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Section: News

Covenant Medical Group Selects PerfectServe to Secure Physician-to-Physician Communications


The security of electronic patient health information (ePHI) continues to be a growing concern for healthcare executives, driven by an increasingly mobile clinician workforce, uncertainty around impending updates to HIPAA regulations and widespread use of text messaging among providers. To manage security risks and help prevent PHI breaches across all modes of communication, Covenant Medical Group (CMG) adopted the HIPAA-compliant PerfectServe clinical communications platform.

A cornerstone of Covenant Health is Covenant Medical Group, a physician group of 182 physicians that serve the region through five inpatient and 64 outpatient facilities. CMG physicians wanted an innovative way to take advantage of emerging technology by using text messaging to share patient information with other clinicians – along with a range of other electronic communications tools, including alpha numeric pagers, computerized physician order entry (CPOE), email or communication features within electronic medical records (EMR). CMG wanted to make sure they would be HIPAA compliant, so that is why the group chose the PerfectServe platform, which was already in use in the St. Joseph's system, to secure PHI and streamline all communications between clinicians.

"Our clinicians were communicating with each other via text messaging more and more each day, and regardless of how HIPAA regulations may change in the months ahead, we knew we needed one consistent and standard way to secure all data and reduce our risk of costly breaches," said Seth Crouch, Director of Outpatient Systems at Covenant Medical Group. "The PerfectServe platform provides us with a standardized system for securely streamlining all communications, eliminates room for error and gives clinicians the freedom to focus on patient care."

PerfectServe uses industry-leading security features, including cache prevention on mobile devices, password expiration and the removal of PHI information from messages sent to unsecure devices, among others. Along with the ability to customize its platform to fit the security policy of any organization, PerfectServe also provides updated HIPAA and HITECH Act compliance, which ensures health systems meet all security requirements and avoid penalties.

"The average cost of data breaches over the past two years was $2.4 million per organization, and with more stringent ePHI protection measures for all forms electronic communications coming, security is a high priority for all healthcare executives today," said Terry Edwards, CEO of PerfectServe. "Covenant Medical Group is ahead of the curve in terms of reducing and managing risk by securing not only text messaging, but its entire clinical communications system."

CMG is among other market leading health medical groups and systems – including St. John Providence Health System, Excela Health and WellStar Health System – that have adopted the PerfectServe communications platform. Where these organizations previously relied on complex flow-charts, paging systems or call centers to communicate amongst clinicians which frequently led to delayed patient care, PerfectServe eliminates these inefficiencies by providing clinicians with the freedom to customize how they would like to be reached at different times throughout the day and week. An extension of the PerfectServe platform, PerfectServe DocLink™, creates a private and secure communications network that provides physicians with direct access to each other at the touch of a button – saving time and improving care coordination and collaboration.

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