Alaska was recently the first state in the U.S. to allow texting with a HIPAA-compliant mobile application, statewide. Jim Jordan is the Executive Director of the Alaska State Medical Association, which recently endorsed use of the smart phone app DocBookMD. Jordan says it will improve service, especially when it comes to referrals between the bush and urban centers.
DocBookMD can be used with mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, iPod touches and Android phones. ASMA endorsed the mobile app in July. The Medical Exchange of California, a professional liability insurer in Alaska, is providing the app free-of charge to ASMA members.
The application is encrypted to protect confidential information. Before approval of DocBookMD app, doctor’s who texted information about patients were in violation of HIPAA regulations and could be charged with a felony offense. Jordan says he expects doctors to begin using the app by the New Year. That’s also when broadband internet service needed to operate the mobile devices used to access the app should begin in arriving in Southwest and Western Alaska communities.
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