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The Benefits of Secure Paging for the Healthcare Industry

2018-08-02T01:37:59 -  +
The Benefits of Secure Paging for the Healthcare Industry

Messaging for pagers is something that some industries have held onto and upgraded over the years. There are significant benefits to the reliability and speed of messaging, along with the ability to run a pager for days on a single battery charge. For some industries that need always-on, always-delivered messaging day or night, pagers have their place.

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When needing greater security, then secure messaging using the latest commercial data encryption technologies is utilized to ensure data privacy too.

Here’s a look at the need for secure paging and how it’s used within the healthcare industry.

Need for Medical Staff to Stay Connected

Unlike in some other industries that offer important services that are not mission-critical, the medical profession requires its staff be on-call for emergencies. Whether reaching the doctor or nursing staff during their scheduled downtime or calling them in because of a regional emergency condition, reaching healthcare personnel at a critical time is vital.

Smartphones drain power. Without a fully charged power bank as a backup option, there’s the risk that the phone will die due to a low battery issue. At this point, hospitals and other healthcare facilities cannot contact their staff at all unless they happen to be home at the time.

How Pagers Maintain Connections when Cellphones Don’t

At times when the call volume has spiked suddenly – like local emergency situations where everyone is trying to call home at the same time – phone calls to cell phones and landlines often don’t connect. The networks get overloaded and cannot route the calls successfully. Anyone who’s tried to get through and kept getting voicemail knows this frustration all too well.

The advantage of message paging technologies is that it requires minimal bandwidth and negligible connectivity to send a very short data stream from a paging system. Just like how SMS messages can reach the receiver while calls won’t connect, pagers perform far better for short messages when most other communication channels are failing due to network demand or technology failure.

Secure vs Insecure Messaging

Why modern hospitals need encrypted paging is a good question. The answer is that anytime a message related to a patient or confidential medical information is sent, the healthcare organization has a duty to keep this information private. Insecure messaging does not achieve this and relies on the entire staff to be mindful enough to always censor their messaging to avoid broadcasting private information.

HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA is a 1996 law in the US making it a requirement for healthcare organizations to safeguard medical information. This covers a broad mandate including security aspects for storing data and ensuring it remains private, where appropriate to do so. With encrypted messaging, this is HIPAA-compliant because usually each pager has a separate encryption key, encrypts all messages, and requires logging back in regularly to prevent improper access.

For the medical field, secure paging technologies support their critical mission to provide patient care as and when it’s needed. The low power requirement needed to keep a pager running and the deliverability of secure messages makes their use a no-brainer for healthcare organizations that must reach their key medical staff immediately.

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