Request demo Call athenahealth Menu

"Tall Giraffe needs drink of water."

by Brian Anderson, MD, Senior Manager, Clinical Effectiveness

How cryptic have your text messages been to protect personal health information (PHI)?

Every day when I’m looking to communicate something important and time sensitive with my colleagues I immediately turn to my texting apps. It’s easy, it’s quick and it gets people’s attention when they receive a text. It’s one of the most frequently used modes of communication today.  Yet in medicine we are faced with multiple regulations and a regular need to communicate an incredibly complex patient case in as few words as possible, while running between exam rooms.  

On a recent trip to a hospital that had installed software, multiple texting phones (all costing tens of thousands of dollars) I witnessed the physicians struggling to communicate, and resorting to texting via their mobile phone’s unsecure texting tools. When I asked why they weren’t using the tools and hardware their hospital had installed for them, they all shared indisputably that they were not integrated with their cell phone they use every day; it wasn’t intuitive or easy to use, it was slow, and not reliable. It was sad to see patient care being negatively affected because providers struggled to do something so basic that most of us take for granted in our day-to-day lives. Enter athenaText.

If you were to ask me what one of the central values of technology is today, I’d without question say that near the top is facilitating communication between individuals. Technology connects us. It binds us together in a digital web. As a physician, one of the core value propositions of any technology that I evaluate for my practice is its ease to allow me to communicate and connect with my colleagues as I practice medicine. athenaText is designed to do just that. 

athenaText is a fully integrated secure text messaging service that allows providers to simultaneously, in one window, access a patient’s chart and text a colleague important clinical information. The mobile app is accessible for any health care professional and a great way for doctors like myself to communicate on- the-go. And if you use athenahealth’s cloud-based EHR, athenaText is embedded within to provide an easy, HIPAA-compliant way to communicate efficiently with your colleagues in clinic. The secure messaging app is designed to save you valuable time that was previously spent playing phone tag, or using a cryptic, unsecure method of communication. And athenaText is linked with Epocrates, the #1 medical application for clinical decision support, complete with drug information and relevant guidelines. 

Looking back on my days when I would cover multiple floors on an overnight call, and be responsible for three, sometimes four pagers simultaneously, the craziness of how difficult it is for providers to communicate safely and effectively is clear. We live in a world where texting via alpha numeric pagers (a technology invented in the 1950s, folks) is still widespread in the health care. There is a better, effective, reliable and simpler way to communicate between providers. athenaText facilitates easier communication between providers, when you’re on-call, or needed in an emergency. I trust athenaText. 

Download athenaText for your iOS or Android mobile device.

View full profile and posts from author

Cloudview Blog

Ideas, insights and analysis to help physicians, medical groups and health systems stay informed and profitable in today's challenging health environment.

Latest from Twitter


Submitted by Cindy Warfield - Friday, October 9, 2015

Love it - this makes me reaching out to the physicians or staff in other locations so much easier.

Submitted by Kathy Ghrist - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Is it possible for Athena to have a pop up when brand name is entered stating what generic name is? This would help immensely with the confusion over name brand and generic meds both being on med lists.

Post your comment

These security checks help us prevent unauthorized access to your account.

Schedule an inside look

Thanks for your interest in athenahealth. We're excited to learn more about your practice.

* All fields required

We will never share your email without your permission. View our Privacy Policy or Terms Conditions.


Thanks! We'll be in touch soon!

In the meantime, please feel free to give us a call at 800.981.5084, explore the site or check out a video.


An error occurred

Please feel free to give us a call at 800.981.5084.

Request a live demo