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Advanced Technology That Improves Communication

Loblaw Companies Limited shaped and in many aspects created the modern supermarket. Self-serve style supermarkets were an innovation, and the chain had over 1,000 locations with a new set of headaches to handle. Communication was top priority. That’s where HipLink joined Loblaw Companies Limited and had to make sure Canada’s largest food distributor kept up with the demand.


The Basic Issue


Loblaw’s technical support group had a lot riding on their shoulders. They oversaw the software that controls distribution, inventory, and billing departments (among others). They worked hard to make sure systems stayed active, but no program is perfect. When one system went offline, they had to be prepared to spring into action. Communication was key. Paging key personnel or placing a few calls was not enough. Too many calls went unanswered and pages were lost. They needed a faster, real time way to connect with staff on location to ensure the downtime doesn’t impact the entire business.


Technical Problems


Basic solutions like calling and paging were used for years, but as technology advanced, the need for a more efficient way to communicate became imperative. It can become quite easy for things to go wrong when you’re picking up a phone or sending a page. Even when the system is working perfectly, it’s time intensive and eats resources that the technical support group could be placing elsewhere.


The problem with replacing the system, however, had to do with size and scalability. Using phones and pagers wasn’t working perfectly, but it was working alright: orders were mostly getting filled, however the communication through manual paging and phone calls was very time consuming. Loblaw concern was that they didn’t want to jump from a workable, inefficient solution to one with greater drawbacks. “Out of the frying pan, into the fire” could drastically impact the business. Moving forward with an enterprise-wide solution wasn’t feasible. Choosing a difficult to implement solution wouldn’t allow them to roll it out to the rest of the company in stages. They were at a standstill until they found HipLink.


HipLink’s Flexible Solution


HipLink offered the functionality of other systems but with the opportunity to quickly launch a simple, straightforward solution that solved their immediate problems. Loblaw was able to see HipLink in action before committing to an enterprise-level system upgrade. It installed quickly and barely interrupted any workflow. Scaling was simple. HipLink rose to meet the challenges and impressed the support team with its responsiveness and ease of use.


Loblaw is a large company, but you don’t have to be a large company to benefit from HipLink. Wireless communication is key to handling time-critical, high impact information. HipLink is a powerhouse, whether it's used in one department or all of them. Best of all, it grows along with your business.




To read the full case study, click here.  







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Saving Lives through Improved Communication

Medical centers are in the business of saving lives, making patient survival rates heavily dependent on the expediency and efficiency of the medical center’s communication methods. For instance, the ER nurse activates the trauma teams and the doctors and staff need the paging system to keep each other informed of developing situations and emergency cases. Unfortunately, the most common technical solutions for medical communication are outdated and inflexible. 


The Oklahoma Medical Center

Medical centers need very specific communication systems in order to meet HIPPA standards which require that sensitive information is protected. This results in limited upgrade options that can restrict opportunities for growth and improvement. However, medical centers do grow. One of the primary problems with an existing system at Oklahoma Medical Center was its failure to keep pace with other key systems. The distributor’s poor customer service and technical support made it difficult to fix problems or improve existing flaws.


An Oklahoma Medical Center needed more from their communication service. They needed hardware and software that could reach doctors and specialists on any device or platform. Any potential solution would have to reach staff on various carriers. A web-based graphical user interface (GUI) would simplify communication. Most importantly, the new system needed to be reliable, and it needed to back up that reliability with redundancies.


HipLink’s Solution

HipLink drew the Oklahoma Medical Center’s attention with the HipLink Desktop Messaging solution. It started at the heart of the medical center’s system by addressing the need for a web-based graphical user interface. This centralized system creates a natural shortcut to processes that took far longer under the old system. As departments were able to use templates for rapid messaging, first responders no longer had to go through phone trees. In addition, on-duty staff could rely on their messaging system to alert them in emergencies.


HipLink also implemented carrier redundancy. The system provided additional reliability with automatic failover and carrier support. With the system’s flexibility, the medical center is free to grow and adapt to new technology. This is thanks to HipLink’s scalable products, which transfer easily between different platforms, devices, and carriers.


A Brighter Future for Patients

The centralized solutions that HipLink brought to the Oklahoma Medical Center immediately eased the center’s mission to provide the best quality care to patients. With the new system in place, doctors and staff can rely on their paging system. It reaches everyone, cuts down wasted time, and is already saving lives.


Time is everything in a medical center, especially one with the diverse range of services offered by the Oklahoma Medical Center. HipLink’s centralized communication system made it possible to communicate faster, easier, and more reliably. Ambulance crews can get information back quickly, and data goes out to all of the relevant teams rapidly. Most importantly, HipLink remains involved with their system, providing the support the medical center requires. 



Read our case study HERE.




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Toms River Improves First Responder Communication

No one needs good communication like first responders. The information delivered by dispatchers can mean the difference between life and death, and a single missed message could mean a lost life. The New Jersey town of Toms River found itself facing a crisis. They dealt with hundreds of callouts a day and the old system simply couldn’t handle that volume of dispatches. It was time for a fresh solution. Lives depended on it.


Not only is Toms River the county seat, but it serves as an evacuation point, vacation destination and has a military base nearby. The demands for emergency services changes with each season. While flexibility is on every business’s shopping list, it’s harder to achieve than many assume. First responders deal with a wide range area, including barrier islands that have to be accessed through neighboring towns. They cover a lot of ground, and with all the seasonal guests, it is easy for callouts to become overrun.


This is exactly what happened. Toms River relied solely on a radio paging system to handle callouts and dispatch. The police, fire department, and ambulance staff all used the same system. It didn’t take long for it to reveal its flaws. In addition to its limited capacity for callouts, the radio system didn’t work well for officers at the edge of the system’s range. The calls never reached those answering calls from inside structures like shopping malls and apartment complexes. It was a dangerous gap in the first responders’ communication network.


A nine person team examined the situation and found the best solution. Although the radio system was a time honored part of the dispatch network, it needed supplemental technology. A CAD system joined the team, accompanied by HipLink notification software. The result was a system that used radio, but did not depend on it. First responders received notifications and information via their cell phones, and not just the station radio. This not only ensured all relevant parties had up to date dispatches, but it also provided a backup in case of radio failure.


It didn’t take long for the new system to prove itself. When the radio dispatch system failed, firefighters still received the callout via text. They managed to contain a kitchen fire that might otherwise have grown out of control. Toms River first responders are also getting ahead of emergencies by managing planning with Office of Emergency Management. Now they can interact with commercial cell carriers and it’s easier to warn officials and residents about impending danger. The town’s preparedness for hurricane Irene was a practical demonstration of how well prepared the first responders were.



First responders don’t have easy jobs, but the right communication software can make their roles easier to manage. With the right planning, they can even get ahead of natural disasters and seasonal increases of water-related accidents.


Read the case study HERE.









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Enhance Clinicians’ Ability to Focus on Direct Patient Care

Grace Hospital in Ohio is commonly known as a high stress and high fatigue environment. Operating as a not-for-profit hospital, within a hospital, Grace handles patients with the most complex and serious cardiac conditions. While they only staff experienced and dedicated individuals, all four hospitals suffered from alarm fatigue, a struggling budget, and strained communication.


Alarm Fatigue and its Dangers


What is alarm fatigue? This term describes the kind of burnout that affects nurses and clinicians in a high stress environment. Seemingly, every minute of every day, alarms go off in a hospital - given that just about every patient monitoring equipment has an alarm. It often becomes difficult for nurses to differentiate between important, non-emergency alarms, and emergency alarms.


HipLink leads the way in providing solutions to this problem. With our technology, alerts are sent to nurses’ smartphones as an alarm goes off. This allows the nurse to immediately see the severity of the alarm and the choice to respond to it. HipLink’s secure messaging system also maintains patient confidentiality, while giving nurses the equipment they need to do their job.


High Costs for a Non-Profit


Fighting alarm fatigue was based on two main resources of Grace Hospital: cost and manpower. The nursing profession, always in-demand, created a recruiting challenge for Grace Hospital. This was due to its four locations and highly specific work. Given that the hospital is a not-for-profit organization, gathering funding presented a challenge for its less than ideal budget and this affected manpower conditions. Without money to invest in larger technological solutions, the hospital turned to staff members to ease the burden.

The hospital’s solution included setting up a “war room.” From there, clinicians monitored all alerts. When a crisis arose, they directed the nurses to answer it. While this solution was imperfect, it was better than nothing. Unfortunately, it ate into the budget and produced an unnecessary delay in treatment.


Now that HipLink and other services presented by AT&T are on the floor, these war rooms aren’t needed. This saves the hospital money by easing staffing problems. Nurses work the floor instead of being on monitoring duty. More gets done and individual patient care goes back to being the main focus.


Communication is Critical


Grace Hospital now faced the final hurdle of poor communication as the hospital was spread out over four locations. Moreover, each location was housed in a hospital-within-a-hospital. This posed unique challenges to communication. AT&T worked with Grace Hospital to set up a virtual private network that saved them money and supported HipLink messaging.


Not-for-profit hospitals like Grace Hospital face mounting obstacles to get the cutting-edge technology that they need. Ohio’s Cleveland area is better served now that Grace Hospital’s four locations are linked. Saving money on monitoring and cutting down on alarm fatigue allows nurses to put their focus back on individual patient care.



Read our Case Study on Grace Hospital & HipLink HERE.








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Effective HIPAA Compliant Solution – Without Compromise

The way healthcare professional’s access data is changing, but security needs to change to meet HIPAA standards. Access to information is critical for physicians and staff as rapid communication and ease of access may determine a patient’s life or death. One of the most popular ways to access patient files is via mobile devices. Unfortunately these devices aren’t always as secure as they should be and the healthcare industry has been the target of staggering amounts of successful cyber attacks over the past few years.


The Demand for Mobile

Advancements in efficiency and the pace of work have made mobile devices doctors’ go-to source of information. This includes sensitive patient data, protected under HIPAA. It’s far easier for a doctor to check patient records en route to their hospital room, rather than stop to look up the necessary data on a computer. Affiliates also use mobile devices to send, receive, and even store confidential data. Since mobile apps now read bar codes, including those on medications, patient wristbands, medical charts, etc., the appeal of mobile devices as a universal data tool is overwhelming. It cuts down transcription errors, allows superior access to information, and improves communication between healthcare professionals. While all these make points of communication vastly more effective, they also put the data at risk.


The Threat of Cyber Attacks

Healthcare IT departments are facing a crisis. Many physicians use personal phones at work, and even if those phones use intrusive Big Brother software to essentially look over the physician’s shoulder, these devices are usually unsecured. While an IT department helps to strengthen defenses for on-site systems and devices, they have no way of protecting mobile devices that come and go from their purview. Cyber criminals are aware of mobile devices’ lax security, and they have adjusted their targets accordingly. Healthcare has seen millions of dollars of damage in recent years from cyber attacks, and far too many personal files were stolen or exposed. IT departments who wish to restrict personal mobile phone usage have valid concerns, but issuing work phones to all full time, part time, and affiliate employees is beyond impractical. The solution must come from new apps, not from new hardware.


The Solution

The solution lies in regulating information by controlling a single app that allows all necessary users to access critical information. Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI) gives healthcare professionals access to patient information from anywhere they can use their mobile devices. However, it also ensures they do not keep that data on vulnerable phones, or leave sensitive information open in unattended apps. The app runs on servers the secure data center, and while the app offers a window to the data, it doesn’t store or even temporarily retain the information viewed.

Healthcare professionals need access to data, and IT departments need to ensure that access doesn’t compromise the security of the data in question. Virtual Mobile Infrastructure solves both problems. Even if a phone is lost or stolen, the data it accessed remains secure. It’s a HIPAA compliant solution that does not compromise the efficiency of medical staff.



Read more about HipLink’s Secure, HIPAA Compliant App HERE.



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Why a Wireless Communication Strategy Is Crucial to Crisis Management

In today’s world, organizations encounter many different types of crises.  Natural disasters, workplace violence, technological crises, and financial crises are just some of the unexpected dilemmas that threaten employee safety, company reputation, corporate assets, and financial results.


When developing plans to manage a crisis, it is imperative that a communication strategy be incorporated.   In fact, a wireless communication system should be the first thing developed to ensure that in the event of an emergency, the right people are notified at the right time.  Effective communication allows team members to collaborate and respond efficiently. 


Alert Notification Solution Requirements


In an emergency, the way an organization responds within the first 24 hours has a profound impact on minimizing risks and controlling costs related to the crisis.  Therefore, an effective alert notification system is necessary to notify everyone who needs to be made aware of the situation.  When seeking an effective alert notification solution, it should meet every one of the following requirements:


·        -  Accelerated flow of information to correct responders and decision makers

·        -  Works with all carriers and all communication protocols

·        -  Confirm that all units work collaboratively at all locations

·        -  Provide status of resources in real-time

·        -  Integrates seamlessly into existing applications

·        -  It must be scalable to adhere to the needs of the organization

·         - Enable fast responses and remote actions by providing two-way capabilities


If a crisis occurs, a communication strategy with an alert notification solution that provides all the above requirements will ensure your organization is prepared for the first 24 hours to maximize the most positive outcome possible.


Resolving Wireless Infrastructure Challenges


There are many different types of mobile devices, software technologies, and carriers using different protocols.  People will always have different tastes and different devices.  Likewise, different organizations use various types of software.  The vast number of different devices, carriers, and software types in one organization can present a real challenge to an organization’s wireless infrastructure.  The key to solving this is a wireless messaging software system that makes all the devices work together. 


HipLink Software provides organizations text and voice messaging capabilities to any mobile device and carrier worldwide.  With the ability to function as a stand-alone messaging system or integrate with virtually any software, HipLink’s wireless messaging software provides a vital component in an organization’s communication strategy in a crisis.


Our software is used in many industries including government, healthcare, financial institutions, transportation, manufacturing, and enterprise.  We provide a highly scalable, robust, and secure wireless communications software solution that is designed to meet critical messaging needs.  “HipLink is secure, fast, and loaded with features that will make sure your critical messages are delivered on time, every time,” Pamela LaPine, HipLink CEO and President.


For more information about incorporating HipLink software into your organization’s communication strategy, contact us at 1-800-524-7503. 


Download eBook HERE.





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Improve Alert Response Time and Employee Productivity


Imagine you are the CEO of a large financial institution and your organization is losing approximately $1,000 per minute in revenue opportunities and employee productivity.  Your organization has a complex IT infrastructure and must monitor several critical business systems utilizing CRM, network monitoring tools, and custom in-house solutions. You have a room fully staffed with numerous dispatchers to respond to every alert – whether it is from the help desk or there is an emergency that needs handled immediately.  Yet your organization is still losing money in network downtime.  Why?  What is the solution?


In your organization, when an alert is received and it is not responding immediately, it jumps to the next operator.  This process continues until the problem has been acknowledged.  If an alert moves through 10 people before being acknowledged, that is one part of the slow alert response time.  When the alert is finally recognized, it must be determined what system the alert is pertaining to, who manages the system, the best way to contact that person, and then make contact to address the problem.  That is a lot of time when responding to an alert. 


Even more time is lost when contacting the technician because each has requested to be notified by pager, email, telephone, or a collaboration of all three ways.  This method can take approximately 30 minutes to simply notify and dispatch someone to fix the problem. You need a solution to minimize downtime and the financial liability affiliated with lost revenue and reduced employee productivity. 


Improving your notification system by automatically alerting technicians and sending immediate notifications of network oddities to lessen downtime is what HipLink Application Messaging does – and a lot more.  By providing your organization with a complete wireless communication and a rock-hard notification system, your organization will be able to substantially reduce alert response time. Automatic alerts are sent to technicians and they see problems as they occur, not 30 minutes later.  In fact, at one large financial institution, HipLink generates 1.3 million messages annually with each being processed and delivered in less than 30 seconds.  Not only has this reduced amount of downtime, but also has saved the company thousands of dollars per day.

Furthermore, HipLink provides the ability to review detailed notification records.  This helps ensure problems are addressed and resolved in the timeliest manner. 


Implementing HipLink Application Messaging can lessen the impact of a problem as well as speed up the resolution of an event.  A robust, highly scalable solution that is very easily integrated with any software application, HipLink Application Messaging offers the following advantages:


  • One-Way & Two-Way Messaging with all text and voice wireless receivers
  • Supports all alphanumeric and numeric pagers, wireless devices, cell phones, landline phones, faxes, etc.
  • Supports all wireless carriers and protocols
  • Advanced Message Filtering
  • GUI (Graphical User Interface) Administration


Your organization is now saving $28,000 per incident ($1,000 per minute from lost revenue and reduced productivity).  With alerts generated by HipLink, your company could reduce its staffing requirements for monitoring network conditions, consequently saving a lot of money and freeing extra resources. Ensuring the right person receives the right notification via department and grouping features, HipLink offers additional cost savings in paging and texts.


Improved alert response time, financial gains, and increased employee productivity is one phone call away.  Call HipLink today at 1-800-524-7503 to get your organization back to gaining time and money.  



You can read our Large IT Department Case Study HERE



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Crucial Elements Every University Needs


Universities are not immune to emergencies such as fires, weather crises, mass shootings, and infectious disease outbreaks.  The key to combatting these emergencies to the greatest extent possible is preparedness.  Administrators, professors, and students must be prepared for anything to happen at any time. 


Looking back at the Virginia Tech mass shooting that occurred on April 16, 2007, the first 911 call came in at 7:15 a.m., notifying police there were at least two shooting victims at West Ambler Johnston Hall.  At 9:26 a.m., an email was sent by the school stating that a shooting took place at West Ambler Johnston Hall earlier that morning. At 9:45 a.m., 911 received a call reporting a second round of shootings in the classrooms at Norris Hall.  At 9:50 a.m., students received an email stating, “Please stay put,” and notifies them that a gunman is loose on the campus.  Then, at 9:55 a.m., university officials sent a third message via email and text messages to students regarding the second shooting.  A total of 32 people were killed that day and 17 were injured by gunshots.  Six others were injured from jumping out of windows to escape. 


For this article, the main factors to consider are the times of the shootings and notifications.  Approximately two hours and 15 minutes passed before an email was sent by the school.  Two and one-half hours passed before 911 received another call.  During the time gap in the shootings, it is known that the gunman mailed a package to a news channel.  What else he did in these two hours will probably never be known.  The questions that remain are:  Could the second shootings have been prevented? How?


Planning Ahead for Mass Coordination


At a university, being prepared for an emergency situation is a complex process; however, for the health and safety of staff and students, it is imperative that plans are established to notify any and all groups within minutes.  Ensuring an immediate, coordinated response is vital to lessening the damage in an emergency. 


Implementing a tiered approach of notification for a coordinated response to a variety of emergencies will minimize additional panic and prevent misinformation.  Today, virtually all members of a university, from the staff to the students, have smartphones or pagers.  Utilizing these devices as a component of a coordinated response plan is crucial.


Based on years of experience,  HipLink recommends a tiered approach always being sure your response priorities are clear.  By using a combination of wireless notification to cell phones and pagers with notification beacons will ensure universities are using all of their available resources effectively and responsibly.  A brief summary of a tiered approach is as follows:


  • Tier 1 – First Responders.  Notifying first responders should be done using the fastest, most reliable text delivery method available.  Universities should also be prepared to send follow-up texts regularly with updates.
  • Tier 2 – Administration, Staff, and Resident Advisors.  These groups need to be quickly notified to inform them there is a situation and activate pre-defined response protocols.
  • Tier 3 – Teachers.  The training and education of teachers can be a very important part of a coordinated response.
  • Tier 4 – Students.  The student body should be notified through beacons as these can be specific to locations.  They also have the ability to send updates as the situation changes.  Using SMS or voice messages to students’ cell phones only results in a complicated university response and burdens responses due to overloaded cellular networks. 


HipLink can be used for standard wireless notification from either a desktop computer or with applications such as the university campus IT network.  It can even send alerts from your building management systems and fire safety systems. 


HipLink Features and Benefits


Providing a robust, secure, highly scalable wireless communications software system,

HipLink works with any data or voice-enabled wireless device.  Connections can also be made through pop-ups on the computer screen as well as messages sent to notification beacons.  All of this is completed from one interface.  Some of the other benefits of HipLink include the following:


  • Advanced features for both voice delivery of messages and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) functions
  • A highly-praised intuitive and easy to use desktop interface.  HipLink is a completely browser-based system which means a university has universal access to their notification system at any time, from anywhere there is internet connectivity available.
  • Notifying Students via desktop interface by sending computer pop-ups, digital signage, and notification beacons.
  • HipLink supports all carriers and all devices with no dependence on emails. 
  • Grouping ensures faster message delivery of the correct messages or tasks to the right people at the right time.
  • Built-in failover functionality at the carrier and receiver levels guarantees message delivery even if the primary delivery method should fail.  This is a huge advantage in an emergency.


These are just a few of the benefits HipLinkXS provides.  Every university should be prepared and equipped for any emergency at any time.  For more information, contact HipLink at 800-524-7503. 


The Answer


With today’s technology, the answer is yes – the second round of shootings at Virginia Tech could have possibly been prevented utilizing HipLink to notify all staff members immediately that there was a shooter on campus.  The entire university may have been locked down within minutes and everyone may have been safe.  It is cases such as the Virginia Tech shootings that require universities to implement one of the most advanced, reliable notification software solutions available.


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The Gold Standard of Communication for Assisted Senior Living

Placing a loved one with Alzheimer’s or any other memory-impairing disease in an assisted senior living environment is sometimes the best and only option for that person.  If faced with such a situation, you want to ensure they receive the best possible care and ensure their safety.  Therefore, you take a tour, meet with caregivers, and  leave a list of phone numbers for a staff member to call in case of emergency.  Have you asked how communication flows within the organization?  What happens if your loved one falls?  What if they try to escape?  These things often do not cross our minds because we think of a caring staff, a comfortable room, and 24-hour care as the necessities. Additionally, the stress of moving a loved one out of their own homes tends to make us forget to ask the things we need to know.


Communication among staff members, residents, and their families is extremely important in an assisted senior living environment.  The days of walkie-talkies are being replaced by wireless technology that virtually guarantees our loved ones’ care and safety.  At Silverado Senior Living, Inc., the mission and vision of memory-impaired residents is to minimize drug usage and help residents live with the new normal of their lives by rerouting, diverting, and re-educating residents.  This mission and vision is practiced within every single department of Silverado, including Information Technology (IT).  You may be asking what IT has to do with you and your loved one.  The answer?  Everything.


Communication is Key


In an assisted living environment where the nature of the diseases hinders the memories of residents, rapid and dependable communication is crucial.  Residents with impaired memories may become disoriented, forget where they are, and become confused about who the people are around them.  As you can imagine, this is scary and causes residents to try to regain control of their environment.  They may try to escape or use physical contact against others. Moreover, they also need to hear a familiar voice to reassure them everything is okay.  These types of issues make reliable communication an absolute necessity.   


By combining Spectralink wireless telephones and infrastructure with HipLink Wireless Paging Software, Silverado reached the gold standard of communication within the company.


How it Works


Silverado caregivers sign onto the wireless phone system and begin working with residents. If an alarm goes off, HipLink Software will instantaneously generate a brief text which is transmitted to all of the Spectralink wireless phones. This enables any caregiver in the area of the alarm to respond immediately. The caregiver can then acknowledge the situation has been resolved by just pressing a button on the phone, or the caregiver can simply reset the nurse call button in the resident’s room. For example, if a resident attempts to go outside, HipLink immediately sends a text to a Spectralink wireless phone specifying the exact location of the resident.  Another example is the wireless phone, enabling a caregiver to call 911 immediately in the event of a medical emergency. Prior to this technology, a caregiver would call the reception desk who would then call 911. This is wasting precious time and could possibly cause further injury in case of emergency.


Home Away from Home


Silverado creates a home-like atmosphere and encourages families to visit often. Again, communication is key, especially if the resident cannot remember who is visiting and becomes upset.  By simply pressing a button, help is seconds away.


Rick Barker, Silverado’s Vice President of Information Technology states, “The Spectralink-HipLink solution is now Silverado Senior Living’s standard for wireless communication.”


HipLink Wireless Paging Software provides the following features:


  • Highly reliable, automatic, wireless SMS text alerts to mobile phones or pagers
  • One application to channel all messages through
  • The ability to manage system alerts, network notifications, SQL server alerts, or critical systems alarms
  • Wireless notification is sent to the right person(s) at the right time


Having a loved one with a failing memory away from home causes constant worry and stress. These can be reduced by knowing they are receiving the very best of care supported by the gold standard in communication.  For more information, please contact HipLink at 800-524-7503. 


Please read more about HipLink and Silverado Sr. Living here

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The Undeniable Value of Mass Notification


Let’s be honest, we live in a dangerous world.  From school shootings to bomb threats to gang activities, violence is sadly very prevalent today.  Luckily, we have the public safety system as well as hospitals and other resources who will do anything and everything they can to help us if the need arises.  However, before they can help us, they need to be notified – immediately and accurately.  Notifying one police officer if there is a shooter in the local mall is not sufficient notification.


In today’s world, our police departments, fire departments, EMS departments, hospitals, educational institutions, large enterprises, and many others must have the means to reach people promptly when there is an emergency.  This involves having a wireless paging software system with complete two-way SMS texting, voice messaging, and fax messaging capabilities to virtually any device.


Identifying and Notifying with GIS


When a mass emergency occurs, there is no time for pulling the map out of the desk drawer to find the location of the emergency.  With a mass notification system that has GIS mapping technology, the user can create and interact with a variety of maps and data sources. A GIS module featuring an easy-to-use, fully integrated solution based on geography is vital in an emergency.  First, it must be able to extract data and match it with correlating phone numbers to send voice or text messages to the public.  Using this solution enables the user to zero in on specific locations on the map whether by zip code, a specific point on the map, or even a radius.  Immediately, the group to notify has been identified and a call list is automatically generated. 


Voluntarily Registering via Sign-Up Module


A Sign-Up Module whereby organizations allow citizens to self-register for emergency alerts is another excellent feature of a mass notification system.  The alerts can be sent to cell phones, pagers, VoIP numbers, and unlisted numbers.  Using the organization’s website, citizens can connect their information to an address in the county or the city’s GIS system. The Sign-up Module is also capable of gathering demographic data.  This means messages can be sent first to people who need more time to react.  For example, handicapped individuals, senior citizens, and even teachers may very likely need more time to escape an emergency situation. Additionally, an organization can opt to have informational topics that citizens can select for timely updates regarding the situation. 


Alert Notifications


A dependable mass notification system must have a simplified, certified Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) citizen notification module to issue critical public alerts and warnings. 

The types of alerts available should include:


  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) for broadcasting to cell phones
  • National Weather Service (NWEM) alerts for broadcasting non-weather related emergency alerts to the weather radio network
  •  Information exchange using COG to COG with other collaborative operating groups
  • Public feeds


There is no room for error when an emergency alert needs to be broadcasted.  A reliable mass notification system will ensure there are no mistakes.


Be Prepared


Many people still have the “it won’t happen to me” beliefs.  It is time to step out of that mentality and be prepared in case it does happen to you.  With a mass notification system, you can record a message, pre-record a message, type in a message for automatic text to speech conversion, or use a pre-defined template.  The text messages will be sent directly from your system to a person’s cell phone, pager, or email and no special connections are required.  The text message will then be sent to all the phone numbers and text devices identified in the call list.  Progress status and complete reports are also available.  Why is this important?  If you are a college professor and an armed man walks into your classroom, you need the capability to press one button to alert everyone that there is a shooter on campus.  From the dean, to the remaining students, everyone needs to be notified.  By creating a pre-recorded message and simply pressing send, you quite possibly just saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives. 


When the Message HAS to Get There


HipLink's Emergency Mass Notification System provides every single one of the applications and features in this article. You have the choice of using a fully hosted system in HipLink’s datacenter, a fully deployed system at your location, or HipLink’s hybrid solution.  No matter which you choose, you are guaranteeing a safer environment for everyone in the event of an emergency.  With over 20 years’ experience in providing emergency paging, emergency text messaging software, and industry-leading mass notification, HipLink is more than capable of arming you with the emergency mass notification system you need.  For more information, contact us at 1-800-524-7503. 





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How Enterprises Can Improve Their Crisis Management Strategy


There is a shooter in the building.  A patient is missing.  A tornado is seven minutes away.  There is a major fire in the building.  Enterprises will inevitably face crises.  Preparation is key to effective crisis response management. If there is a shooter in the building, the facility is locked down and the police are notified.  This scenario should also include a previously prepared, very rapid announcement to the entire staff for everyone to stay where they are, lock the doors, and hide. Being prepared in this situation could save many lives by simply sending a message – if the messaging system itself is effective. 


In today’s world, wireless communication is the most effective method of alerting the right people at the right time that there is a crisis.  Regardless of the time of day or night, wireless communication ensures that, once notified, team members can work together to effectively respond in a crisis.


Mass Notification Software


The wireless infrastructure consists of many different carriers using varying protocols.  With individuals and enterprises having different needs and tastes, it is impossible for every person to use the exact same wireless device.  The key is to make all the different devices work together. 


HipLink is wireless messaging software providing enterprises, law enforcement, fire departments, utilities, and emergency dispatch centers text and voice messaging capabilities to any mobile device and carrier.  A web-based collaborative software that supports your enterprise before, during, and after an emergency, HipLink can work as a stand-alone messaging system or be integrated with virtually any software – including computer dispatch systems, PBXs, or other software for the wireless alert notification component.  Whether you need to emergently notify 50 individuals, 5,000 individuals, or an entire city, HipLink is an established, proven emergency alert system that will meet your mass notification needs. 


A robust, secure, and highly scalable wireless communications software, HipLink’s mass notification software has some of the following key features:


  • Alerts and notifications under a single umbrella to the widest possible range of devices: phones, pagers, fax machines, email, smartphones, etc.
  • Automatically switch communication protocols or networks when a disaster knocks out a key piece of infrastructure
  • Integrated mapping application sends alerts to very specific areas
  • Dispatch IPAWS from HipLink directly
  • Geographically target WEA, EAS, NWEM, COG to COG, and public feeds
  • Public-facing web sign-up module lets citizens specify the best means of communications


Notify the Right Groups at the Right Time


Grouping is a major feature of HipLink software that will improve your organization's crisis management strategy by ensuring the correct messages or tasks are assigned to the right individuals at any time, all the time.  These types of groups are:


  • Broadcast groups – everyone in the group receives the message
  • On-duty groups – allows for scheduled resources and alerts to be sent to particular groups at any time
  • Rotate groups – allows for even distribution
  • Escalation groups – allow for mission critical alerts that must be answered
  • Subscription Groups – individuals can opt in to receive updates
  • Follow-Me Groups – multiple receivers can be set up for one individual


A truly remarkable feature of HipLink is any group can be nested inside another group.  With this feature, an enterprise is equipped with powerful tools to easily build response groups within the organization. 


Unlimited Degrees of Permissions


If administration and upkeep are dependent on one unit in an enterprise, even the most robust solution can be inadequate.  HipLink Department Feature allows for distribution of administration and user functions to be delegated while still maintaining control.  Unlimited degrees of permissions can be assigned.  Smaller departments can support their own users, update schedules, and give permissions, ensuring that your wireless platform is always maintained and up-to-date with very little, if any, impact on the enterprise. 


Prepare, Respond, Recover


Utilizing HipLink, an enterprise is supported before, during, and after a crisis.  To prepare, an organization can perform test drills and see which areas need improvement, test carrier efficiency, assign responsibilities for responses, and more.  During a crisis, HipLink sends the most powerful alert notifications to all devices.  It allows one to see real-time status of resources, execute a response plan from devices, as well as perform remote applications from devices.  To aid in recovering from a crisis sooner, HipLink provides a performed detailed analysis of personnel response, carrier efficiency, and system performance.  This enables an enterprise to assess deficiencies and plan for faster responses in the event of future crises.


Maximum Reliability


In the event of a crisis, one of the very worst things that can happen is failure of the primary message delivery method.  The chance of this occurring with HipLink is non-existent, as HipLink has built-in failover functionality at the carrier level and the receiver level.  This means the message will be delivered even if the primary delivery method should fail. 


In the event of a crisis, you certainly want the best possible system for mass notification, alerts, and messaging to ensure the safety of your employees as well as protect your enterprise.  Integrating HipLink into your existing software is certain to improve your enterprise’s crisis management strategy.  For more information, contact HipLink at 800-524-7503.



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Keeping PHI Secure to Avoid HIPAA Data Breaches


In this rapidly advancing technological world, an increasing number of healthcare providers are incorporating electronic health record (EHR) technology. In addition, they are also connecting to health information exchanges more frequently, making patient health information (PHI) more susceptible to online security threats as well as possible HIPAA data breaches.


The convenience of PHI being more accessible to providers also carries the risk of being more accessible to hackers and unauthorized users.   Effectively monitoring and managing potential risk is imperative for a healthcare organization.  Risk assessments play a key role in staying HIPAA compliant.  Mobile devices and ransomware threats are examples of why healthcare providers need to be prudent in their risk analyses.  The slightest oversight or lapse could lead to a HIPAA data breach as well as a lengthy, expensive recovery course.


What Is a HIPAA Data Breach


Per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a data breach is the forbidden use or disclosure of PHI under the Privacy Rule that jeopardizes the security or privacy of patients.  For example, if a nurse’s assistant is a friend of patient Jane Doe and posts on social media that Jane Doe’s health condition is worsening, this is a HIPAA breach.  Another type of data breach is unencrypted data being lost or stolen due to using backup tapes for data archival. Portable devices that are unencrypted or not properly safeguarded by passwords, personal identification numbers, or other security measures, pose a much greater risk of a data breach. 


There are three exceptions to the HHS Privacy Breach.  First, if a healthcare worker unintentionally acquires the use of PHI while acting under authority of the covered healthcare organization, this is an exception. Secondly, inadvertently sharing PHI with another person who has authorized access to PHI is not a breach.  For example, John Doe is a patient at XYZ Hospital.  Dr. Smith is his cardiologist and Dr. Jones is his nephrologist.  To properly coordinate a heart and kidney care plan of treatment for Mr. Doe, Drs. Smith and Jones are allowed to share PHI pertaining to the patient.  Lastly, if a healthcare organization believes that the person to whom the PHI disclosure was made is unable to retain the information, this is also not considered a data breach. 


Understanding HIPAA data breaches and the exceptions to the rule provides healthcare organizations the information they need to formulate extensive data security plans to keep PHI safe and secure.  One of the easiest ways to prevent an employee data breach is by training, documenting, and monitoring employee adherence to security policies and procedures. In addition to training your own employees, remember to be vigilant when checking your business associates’ compliance to ensure their employees have been trained.


Ransomware Attacks – Are They HIPAA Data Breaches


Whether or not a ransomware attack is a HIPAA data breach is determined on a case-by-case basis.  To put it somewhat simply, if electronic protected health information (ePHI) is encrypted as a result of a ransomware attack, it is considered a HIPAA data breach because the PHI was able to be accessed.  Therefore, it is a disclosure that is not permitted under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. 


On the other hand, if the ePHI encrypted in a ransomware attack was already encrypted in alignment with HIPAA regulations, it may or may not be considered a breach.  Each situation is treated uniquely.  The HHS Office of Civil Rights states, “If the electronic PHI (ePHI) is encrypted by the entity in a manner consistent with the Guidance to Render Unsecured Protected Health Information Unusable, Unreadable, or Indecipherable to Unauthorized Individuals such that it is no longer ‘unsecured PHI,’ then the entity is not required to conduct a risk assessment to determine if there is a low probability of compromise, and breach notification is not required.”


Ensuring PHI Protection


The HHS PHI Privacy Rule protects all individually identifiable health information held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral. 


In order to determine the best security measures, a healthcare organization must consider its size, capabilities, and complexity.  Furthermore, the technical hardware and software infrastructure must be evaluated as well as the expense of security measures.  Last, but certainly not least, every healthcare organization must scrutinize the likelihood and possible consequences of plausible risks to ePHI.


To protect ePHI, it is imperative that healthcare organizations keep all security measures up-to-date, confirm compliance with state and local laws, as well as HIPAA compliance.  There are several ways ePHI security can be compromised, and that is why facilities have to be cautious and able to adjust security measures when necessary. 


HipLink offers real-time secure messaging for Apple or Android devices. The user can send secure text messages, encrypted for HIPAA compliance from a desktop or smartphone.  For more information, contact us at 408-399-6120.  

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How to Effectively Implement Secure Text Messaging in Healthcare


Implementation of Secure Text Messaging (STM) affords healthcare providers a convenient, efficient method to communicate with colleagues in real time.  Lab results, medication requests, and test results can all be sent and received via a secure, encrypted text messaging app. 


However, implementation alone does not ensure usage of the STM app.  Many healthcare providers may be skeptical of the new changes to the existing system.  In order to augment adaptation, hospitals need to be driven and encouraging in their efforts to promote usage of the app.  An internal marketing campaign, support from the IT department, and positive feedback from users are some ways this can be done. 



Garner Support and Encourage Change


Procuring executive support and buy-in is crucial.  To achieve this, the project leader or manager must demonstrate how STM tackles business problems and how it can be advantageous to the hospital, i.e., improved communication amongst healthcare providers, HIPAA-compliant, and improved patient satisfaction.


Additionally, influential end users can help stimulate change by being advocates of the new technology.  When these users understand the benefits of STM to their daily work routines and the ease of use of the app, they will be eager to spread the word, resulting in others being enthusiastic about the new technology.  Technologically experienced physicians who are held in high regard by their peers are imperative in this process.  Colleagues tend to consider the opinion of a trusted source when determining their own stance concerning new technology. 


Encouraging change within technology is actually quite simple with an STM app.  Explaining that STM operates using the same methods as regular texting will immediately ease the transition into the new technology.  Detailing the benefits STM brings to each individual using the app is also a key point.  Does it save time?  Does it provide quicker communication with a colleague that ends in better care for a patient?  Incorporating clinical communications such as nurse call and code calls also offers workflow improvements to communicate more efficiently.



Promote the Advantages


Acceptance of STM also requires a marketing campaign.  Preferably with the help of the marketing department, plan a promotional crusade that ensures everyone is aware of the app’s availability, the rollout schedule, training opportunities and, specifically, the benefits for the end users.  Before the launch of the app, generate excitement with the help of newsletters, posters, banners, and blogs.  It is much easier to integrate new technology at an event that everyone is looking forward to.  Pre-launch blogs detailing the app and its ease of use as well as its many benefits can go a long way towards increasing enthusiasm. 


The rollout event is as essential as the marketing campaign.  To ease the transition, provide initial training, and answer questions, the event should have representatives from the IT department and from the vendor.  Seeing the app and having any concerns addressed in person will help end users accept it and perceive it as simple and beneficial not only to themselves, but to the patients as well.  Don’t forget to include the influential physicians and users as advocates for support at the event. 



Provide a Dependable Infrastructure and Troubleshooting Process


Comprehensive Wi-Fi and mobile coverage throughout all hospitals and affiliate locations is absolutely essential.  Lack of an excellent wireless and cellular signal not only leads to frustrated users, it can also have a devastating effect on the quality of patient care.  Critical messages that are delayed by a poor signal are unacceptable in a hospital setting.  Additionally, users who get frustrated by a poor network will not adapt to the STM. 


As with all technology, many things can occur that affect the functionality of the app.  A problem with the app, data accuracy of the contact directory, device settings, and more can all cause a glitch.  Implementing a self-service FAQ comprehensive database of the most common questions and troubleshooting problems will save time and solve the simplest of problems.  For more complex issues, a service desk can be established.  Users should have multiple means of accessing the service desk, including an avenue in the app itself.  Users who have a difficult time getting help when they have problems are likely to give up and return to the old, unsecure texting to communicate with others.  By getting quick answers and solutions to their problems, users are much more likely to engage with the app.



Plan and Deliver


For an STM app to be successfully adopted, it requires an excellent user experience.  As with all apps, most people blame one glitch on the app itself when the problem may actually be something else entirely such as poor cellular network coverage.  To prevent this, IT should test the app extensively to ensure a smooth user experience.


In-depth planning and preparations will help you deliver a more successful rollout to augment acceptance and enthusiasm of the STM app which is an invaluable, efficient communication tool that saves time and speeds the delivery of patient care.  For more information about HipLink and our STM app, contact us at 1-800-524-7503.






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Top Five Reasons for BYOD and Mobile Applications


Not too long ago, the use of mobile devices inside organizations was a foreign and often heavily debated concept.  The rapid increase of BYOD integrations and Mobile Application Management (MAM) has become an evolving phenomenon with many personal mobile devices present in the work place.


BYOD offers the capability to support fewer employee network devices, yet still unleashes productivity amid employees and partners. A successful BYOD implementation leverages the organization’s network and gets the best out of consumer technology.  In combination with cloud-based applications, personal device expansion, and data center reorganization, BYOD and MAM provide an opportunity for organizations to build the best network design with mobility in mind.  Managing BYOD and MAM properly is an integral part of any growth strategy. Organizations that incorporate formal programs and successful training will reap five crucial benefits:


An Increase in Employee Productivity


People are more comfortable and productive when using their own mobile device.  The functions of an employee’s personal phone or tablet are familiar and can be quickly accessed and utilized.  BYOD also enables employees to stay connected during down time (i.e., evenings, weekends, and commuting). In a healthcare setting, physicians and staff can use Secure Text Messaging (STM) to share clinical information on a patient, omit some of the red tape that comes along with referrals, schedule appointments, and document a patient’s care. 


Lower Overhead Costs


BYOD eliminates the responsibility of an organization to provide mobile devices to all employees.  Utilizing STM, an organization can send messages securely through message encryption and stay compliant with security standards.  


Advanced Business Processes


There is no denying that mobile devices have evolved tremendously over the past few years.  Combining MAM and BYOD enables organizations to create new business processes to streamline responsibilities and/or facilitate new functionalities when workers are away from their desks.  With MAM in place, healthcare providers can use their mobile devices anytime from anywhere to do tasks such as document patient encounters, view schedules, view patient charts, and prescribe medications. 


Consistency Among Users


Multimedia personal devices on a corporate network can restrict the quality of a user’s experience due to the additional capacity required to support them. A mainstream BYOD policy can help IT managers understand the impact of BYOD and improve the infrastructure where necessary to secure a consistent user experience for everyone. 




Mobile technology continues to advance quickly. An organization investing in the very best of mobile devices will suffer when these devices are obsolete in two or three years.  When employees are forced to use outdated devices, productivity suffers.  Employees are people that consistently upgrade to the latest technologically advanced mobile devices. With BYOD and MAM incorporated, an organization leverages employees bringing necessary devices in order to adapt to new technologies.




There are many more advantages of Mobile Application Management. By using HipLink for MAM, organizations see faster deployment, shorter learning curves, and increased Return on Investment (ROI) for communication solutions.


The HipLink Mobile Application provides the following features:


  •          Text Message App Overview
  •          Designed for Apple or Android and smartphones and tablets
  •          Supports Wi-Fi or Cellular Data connections
  •          HIPAA compliant encrypted text messages
  •          CJIS compliant encrypted text messages
  •         Alternative to SMS messaging
  •          Includes notification to desktops via pop-up alerts
  •          Audit trail to track delivery and read receipts


Additionally, HipLink Mobile has a suite of mobile application options that provide maximum flexibility and leverage optimum use of smartphones and tablets. Using HipLink Mobile, users have access to a priority view of important alerts, receiving fully-secure text messages, sending secure messages, and executing actions remotely.


Hiplink's proprietary protocol operates over TCP live connections so that text messages are sent completely independent of cellular SMS. The applications provide advanced messaging features for encrypted text messages, the ability to override phone settings for emergency messages, and one-click responses. Combined with the secure and easy to manage HipLink Platform, HipLink Mobile improves overall communication throughout the organization, regardless of location.


To learn more about BYOD and MAM, visit HipLink or call 1-800-524-7503 to learn more and to request a demo.







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Transforming Healthcare with Mobile Health Technology


Mobile health technology is transforming the entire healthcare system. The combination of innovative data analytics and mobile technologies are simplifying the methods used by healthcare professionals from the patient care experience to healthcare administration.


Healthcare providers faced obstacles with mobile health technology lacking essential protective measures as they relate to shared patient information, ensuring conformity of mobile devices with EMRs, and concluding which apps were the safest and most effective.  Today, the efficacy of mobile health technology has proven successful.  With access to a fully optimized, real-time, reliable mobile health app, healthcare providers have immediate access to vital information and the ability to share it with other pertinent team members. 


The Future Is Now


The 2015 HIMSS Mobile Technology Study consisted of 238 respondents who suggested that healthcare organizations are widely beginning to deploy mobile technologies with the aim of engaging patients within their organizations. Importantly, many of the respondents cited a need to fully optimize and leverage the diverse capabilities offered by mobile technology and platforms.  For example, almost 90% of respondents reported maintaining mobile devices to engage patients at their organizations. In addition, 47% of respondents indicated that implementing mobile services for access to information is a high priority in the future.


The prevalence of mobile technology in the health care industry is rapidly increasing as programs and applications for smartphones and tablets have progressively advanced. Mobile health technology (commonly referred to as mHealth) possesses the capability to improve patient care and boost efficiency of the staff and procedures.


In order to successfully incorporate mobile health technology into an organization, healthcare administrators must ensure that the app meets certain criteria:


1.    Does it offer timely and immediate access to information, whenever and wherever?

2.    Is it able to perform multiple tasks efficiently without having to switch from app-to-app?

3.    Is it organized to provide current, accurate, unbiased, relevant, and essential content during moments of care?

4.    Does it allow healthcare providers to receive and review the information they need, when and how they need it?

5.    Does it seamlessly connect with EMR (or EHR)?

6.    Does it help healthcare providers be more productive in and out of the office?


By using a mobile device to input data and update patient charts, a healthcare provider is able to spend more time with the patient and less time on the computer. 


Secure Text Messaging


Secure Text Message (STM) is used for securely sending and receiving texts and picture messages with an assortment of other mobile devices and workstations in a HIPAA-compliant manner.  Secure text messages are encrypted while being transmitted to meet the protection requirements PHI (Patient Health Information). 


By implementing an STM app, a healthcare team can communicate with colleagues in real time to rapidly address the needs of a patient.  Speeding up the process of ordering tests, lab results, and medications, affords the healthcare provider more time for more patients. 


HipLink offers an outstanding secure text messaging platform that works in real-time on Apple or Android phones.  The user can send secure text messages, encrypted for HIPAA compliance for both messages and attachments from a desktop computer and directly from the phone. HipLink Mobile provides a highly reliable and secure text messaging system.  Even if a user is not logged in, HipLink will alert the user and give them the option to login quickly. The sender will know the status of the message in all cases, whether it is pending, delivered, when it is read, and any responses – either phone-to-phone or desktop-to-phone.


By using Transport Layer Security (TLS), HipLink ensures the confidentiality of messages at the highest level of HIPAA compliance.  A very distinct feature HipLink has developed is a “single session” handshake process.  With this method, the TLS encryption key is constantly changing for each and every communications session between the HipLink server and the device.  This makes cracking the encryption virtually impossible as the key is constantly regenerating with each communication. 


Additional Features


HipLink also offers several other standard and advanced features with the Secure Text Messaging app.  Some of these features include:


  • Use message templates to promptly compose new messages and spend less time typing
  • Control your status by toggling between the “available” and “not available” mode
  • Quickly silence or mute all pre-defined alert setting for all severities to vibrate
  • Attach location coordinates
  • Execute pre-programmed custom commands and templates
  • Full administration and management controls
  • Draft messages, set Favorites, define alert tones
  • Streamlined workflows offer efficient functionality for all tasks



By incorporating HipLink mobile health technology into a healthcare organization, not only does the organization operate more effectively and efficiently, the satisfaction, engagement, and care of patients is vastly improved.  For more information about our mobile health technology including HIPAA Compliant Text Messaging, visit HipLink or call 1-800-524-7503.  

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The Joint Commission’s New Position on Patient Care through Text Messaging



On April 29th, 2016, the Joint Commission announced its new position on patient care through text messaging. This is a tremendous step forward in healthcare communication and will improve many aspects of patient care. At this time, physicians or licensed independent practitioners are able to text orders for patient care, treatment, services to the hospital, or other health care settings if they are using a secure text messaging platform.


The initial stance was that text messaging was not considered safe enough to use in healthcare settings due to unsecured text messages being transmitted via personal mobile phones. Additionally, the validation of information was difficult to obtain, as was the identity of the person sending the messages. The technology was simply not considered adequate to support a safe and secure use of text messaging for orders.


Times have changed however and there has been an incredible increase in secure text messaging platforms that address many of the concerns that the Joint Commission faced in the past.


The Joint Commission fully supports secure text messaging as long as the following is implemented:


·         A secure sign-on process

·         Messages have to be encrypted

·         Delivery and read receipts need to be incorporated

·         All orders have to be date and time stamped

·         Customized message retention time frames

·         Specified contact list for individuals authorized to receive and record orders


Furthermore, hospitals and other accredited organizations that plan to incorporate text orders must develop a verification process documenting the capabilities of their secure text messaging platform and define when text orders are either appropriate or not appropriate. They must also monitor how frequently text messaging orders are being used and assess the compliance with texting policies and procedures. In addition, they have to develop risk-management strategies, perform risk assessments, and conduct training for staff and licensed independent practitioners.


Although the topic is on texting orders, the Joint Commission expects that all forms of texting, including patient updates or other patient information is also used within secure text messaging platforms. They also noted that all accredited organizations must have policies that document text messages in an electronic health record- either electronically or manually.


By implementing HIPAA-compliant and secure text messaging, a healthcare team can connect with colleagues in real time and address patients’ needs quicker. They can order lab results, medications, or X-Rays, allowing the healthcare team to see more patients. A pharmacy may be able to receive text orders directly based on test results. The efficiently this can bring if implemented safely and securely can mean a great deal for patient satisfaction and help decrease staff burnout. 


HipLink® Mobile meets all of the requirements set forth by the Joint Commission and was developed to alleviate some of the communication challenges in the healthcare environment. Our HIPAA compliant, encrypted mobile application makes it incredibly easy to send full patient details and coordinate proper patient care. This can dramatically improve workflow and enable fast and accurate communication with ease. The physician or nurse can send secure text messages and attachments from a desktop and directly from the phone.  It's like a HIPAA compliant chat application.


With HipLink Mobile, the healthcare team is connected to the server in real-time and able to transmit reliable and fast messages. When one of the healthcare team members is not logged in, HipLink will automatically alert them to re-log in. The sender will always know the exact status of their messages, whether pending or delivered, and when they are read, along with any response, whether it is phone-to-phone or from the desktop to phone.


In addition to client applications, there are several features for Remote Device Management from the HipLink administrative interface that is built in the HipLink Mobile Application. An administrator can take action to disable access, delete data and enforce General Policy for all of their Users.



To read more about HipLink®’s, HIPAA compliant, encrypted mobile application, please click here

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Secure, Reliable Messaging and Ransomware

How do you keep your communication flow during a cyber attack? The recent cyber attacks in hospitals are raising many questions about safety and security within many organizations.

CNN just recently reported that Ransomware is growing and that the FBI received 2,453 complaints about Ransomware hold-ups last year, costing the victims more than $24 million dollars”. CSO Online reported that incident response teams are dealing with 3-4 Ransomware incidents weekly. They also report that ransom requests have increased considerably and that in many cases the cost of recovery is so extreme that the only valid option is to consider payment.

Criminals sneak in through various techniques such as “man in the middle” attacks, lock the system and demand a ransom to unlock it. They rely on Bitcoins (XBT) since those are difficult to trace to actual people. Many of these hackers have offshore accounts and the chances of actually getting your money back or catching someone a world away” is highly unlikely.

At HipLink we feel that the best solution is to minimize your attack surface and implement a communications platform with the ability to manage and secure your communications from end-to-end should one take place.  Our focus is to provide our customers with a complete solution for managing these requirements. Our business model has always been to build a strong communications hub with several layers of redundancy to minimize a central point of failure or compromise. This means that we do not put all of our eggs into one basket. We look at the big picture and we understand that implementation needs to be dynamic and offer seamless alternate ways to notify staff using automated intelligence.

Many of HipLink’s customers have remote and on-premise servers that communicate with HipLink and act as a back-up communication platform in case of an emergency that may compromise any of the mission critical systems running each day. HipLink’s ability to accommodate strategic communication pathways on behalf of both employees and infrastructure separate our systems from others, making them popular in many of the world’s most advanced data centers.

Our flexibility within a wide range of verticals allows us to place ourselves in a unique position that accommodates a broad range of communication requirements. This position not only improves daily workflow efficiency but can help save critical data and in many environments, lives.


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  • Wendy H.
    Wendy H. says #
    Great blog- thanks for posting. Really enjoyed reading it.
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