One U.S. medical center recently estimated it received about 50,000 faxes a month for consults and referrals, and sent about 10,000 faxes in the same period.
While this may seem absurd to any non-medical professional in an age of email, smartphones, networked tablets, and social media, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has prevented doctors from exchanging information without “reasonable safeguards” (including via email and Facebook) since 1996.
Getting around the red tape
For doctors looking to share life-improving patient information with other medical professionals, a HIPAA-compliant, physician-only network launched a year ago by Doximity (created by a group of former Epocrates execs) called iRounds has convinced approximately 7% of all the doctors in America to create and use roughly 35,000 secure accounts to quickly share patient information
After a detailed verification process (which includes a credit check and a comparison of supplied credentials to the American Medical Association’s database) a multi-step sign-in similar to what your bank uses online lets physicians securely and legally exchange patient records, test results, and other data with specialists. In doing so, such physicians could be paving the way for a new standard, where a more efficient consultation process could make a huge difference for time-critical analysis. Continue reading “Could a Facebook-Style App Help Doctors Help Patients?”