best secure messaging apps

5 Most Secure Messaging Apps for Healthcare

Doctors and other healthcare professionals use messaging apps for file sharing and efficient communication. However, consumer-grade apps for instant messaging pose higher security threats, which is why many healthcare organizations opt for secure messaging solutions. 

This list features the most secure messaging apps, particularly those that adhere to the strict regulations of HIPAA, otherwise known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

What Is Secure Messaging?

Secure messaging refers to the approach used to safeguard sensitive data. In healthcare, this refers to patient names, laboratory tests, and other records containing what the HIPAA law considers protected health information (PHI). This particular approach to messaging aims to keep data safe against threats while minimizing the risks of regulatory noncompliance.

Like SMS, secure messaging involves sending and receiving instant text messages with the added security of encryption, user authentication, and even passcodes for confidential conversations. The apps used for secure messaging also employ end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to keep the texts private while in transit and at rest.

5 Most Secure Messaging Apps for Healthcare

1. iFax

iFax is a HIPAA-compliant online faxing and messaging app with features that can help healthcare professionals communicate instantly using almost any device. You can fax documents, exchange secure messages, and even make calls. The best thing about this service is it offers flexible and scalable plans, so you’re free to choose the option that best suits your needs and funds.

Best features:

  • Encrypted text messaging
  • Dedicated fax inbox
  • Cloud storage integration
  • EHR and EMR integration
  • Programmable API
  • Free BAA signing
5 Most Secure Messaging Apps for Healthcare

2. OhMD

OhMD is a HIPAA-compliant text messaging platform where you can send and receive intake forms, surveys, images, and files. Using its messaging app to send appointment reminders takes little effort. Also, its real-time communication makes coordinating care and addressing urgent patient concerns easier.

Best features:

  • EHR integration
  • Two-way messaging between patients and providers
  • Broadcast messages
5 Most Secure Messaging Apps for Healthcare

3. TigerConnect

TigerConnect is a user-friendly secure text messaging platform that is also HIPAA compliant. Users can send encrypted messages using their mobile phones or desktops. It also allows you to sync messages across your devices.

Best features:

  • Priority messaging
  • Team collaboration
  • Automatic erasure of sent messages
5 Most Secure Messaging Apps for Healthcare

4. ProviderTech

Providertech’s CareMessenger is a HIPAA-compliant text messaging platform that lets you send encrypted photos and documents. As an added security, the app requires its users to verify their identities before they can be allowed access to secure text messages.

Best features:

  • EHR integration
  • Two-way platform for patient engagement
  • Phone tag elimination
5 Most Secure Messaging Apps for Healthcare

5. Spok

Spok is a HIPAA-compliant text messaging app that lets you easily communicate with colleagues and patients. It also supports seamless integrations with existing EHRs and other clinical health systems. Aside from audit trails, it provides sent and read message receipts.

Best features:

  • Message device preference
  • Priority messaging
  • Automatic message removal and remote wiping

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Secure Messaging App

Certain factors come into play when choosing a secure app for healthcare messaging. Features like instant message sending are already a given, but you also need to consider other aspects like:

Ease of use

Secure messaging apps should be simple enough to avoid causing further confusion to non-tech-savvy users. Its interface and controls must facilitate smooth navigation and hassle-free interactions.

Data protection

A messaging app can only be secure if it comes with end-to-end encryption. Encrypted messages provide users with a certain level of assurance. That’s on top of employing other safeguards to minimize the risks of breaches and threats.

HIPAA compliance

The HIPAA law requires any entity handling PHI to employ safeguards that adhere to its standard privacy and security rules. Apps that directly handle messages containing sensitive patient details are considered business associates. Therefore, they must also comply with the stringent HIPAA standards and requirements. Otherwise, they may be fined according to the severity of the violation.

Benefits of Sending and Receiving Secure Messages

Aside from streamlining healthcare communication, here are the advantages of sending and receiving secure messages:

Improved clinical workflows

Sending and receiving messages over a secure network can enhance clinical workflows while improving organizational communication and collaboration. It’s more convenient and accessible, especially since you no longer need to deliver the files or letters in person.

Enhanced security

Encrypted messages keep unauthorized users from prying into confidential conversations between healthcare providers and their patients. Even if they manage to intercept the message, they still need to decrypt it using the correct key to unscramble its contents.

Better care coordination

Doctors and medical staff can work together and exchange messages about a patient’s care journey and treatment. Not only does this speed up the care administration, but it also keeps everyone on the same page. 

Easy appointment scheduling

Patients can use a secure messaging app to book their doctor’s appointments ahead of time. Instead of calling over the phone only to end up on hold, they can message their preferred appointment time and date, lowering the no-show rates.

Increased patient satisfaction

Offering patients secure options for communications like instant messages and texts gives them better control over their healthcare experience. This, in turn, results in increased patient satisfaction and engagement. After all, no patient would want their information leaked or mishandled due to insecure communication methods.

Send Secure Messages Using iFax

Choosing from the secure messaging apps above can help your organization avoid the dreadful HIPAA noncompliance penalties and fines. 

iFax, on the other hand, provides a complete communications solution with the option to fax documents and send instant messages from any device or platform. Our cloud-based service uses military-grade encryption to safeguard PHI at rest and in transit.

Request a free demo to see how it can help streamline your communication process.

Kent Cañas

Kent is a content strategist currently specializing in HIPAA-compliant online fax. Her expertise in this field allows her to provide valuable insights to clients seeking a secure and efficient online fax solution.

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