hipaa-compliant texting with patients

5 Best Tools for HIPAA-Compliant Texting With Patients

Texting or SMS messaging is vital to ensuring smooth and hassle-free healthcare communication. However, text messages also carry risks, such as unauthorized access to protected patient health data. But worry not because there are tools that offer a secure way to send and receive texts while complying with HIPAA regulations.

The Need for Secure Text Communications in Healthcare

Unknown to many mobile users, phones are vulnerable to hacking and are often not traced. Text messages are usually not encrypted except for iPhone users sending messages to fellow Apple device users. Anyone who knows how to intercept data can access your messages, especially if you’re not being careful.

In healthcare, medical providers and insurance companies have access to PHI-related information. Without a secure messaging platform, all critical data, such as medical records, test results, and payment details, can be compromised and exploited by unauthorized entities. HIPAA-compliant texting solutions can encrypt messages from a secure server, ensuring PHI integrity.

Here are some tools that help facilitate HIPAA-compliant texting in a healthcare setting:

5 Best Tools for HIPAA-Compliant Texting With Patients

1. Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat is an open-source communication platform that offers HIPAA-compliant text messaging. That means you can centralize all your healthcare-related communications in one application. Patients can send messages from WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or email while you respond to them via an encrypted messaging platform.

Best features:

  • Omnichannel patient engagement
  • Advanced role-based permissions
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Live chat and support
  • Permanent deletion of messages and chat history
5 Best Tools for HIPAA-Compliant Texting With Patients

2. Help Scout

Help Scout is a HIPAA-compliant live chat messaging app with business texting software for customer support. It features a shared inbox where you can respond to your patients through chat, social, or email. You can keep your PHI safe with Help Scout’s advanced security measures, including IP restrictions, user authentication, and audit logs.

Best features:

  • Multi-channel communication
  • Data Destruction
  • Content control
  • Secure data storage
  • Live chat widget
5 Best Tools for HIPAA-Compliant Texting With Patients

3. OhMD

OhMD is a HIPAA-compliant healthcare messaging platform with comprehensive communication features such as call-to-text, voicemail transcription, and two-way SMS texting. It has many handy features, including video visits, surveys, and forms.

Best features:

  • Two-way patient texting
  • Live website chat
  • Automated message workflows
  • Broadcast texting
  • Unlimited patient messages
5 Best Tools for HIPAA-Compliant Texting With Patients

4. TigerConnect

Another secure option for HIPAA-compliant texting with patients is TigerConnect. It facilitates sending, receiving, and storing protected health information within an encrypted virtual private network. The SMS service for healthcare has a clinical collaboration and patient engagement platform for streamlined patient-provider communication.

Best features:

  • Patient-centric alerts
  • Automated physician on-call scheduling
  • Pre-defined teams and role-based scheduling
  • 100% cloud-based
  • Internal text messaging between departments and teams.
5 Best Tools for HIPAA-Compliant Texting With Patients

5. Trillian

Trillian is a HIPAA-compliant text messaging app for in-house communications in clinical settings. Its direct and group messaging feature allows clinicians to communicate via SMS easily and securely.

Best features:

  • Self-hosted instant messaging
  • Video calling and screen sharing
  • File and image sharing
  • Read receipts and delivery confirmation
  • Urgent messages

Key Things to Consider When Choosing a HIPAA-Compliant Tool for Healthcare Text Messaging

Not every text messaging service can secure text messages in compliance with HIPAA standards. Thus, as a covered entity or a business associate, you must exercise due diligence in searching for solutions that fit these requirements.

Here are some essential features to look for:

  • Business Associate Agreements (BAAs): One of the first things to look for in a HIPAA-compliant messaging provider is its willingness to enter into a BAA with covered entities. This will ensure transparency and responsibility in case a data breach occurs within the app. 
  • End-to-end encryption: HIPAA-compliant messaging services must use 256-bit AES encryption within the app and server before sending PHI to ensure there’s no data leak.
  • Access controls: Only authorized personnel and patients can access private conversations within the messaging app. Users can only log in using unique passwords and multi-factor authentication.
  • Data backup and recovery: These SMS apps must conduct disaster recovery procedures to prevent permanent data loss. Regular data backups will also help store important information during system failures.
  • Data retention: HIPAA-compliant text apps must ensure that ePHI is only retained for a specific period and can be deleted once it’s no longer needed.

Effortlessly Send HIPAA-Compliant Texts With iFax

Sending text messages using a secure and reliable platform can help avoid hefty penalties and legal consequences. For that, you will need iFax

Our comprehensive platform gives you peace of mind while improving patient communications. You will also have more ways to communicate, such as sending secure faxes and making video calls.

So why not see for yourself? iFax is here to help you reach out to your patients better. Request a free demo.

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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