Athenahealth launches free texting

AthenaText is secure and available to all healthcare professionals across the U.S.
By Bernie Monegain
05:11 PM
Person with smartphone

Athenahealth today unveiled athenaText, a secure text messaging service integrated with athenahealth’s cloud-based EHR platform. It is available free not only to the more than 1 million healthcare professionals on the athenahealth network, but also to every healthcare professional across the country.

The service is accessible through the standalone athenaText and also via Epocrates mobile apps.

Any healthcare professional across the U.S. can join the athenahealth network by accessing athenaText at no cost via mobile.

As patient cases become more complex, physicians need to coordinate care with an increasing number of providers and staff members. Some providers risk sending non-HIPAA compliant text messages, while others call, email, or use a combination of all three in a time-consuming effort to stay connected and informed, athenahealth executives note in a news release.

[See also: Providers are on the Prowl for Secure Texting.]

“We designed athenaText so doctors and staff can communicate with each other wherever and whenever they need on a unified, easy-to-use platform,” Abbe Don, vice president of strategic design at athenahealth, said in a statement. “We’re excited to offer health care professionals one of the first end-to-end experiences that bridges communication gaps and keeps critical health information flowing between providers – through the EHR and mobile."

"With athenaText, we’re empowering providers to build secure care teams and engage in quick yet significant ways that improve the quality of care patients receive," she added.

[See also: Athenahealth splashes into hospital market with startup buy.]

Earlier this year, Annapolis Internal Medicine in Maryland started using athenaText to improve communication.

“For years, we played phone tag,” said Kevin Groszkowski , MD, “Now our entire care team is communicating effectively and securely on one, fully-integrated system.

For example, at Annapolis Internal Medicine, the front desk alerts medical assistants via text when patients arrive to pick up prescriptions, while the billing team keeps docs on task with text reminders to fill out patient charges.

"But the biggest benefit," adds Groskowski, "is being able to respond immediately to clinical questions from our nurse practitioners – whether I’m in or out of the office. What I love is that the care isn’t slowed down because I missed a call or email, and patients aren’t kept waiting. athenaText keeps the care cycle moving forward, saving us valuable time while improving patient care.”

Providers can access athenaText within the Epocrates mobile app or download it for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.