Communication is key in any healthcare institution, whether it’s a private practice, medical clinic, or an acute care hospital. Healthcare-focused communication apps might seem like an easy solution, but it’s vital to use ones that comply with all HIPAA rules.
The right to privacy is essential in our industry, and you don’t want to run the risk of jeopardizing patient confidentiality.
How can you incorporate text messaging and still remain HIPAA compliant?
We look at 8 HIPAA compliant apps for sending secure text messages, emails, and other communications, whether from physician-to-patient or physician-to-physician.
Why Do HIPAA Compliant Apps Matter?
We rarely think about what goes into sending, receiving, and storing texts. In fact, a text message has to travel a long path before it gets to its final destination. Other entities may have an opportunity to intercept texts at some point during the transmission.
Another issue is that text messages can remain stored on your phone or a backup device indefinitely. This is not a problem for personal matters. For messages that contain Protected Health Information (PHI), it is certainly not compliant.
What Should You Consider When Selecting Apps?
There are many apps out there, but what options should you consider when choosing the right one? What are some of the important features you need when choosing apps?
Various communication methods:
- Live Chat
- Video Chat
- Text Messaging
- Group Messaging
Questions to consider:
- App requirements – Do patients have to download an app? Not everyone likes that idea.
- Data sharing – Where and whom do you need to share patient information?
- Team access – Do multiple people need to access the same information?
- Analytics – Do you need to track and report data?
The key things to look at when accessing apps are cost, ease-of-use, level of customer service, and the features.
- TigerText Secure Text Messaging App
TigerText Messaging is HIPAA compliant and one of the industry’s most popular apps. If you want secure-messaging capability, this is a good choice. It is simple and easy-to-use.
- Only clinical app with HITRUST CSF certification
- Mobile and desktop apps
- Sync messages between phone, computer & other connected devices
- Messages can be recalled
- Self-destruction of all sent messages after a designated time
- The receiver is not required to download the app
These features make TigerText extremely popular and one of the first choices for medical professionals.
- Zinc Employee Messaging App for Deskless Workers
Not all healthcare professionals work at a desk. Zinc is a good option for institutions with a “deskless” workforce. It is a HIPAA compliant text messaging service that gives you full administrative control.
- A single, secure platform connecting all workers in the office of the field
- Mobile & desktop solutions
- Text, voice & video messaging
- Instant alerts and communication
- Security and compliance tools
- File sharing, location sharing & integrations
- User management
- Role-based tiers
- Custom alerts
These features make Zinc a good option for institutions that have multiple offices, remote workers and mobile healthcare workers and staff members
- Qliq – Secure Texting App for Healthcare
QliqSoft is one of the more cost-effective HIPAA compliant messaging services. It is easy to use and requires little training and can easily integrate with EMRs.
- A desktop application that allows user to send texts via computer
- 3 levels of service: Professional, Business, and Enterprise
- Remote lock and wipe of text messages
- Send messages, documents & images from EMRs, call centers, scheduling systems, nurse alert systems & lab/radiology systems
- Organize groups & connect multiple devices
- Create individual dashboards
Overall, QliqSoft is ideal for both small and medium institutions with multiple users.
- Notifyd Text Messaging
Notifyd is a HIPAA compliant texting app that includes scheduling capability, which is an added convenience.
- Used on virtually any device
- Seamless integration with EMR systems
- Secure sharing of messages, videos, pictures & files
- Scheduling capability
- Secure file storage
- Covered Entities and Business Associates can use the system
- Desktop accessibility
- End-to-end encryption, including multiple levels during transmission
- Can establish specific mobile device management policies
Notifyd offers three payment options, starting with a standard month-to-month plan. A yearly subscription is also available. There are no limits to the number of users allowed.
Entities with more than 50 users qualify for enterprise solutions.
- WELL Patient Communication Platform
WELL is a popular platform for large healthcare systems. It does everything from send appointment reminders to more advanced applications. It’s easy to set up, especially for non-admin users.
- Integrates with all major EMRs
- Intuitive interfaces
- Billing & forms for vendors
- Interactive text messaging capability between patient and provider
Overall, this system is ideal for enterprise healthcare systems and hospitals that need universal communication support.
- Klara Platform
Klara is a secure communication platform that allows staff to easily connect with patients and each other. It allows you to automate many tasks, including follow up and reminder messages.
- Two-way messaging
- Visual voicemail & eForms
- Smart automation
This is an easy-to-use system that will help boost your bottom line and allow for more efficient patient care.
Trillian is a business and clinical communication tool that is used by companies and healthcare systems. Modern and secure tools allow you to communicate with patients and staff.
- Private or group chats
- Share files, documents & images
- Status & presence features
- Desktop solutions for Windows, Mac & Linux systems
- Mobile solutions for iOS and Android systems
This is a good solution for all size entities, from small businesses to large healthcare networks. It streamlines communications for employees and patients.
- Paubox Encrypted Email
This is an easy way to securely send HIPAA compliant emails. It is the only provider that offers Zero-Step Encryption on all sent emails. It is also the only encrypted email provider that has a HITRUST CSF Certification.
- Senders write & send emails as normal
- Seamless end-to-end encryption
- No need for portals, plug-ins or keywords
- Recipients can easily view secured emails
This is a comprehensive platform that will allow your business or organization to securely send emails to patients or other healthcare individuals. It works with most existing email platforms such as Office 365, Exchange, and G Suite.
These are only some of the many HIPAA compliant apps that will help you do business while protecting patient privacy.
HIPAA Compliant Communication Solutions
You can find a variety of HIPAA compliant apps and tools that will allow you to keep the lines of communication open between staff members and from doctors to patients. These tools will satisfy regulations and ensure you don’t violate HIPAA regulations.
Explore other healthcare resources and information on our site to stay informed about changes and best practices. We also provide the latest news updates and information in areas like education, travel, and lifestyle.