“HIPAA Compliant Texting” is a secure means of transmitting protected health information (PHI) by text message. There are a number of technical safeguards and procedural requirements that both a vendor (e.g. OhMD), and a covered entity (e.g. a medical practice) must adhere to. HIPAA compliant texting allows for streamlining of physician, care team, and clinical communication which leads to improved operational efficiencies and a higher standard of patient care.

HIPAA compliant texting app

Can HIPAA compliant texting be used with patients?

Patient communication is really challenging. It’s difficult to reach patients by phone. Robo-dialers and voicemails tend to be relatively ineffective. Thus, texting has become the most efficient way to reach patients. When communicating with patients using text, it’s important to understand how security plays a role.

With consent from a patient, a physician or practice can communicate in any way the patient prefers including phone, text, or email. However, using tools that weren’t designed for healthcare can actually cause more headaches than they are worth. The value in a HIPAA complaint texting and communication platform is that you can have truly secure, encrypted communication that is designed to work within standard clinical workflows.

Learn more about HIPAA from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Can I use HIPAA compliant texting with other physicians?

Clinical communication and care coordination works best on intuitive platforms that are designed with HIPAA compliance and user experience in mind. The right platform will allow for much more efficient clinical interactions, and will improve patient care almost immediately.

When physicians use text messaging to communicate, it’s important to only use a HIPAA compliant texting app or platform. There are a number of technical requirements that make these apps different including, but not limited to: central user management, encryption, login/password, etc.

Remember, HIPAA is a shared responsibility between a software vendor and your practice. Security should be of high importance as you consider any HIPAA compliant texting solution.