When patients are facing an emergency and need to contact their health provider ASAP, they often turn to the nearest chat app to get the job done.
The problem is that the nearest and any chat app probably won’t cut it.
Most of them are not HIPAA compliant and discussing patients’ PHI (Protected Health Information) over them could lead to massive fines for your company.
The solution for you and your practice is to use one of the HIPAA compliant chat apps.
The good news is that there’s a ton of them on the market and the industry is booming.
The bad news is that there’s a ton of them on the market, the industry is booming, and having to pick one, the best one for your business is enough to pull your hair out in frustration and then have to call a trichologist to take a look at your ravaged scalp.
However, if you’re a trichologist, then you’ll only require a mirror:)
No need to think about what will never be, as I’ve researched and preselected the 12 best HIPAA compliant chat apps for you.
You can thank me by reading this post and getting some real value out of it.
Features To Consider When Selecting a Service
HIPAA compliant chat apps are the simplest way to communicate with your patients in a safe way.
But, the apps you’ll find below are much more robust and can do much more than simply texting.
For example, most of them let you establish a (secure) video connection with your patient so they can tell you how they feel and what’s wrong, even if their upper limbs are suddenly lifeless and definitely unable to type on a keyboard.
Whether you need a certain feature or not is up to you to decide, but here are some of the features worth considering when picking your next, or your first HIPAA compliant chat app.
- Live Chat- this is secure chat in real time between your employee and the patient;
- Video Chat- oftentimes, video is the best way to communicate with a stressed-out patient facing a medical emergency;
- Text Messaging- simple and effective and all chat apps come with this feature; just keep in mind that some patients might not be able to type much, or at all;
- Group Messaging- allow other people into the conversation;
- App required? Some patients are not that tech-savvy and dealing with apps is unnecessary tech mumbo jumbo to them. They prefer simple SMS messaging and some of the apps on this list can accommodate them.
- Data sharing- Do you need the option to share patient info with an approved third party?
- Team access- Will you need to give access to patients’ data to other health professionals?
- Analytics- Do you require detailed tracking and reporting?
Take all of these features into consideration before choosing.
The most expensive and feature-rich HIPAA compliant chat app is not necessarily the best one for you.
12 HIPAA Compliant Chat Apps – Live Chat, Text Messaging, Video, and Anything Else You Need
There is no shortage of chat apps on the market today. But not all of them are HIPAA compliant, and some of them that fulfill that requirement are pretty basic and pale in comparison to the better ones on this list.
The 12 best HIPAA compliant chat apps are below, so take a deep breath and let’s get started.
OhMD lets patients communicate with their chosen healthcare providers through secure text messaging, and without them needing to download the app on their phone.
Using the OhMD chat app is a HIPAA compliant way for doctors to communicate with their patients and help them even when they’re not in their office.
This builds trust and customer satisfaction and it’s an easy way for doctors to boost their practice’s profitability to boot, as the customer churn will be brought to its absolute minimum.
MedChat is a HIPAA compliant live chat app for doctors and patients that also allows for internal team chat and two-way texting for healthcare professionals.
One interesting feature is that they provide normal texting with patients, and then that conversation can be moved to HIPAA compliant settings (live chat) when it’s time to mention their PHI.
Another notable capability is that MedChat is a 2-way street in the sense that patients can kick off the conversations with their health provider when they need it, and they don’t have to wait to be called first.
#3- DrFirst (Backline)
Backline, a chat app developed by the DrFirst brand, is a fully HIPAA compliant collaboration and communication platform. Backline lets you chat securely with patients with the option of hopping on a video call. You can also share patients’ PHI with other team members for easier collaboration.
Some other options provided are:
- Group messaging;
- Private messaging;
- Care team messaging;
- User groups;
- Full-text search (super useful for doctors to quickly find and review crucial info about the patient’s condition).
#4- Luma Health
Luma Health chat app does more than just letting you converse with patients in a HIPAA-friendly way.
If you decide to use Luma Health in your office, your patients will easily be able to confirm or reschedule their appointments, ask additional questions and provide helpful feedback so you can boost your service’s quality.
#5- Health Engage
Health Engage is a HIPAA compliant live chat solution that’s built for engaging patients outside of your office.
Besides offering the basic live chat feature, you can also use Health Engage with SMS messaging and Facebook Messenger.
Health Engage also boasts native reporting capabilities which show you available team capacity and audit logs.
You can also connect the app with Google Analytics for a slew of useful data.
Well is a HIPAA compliant messaging platform that connects healthcare organizations to patients via text, email, phone, and live chat.
They’re also a patient outreach automation platform that you can use to automate and standardize patient messaging.
Types of messages you can send with Well are:
- Patient education;
- Community/population health;
- Appointment reminders;
- Lab results;
- Patient satisfaction surveys;
- Revenue cycle.
Trillian is a HIPAA compliant messaging platform that supports both private and group chats. It also has a nifty search feature that lets you quickly find critical patient info.
Finally, though not yet live, Trillian is soon to expand into SMS communication which will highly benefit those people who hate logging into apps on their phones, but still have an emergency and require a doctor.
#8- Tiger Connect
Tiger Connect is probably the most popular and widely used HIPAA-compliant chat app on this list.
This app lets you message anyone, patients, nurses, and other doctors… Besides texting, you can also use voice and video chat.
One super useful feature is role-based messaging. This means that a patient who’s facing a medical emergency and who needs a doctor ASAP, ANY doctor, can simply designate by typing the type of help they need (the role) and Tiger Connect will find the right professional who’s on shift at that time.
That’s super convenient and potentially lifesaving, to say the least.
#9- Brightside Health
Brightside Health is somewhat of a unique entry on this list. They’re a fully HIPAA compliant messaging platform that helps people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders connect with the best doctors and therapists that specialize in treating those 2 conditions.
Brightside Health claim they only work with the cream of the crop specialists and are the best, cheapest, and fastest way to get expert remote help without draining one’s wallet completely.
They also boast of a magnificent success rate with over 85% of Brightside Health members feeling better after just 12 weeks on the program.
Monument is a HIPAA compliant live chat app that brings alcohol addicts in touch with the best specialist who can help them beat that vice.
Via Monument’s service patients can receive custom-tailored, holistic advice designed to help them remodel their life as a whole so it doesn’t revolve around alcohol abuse.
Using Monument’s service they can get in touch with specialist doctors, but they can also build a community with other alcohol abusers so these people can mutually support each other on their paths to sobriety.
And all communication is done in a HIPAA compliant way.
Notifyd Is one of the best HIPAA compliant chat apps on this list. It’s designed to boost the effectiveness of your team, meaning it can only be used by your practice’s team members to communicate with each other.
Some of the features are:
- Secure texting app;
- Easily connects with other smart health-based applications;
- Helps your team manage the day’s workload from their mobile. They can communicate and message through the app;
- Easy task scheduling and organizing the daily work of physicians and doctors;
QliqSoft is a healthcare messaging app that, besides being HIPAA compliant, is also very streamlined and simple to use.
Your staff and patients will learn to use it in no time flat and as a bonus, QliqSoft, besides working on all types of mobile phones, also works on desktop computers.
HIPAA Compliant Chat Apps FAQ- All your Questions Answered
Health professionals like you want to know about HIPAA compliant chat apps.
You have questions, and I have answers.
#1- What Makes a Chat App HIPAA Compliant?
HIPAA complaints chat apps are those where all the data sent between users is encrypted, backed up, and 100% protected from theft.
#2- Which Texting Apps are HIPAA Compliant?
In this article, I listed the 12 best HIPAA compliant chat apps. Any one of these will serve you well should you decide to use them.
#3- Is WhatsApp HIPAA Compliant?
WhatsApp is not HIPAA compliant and should not be used for transferring PHI.
Doctors can communicate with patients via WhatsApp, but when they need to discuss something sensitive, they must switch to one of the HIPAA compliant apps to stay safe and avoid hefty fines.
#4- Is Skype HIPAA Compliant?
According to HIPAAJournal, regular Skype is not HIPAA compliant.
Butt Skype Business plan (Enterprise3 and Enterprise5) are HIPAA compliant because they encrypt all messages hosted on their platform and they also archive and safeguard all communication between involved parties.
And backups are always readily available.
The world is busy and getting busier, and time is precious and getting even more so. The ability of health companies to remotely communicate with their patients in a safe and secure way is now more important than ever.
HIPAA compliant chat apps are the answer for you and your competitors are probably already heavily investing in them.
Don’t’ be left behind or you’ll miss out on new business you could’ve had, and you’ll lose what clients you already have.
Your patients expect to be able to contact you whenever they need your help, and they also demand their sensitive data to be 100% protected.
Both can be achieved with just one of these 12 best HIPAA compliant chat apps.
So, which one will you pick?