KLAS: Secure texting vendors morphing into communications platforms

A new report looks at nearly 20 vendors and sees that the market for texting tech is changing – as is the way providers are using the tools.
By Bill Siwicki
01:08 PM
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KLAS: Secure texting vendors morphing into communications platforms

Vendors are evolving secure texting as a complete offering into full-fledged communications platforms by adding new features for healthcare provider organizations, a new report shows.

WHAT HAPPENED

KLAS has released a new report, “Decision Insights: Secure Communication 2018.” Secure communication is a rapidly evolving market, with high variability in terms of both customer needs and vendor offerings.

Whether replacing an existing solution or making a net-new purchase, hospitals and acute care organizations largely are moving toward broad communication platforms that streamline communication organization-wide, KLAS said, noting that ambulatory providers, in contrast, are focused primarily on HIPAA-compliant messaging.

The report – which combines performance feedback from current customers with purchasing insights from 100 acute care, ambulatory and post-acute care organizations – examines which vendors are most often considered, what factors most influence their decisions and how current customers rate vendor performance.

WHY IT MATTERS

Healthcare’s initial interest in secure communication stemmed mainly from a desire to curb unsecured texting of PHI, the report said. Some vendors – such as Spok and Vocera – were able to launch their secure communication efforts among existing customer bases that already used their other telecommunication technology, it added.

Others, such as Voalte and Mobile Heartbeat, grew from the ground up, focusing on smartphone use for nurses, according to the report. Still others – Halo Communications, PerfectServe, TigerConnect – started with easy-to-use, easy-to-deploy secure messaging solutions for physicians and have continued to evolve the solutions for acute care organizations, KLAS explained.

THE LARGER TREND

Vendors fall along a spectrum of usage from one end, secure messaging, to another, communications platform. KLAS placed vendors on the spectrum based on how client organizations are most typically using the technology.

On the secure messaging side, vendors include, from full-on secure messaging moving toward communication platform: Imprivata, Lua, Diagnotes, Everbridge, QliqSOFT, Epic and Tiger Connect.

On the communications platform side, vendors include, from full-on communications platform moving toward secure messaging: Voalte, Vocera, Cerner, Mobile Heartbeat, PatientSafe Solutions, PerfectServe, Telmediq, Halo Communications (Doc Halo), Uniphy Health and Spok.

ON THE RECORD

“Today, many acute care organizations are expanding their visions to include interfaces and functionality that improve communication for multiple workflows, thereby improving patient care,” KLAS researchers said. “Regardless of where they started, all vendors in the acute care space are attempting to meet customers’ needs with functionality in the critical areas of EMR interfacing, clinician scheduling and middleware interfacing, as well as their less urgent needs for notification routing and corporate-owned shared devices.”