Secure Texting App Comes to CHOC – An Update from Dr. Bill Feaster, CHOC Children’s Chief Medical Information Officer

Bill Feaster, M.D. CHOC Children’s chief medical information officer
Bill Feaster, M.D. CHOC Children’s chief medical information officer

As many of you are aware, texting protected health information (PHI) over a non-secure platform is a violation of HIPAA.  Unfortunately, this has become a growing, common practice in healthcare due to convenience and the quick responses usually elicited by a text message. Fortunately, there are many products on the market today that allow us to continue to use texting, while still protecting PHI.

After an 18-month evaluation, and many changes in the vendors in the market, we have chosen PingMD, a medical messaging app, as our solution for secure texting. There are several advantages of PingMD over other products on the market. PingMD, in addition to secure texting, allows you to send pictures and videos. It is ideal for communicating with referring providers, as they can sign up for free when invited by CHOC physicians using the application to communicate with them. Additionally, we looked at the current solutions at some surrounding hospitals and felt that PingMD had many advantages over the competition.

While we already have a small test group of users using the product, our full roll-out of the application will occur mid-July. Preliminary work has been done to set up accounts based on medical staff physicians who have a sign-in to CHOC Port (Active Directory account), user groups, etc. Residents and other providers will be added soon after.

Stay tuned for more information in the following weeks. Thank you.