social networking news feed. Salesforce has signed a business associate agreement with UCSF, making Salesforce responsible for the privacy of the data running through its platform.”

Originally published in VentureBeat by Mark Sullivan

Patients want to communicate with their providers. Providers want to coordinate care and use the smartphones in their pockets for cutting edge medicine. Care teams want to be on the same page and share data. Everyone – from Patient to Provider can win – all while ensuring Patient information remains secure and private with CaptureProof.

CaptureProof knows what a huge pain point HIPAA violations can be. That is why earlier this summer we created our “Safety First” Series, which gave all of our readers – particularly healthcare providers – the understanding and tools to approach communication and media storage in a HIPAA compliant way.

A patient is worried about a post-operative wound and wants to send his or her doctor a picture. Not a problem – the patient snaps a photo which is  uploaded, encrypted, stored in a secure cloud, and sent to the doctor to review and reply. The doctor receives it immediately.

A doctor wants a consultation on his or her patient and wants to share photos and video? Quick and easy – the doctor can share the media, and discuss over CaptureProof what is the best next step for his or her patient.

At CaptureProof, we take patient privacy and security very seriously and we want to help healthcare providers communicate with each other, and with their patients in a mediafriendly and HIPAA compliant way. CaptureProof’s solution is a easy-to-use HIPAA app and web portal for photo, video, and chat communication.
Visit us at and start using our free app today!


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