Top Free HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software

Check out our list of free HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software. Products featured on this list are the ones that offer a free trial version. As with most free versions, there are limitations, typically time or features.

If you'd like to see more products and to evaluate additional feature options, compare all HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software to ensure you get the right product.

(104)5.0 out of 5

Secure email for modern healthcare. Right out of the box. HITRUST CSF certified.

Nathan H.
NH
Easy integration! Set it and forget it. Read review
Edward D.
ED
The Paubox add-on for G Suite was easy to deploy. The add-on runs behind the scenes encrypting all emails from the web and mobile version of Gmail.... Read review
(66)4.1 out of 5

SimplePractice is a top-reviewed practice management platform, made for small business owners in the health & wellness space. Known for its clean interface, SimplePractice's industry-leading feature set includes a fully paperless intake process, custom notes & forms, free appointment reminders (SMS, email, & voice), mobile app, e-claim filing, a beautiful client portal, billing & invoicing, and our newest feature: Telehealth! See your clients over HIPAA-compliant video - anytime,

UM
clean interface, easy to submit claims, strong and informed user base Read review
(13)4.8 out of 5

Launch your own branded virtual care service and scale with the support of the OnCall team. We build branded apps on your behalf so you maintain brand consistency across all touch points and offer white labeled HIPAA and PIPEDA compliant 1-1 and group video, instant messaging, online client booking pages and practice automation tools. Our reliable platform is available on any device or browser and includes 24/7 tech support, EMR integrations and custom analytics. Trusted by over 5,000 healthcare

UM
Great video quality, great customer support. Read review
CM
Video conference platform is seamless and reliable. I like that clients receive reminder emails with my logo on it. Read review

One person in the office can transform their entire practice culture and improve workflow efficiency by 25% simply by downloading this program and giving it a try for a month. Training is not necessary because the software is intuitive for anyone who has ever used a touch screen or pressed a wall-mounted button. BlueNote Communicator Lights are a quick in-office communication dashboard for use in a medical, dental, optometry, or veterinary office to know how long each patient has waited, or wh

Selika G.
SG
that you can put Blue note on any computer and communicate throughout the office Read review
EB
It’s easy to use for the most part, but you have to get past some initial confusion. Read review
(10)4.9 out of 5

Hucu.ai is a FREE HIPAA compliant patient-centered messaging network, with real-time patient health and staff attrition risk reporting. Hucu.ai customers streamline professional communications within our easy to use app, receiving push notifications when colleagues tag them for immediate delivery. Users share text, documents, images, emojis, and videos that are securely stored in the Hucu.ai encrypted cloud, reducing space utilization on user devices. Communication is optimized through custom c

UH
Coordination with various entities during a residents stay from dietary to MD, RN to APN. Read review
AM
The easiness to connect with other providers. Read review
(4)5.0 out of 5

HIPAA compliant faxing, email, forms, and signatures with seamless EHR integration and automation. Medsender was founded with the mission of fixing healthcare communication and automating care coordination so that you can focus on what matters most.

AM
Getting information to the right person within our organization. Verifying information was sent out and received by the intended recipient. ... Read review
TS
We like the confirmation that is returned to us showing when the faxes are read by the recipient. We also love that fact that if a fax fails it... Read review
(5)3.6 out of 5

Introducing Lua: More Than Messaging. Lua is a HIPAA compliant communication platform employees love and IT trusts. Secure and encrypted, Lua enables internal and external communications for healthcare teams. Through messaging, Telehealth video calling, file sharing, EHR integration and more, Lua keeps your entire organization connected and informed, for improved workflows and better patient experiences.

UE
Lua is a very smooth app. It handles lots of communication tools for local and remote teams - file uploads, mobile syncing, fast connections, great... Read review
DB
I like that it has a desktop AND a mobile version. Also great to who has seen your message and who has not. Read review
0 ratings

Austin, TX based Medici was established in 2016 and recently received $24 million in series B funding. The company has strong financials and is quickly becoming one of the top telemedicine solutions in the market. Over 20,000 providers have chosen Medici due to the ease of setup, feature rich options and premium customer support. One of the key features for providers using Medici is that they have the flexibility to choose to work wherever and whenever they want. Patients get high quality med

0 ratings

Ready Doc™ completely redefines the healthcare credentialing process by creating a Hashgraph-based solution that will instantly verify a provider’s medical credentials—cutting months’ worth of processing time to a matter of seconds.

Top 9 Free HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software in 2021

  • Paubox Email Suite
  • SimplePractice
  • OnCall Health
  • BlueNote Communicator
  • Hucu.ai

Learn More About HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software

What is HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software?

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant messaging software enables hospitals, health care organizations, and associated businesses to securely communicate with patients and share electronic protected health information (ePHI) with authorized users. HIPAA compliant messaging software helps medical practices and hospitals comply with HIPAA and other industry regulations, streamline staff communications, reduce patient no-shows, cut down on phone calls, and optimize their workflow. HIPAA compliant messaging solutions are modeled after similar instant messaging, email software, and texting applications that are familiar to consumers. The key features of this software include text-based messaging and securing messages in accordance with HIPAA regulations.

Many secure messaging solutions exist and have been utilized in the medical industry to communicate with patients. However, security does not necessarily guarantee regulation compliance. HIPAA compliant messaging solutions guarantee that regulations are met and provide health care professionals with an intuitive tool to seamlessly share information and communicate with patients. HIPAA compliant messaging software is similar to clinical communication and collaboration software when used internally between medical staff. However, the majority of HIPAA compliant messaging applications and tools are used between patients and health care teams to improve patients’ experiences with health care. HIPAA compliant messaging software ensures hospitals, practices, and health care providers do not compromise sensitive medical information.

What Types of HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software Exist?

While much discussion revolves around text-based HIPAA compliant messaging, vendors also offer solutions that encrypt and secure emails, video conferencing tools, chatbots, and help desk tools.

SMS or texting

HIPAA compliant text messaging providers add one more level of security and compliance to non-HIPAA compliant, secure text messaging solutions.

Email

HIPAA compliant email providers encrypt all outgoing emails to ensure the confidentiality of PHI. All HIPAA compliant email solutions support outbound emails and some support inbound replies as well.

Telemedicine

HIPAA guidelines mandate any system or method used for telemedicine or virtual consultations cannot be communicated via unsecured channels like Skype. Organizations and practitioners can utilize a vendor-specific HIPAA compliant video service or implement HIPAA compliant solutions that offer secure video or audio conferencing.

Help desk or chatbot

Chatbots can even be equipped to encrypt and ensure HIPAA compliance for health care organizations. Generally, HIPAA compliant chatbot software redirects communication from a messaging platform like Facebook Messenger or Twitter to a HIPAA compliant chat. 

What are the Common Features of HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software?

Standard HIPAA compliant messaging features include support for instant messaging and secure file transferring. Support for specific software integration, group messaging, message archiving, and message search can help buyers distinguish between different software offerings. The following are some core features within HIPAA compliant messaging software that can help health care professionals communicate with their patients while maintaining HIPAA compliance:

Two-way messaging: All HIPAA compliant messaging solutions support two-way instant messaging, both internally and externally. Instant messaging can happen via SMS texting, email, or chatbot. Two-way messaging reduces phone tag, missed calls, and voicemails. HIPAA compliant texting is a key component of HIPAA compliant messaging solutions. Text-based communication makes it easier for patients to communicate with their providers in real time. Some solutions allow providers to automate secure texting to streamline communication with their patients. 

File sharing: HIPAA compliant messaging solutions allow for file sharing between provider and patient. This is particularly useful when a provider wants to send lab results or another type of document so the patient can see the document in full. 

Centralized user administration: HIPAA compliant messaging solutions provide a central location for administrators to manage users. Authentication measurements ensure that messages are sent and received by the exact person that should have access to those messages. HIPAA compliant messaging solutions allow users to manage and access these settings to ensure no authorized users can compromise the security of the solutions.

Message encryption: HIPAA compliant messaging solutions must encrypt messages during message delivery transit. More comprehensive encryption functionality can include the encryption of an organization’s directory and redirect to a secure web portal and proprietary practice information.

Some HIPAA compliant messaging software contains additional features: 

BYOD support: Many hospitals and medical practices support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) practices. HIPAA compliant messaging solutions can be loaded onto personal devices, ultimately saving a health care organization from spending too much money on expensive hardware and equipment.

Cloud storage app integration: HIPAA compliant messaging solutions that can integrate with cloud storage applications further simplify the sharing and filing of patient information between sender and recipient.

Electronic health record (EHR) integration: HIPAA compliant messaging solutions that integrate with EHRs or electronic medical records (EMRs) make it easier for health care organizations to access patient data records and sync patient data updates when necessary.

Message lifespan management: Beyond encrypting and securing text-based communication, HIPAA compliant messaging solutions must provide users with recall, lifespan, archiving, and remote deletion functionality. Another level of convenience that HIPAA compliance solutions provide is the ability to confirm that messages are delivered.

What are the Benefits of HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software?

Health care organizations and institutions are subject to HIPAA compliance. HIPAA compliant messaging software enables hospitals and practices to improve their communication practices with patients. Medical professionals can leverage text messaging technology and combat data hacking and cybersecurity issues by sending encrypted emails with HIPAA compliant messaging software. These tools support workflow, cost efficiency, compliance, and overall security for any health care organization.

HIPAA compliant software provides medical professionals and staff a simple alternative to other clinical communication and collaboration solutions. Users implement HIPAA compliant software to communicate with each other in addition to communicating with patients. Text-based HIPAA compliant messaging software is especially helpful during emergencies, both internally and externally; texting significantly cuts down on the amount of time it takes to relay a clear message. Communication breakdowns are avoided, coordination is improved, readmissions and insurance verification are streamlined, and overall patient care is centralized when organizations use messaging solutions that are HIPAA compliant.

Reduction in phone tag: HIPAA compliant messaging solutions reduce the need for callbacks, voicemails, or misdirected messages. Additionally, HIPAA compliant messaging software provides users with delivery notifications, read receipts, and the ability to immediately archive or erase sensitive, shared patient information.

Increased efficiency and productivity: Multiple users can participate in the same discussion which streamlines care coordination and enhances productivity. Clinical notes, x-rays, and treatment schedules can be easily shared between staff and health care systems as easily as prescriptions and appointment reminders are shared with patients.

Increased security: HIPAA compliant messaging software is designed to help health care organizations and institutions adhere to the rules of protected health information (PHI), HIPAA, and other industry-specific regulations. By ensuring compliance, practitioners and medical professionals worry less about breaching and compromising the security of patient data.

Who Uses HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software?

Health care professionals are the main users of HIPAA compliant messaging software; patients do not actually use a portal or special system when they receive encrypted and secure messages. The best HIPAA compliant messaging software creates a seamless experience for patients so that while they are assured their information remains safe, they receive a text or email correspondence from their provider or medical system.

Medical professionals: Health care professionals, medical staff, pharmacists, health care business associates, Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement specialists all fall under the realm of medical professionals. This includes any type of medical professional that must share or access sensitive patient information while communicating with relevant medical professionals or patients. All medical professionals can leverage HIPAA compliant messaging software to improve their workflow.

Patients: Patients can receive communication from their provider via text message or email. These text-based communications are routed through a secure and encrypted sharing platform. On this platform, patients can receive updates, notifications, and confirmations for appointments, prescriptions, and procedures.

Software Related to HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software

HIPAA compliant messaging software doesn’t exist in a bubble. The following software types can be used in conjunction with or alongside HIPAA compliant messaging software include:

Clinical communication and collaboration software: While HIPAA compliant messaging solutions can be leveraged to communicate with fellow medical professionals and patients, clinical communication and collaboration software is still a provider-specific solution. This software coordinates the flow of data between health care professionals to close gaps in patient care.

Patient engagement software: Patient engagement software provides patients with portals and platforms to monitor their health care progress, optimize payment and appointment scheduling, and communicate with their provider at their convenience. The two-way HIPAA compliant messaging is a version of patient engagement.

Patient scheduling software: Patient scheduling software streamlines and simplifies the process of scheduling an appointment with a provider. Notably, the most common use case of HIPAA compliant messaging is reminding patients of upcoming appointments and notifying them when it’s time to schedule a follow up. The biggest benefit of HIPAA compliant messaging software is reducing no-shows and increasing the number of patients that a practitioner sees in a day.

Electronic health record (EHR) software: HIPAA compliant messaging solutions are patient centric. Everything communicated through these solutions is tied to patient records. Patient records are stored and digitized in EHRs and EMRs.

Mobile device management (MDM) software: If a health care organization offers a BYOD policy, then they will most likely choose a HIPAA compliant messaging solution that supports BYOD practice. HIPAA compliant messaging software that supports BYOD should offer mobile device management capabilities. This allows administrators to have complete access to the messaging app and ensure data is stored in the cloud and not on the actual device.

Challenges with HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software

Software solutions can come with their own set of challenges. The following issues can detract from widespread adoption even after the successful deployment and implementation of a HIPAA compliant messaging solution.

Lack of adoption: While HIPAA compliant messaging solutions are designed to mimic the user experience of modern messaging solutions, there are still a few barriers to organizational adoption. Some barriers include the time it takes employees to feel comfortable with the platform, user access settings, scalability, and patients’ response.

Cost of setup: Aside from the price of a HIPAA compliant messaging solution, there may be additional costs for monthly maintenance and security services, or for a vendor or IT support team. Researching all potential costs when deciding which solution to implement is important.

Data breaches: Data breaches still happen today. While HIPAA compliance messaging solutions equip health care professionals with the tools to adhere to regulation and ease worries about compromising sensitive patient information, organizations must understand that solutions like these are preventative. This means that data breaches are still possible.

Existing methods of communication: The benefits of utilizing a text-based HIPAA compliant messaging solution will not immediately impact a health care organization that is fax based. Even organizations that use mobile phones or unified VoIP systems should understand the nuances between different operating system types. Prospective users of HIPAA compliant messaging software should not look at the solution as a magic tool to fix convoluted or inefficient communication workflows. Existing processes and solutions must be considered before a HIPAA compliant messaging tool is deployed throughout an organization.

Which Companies Should Buy HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software?

All health care organizations within the United States who deal with HIPAA-protected patient information should purchase HIPAA compliant messaging solutions.  

Medical practices: Medical practices, particularly smaller ones, build relationships with their patients. HIPAA compliant messaging solutions are a great way to break down communication barriers between the provider and the patient. 

Hospitals: Hospitals can benefit from implementing HIPAA compliant messaging software, as these solutions streamline communication with patients.

How to Buy HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software

Requirements Gathering (RFI/RFP) for HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software

To put together a comprehensive requirement list for a HIPAA compliant messaging solution, the prospective buyer needs to determine a few things. One is whether they’re looking for a point solution that handles only messaging, or if they’re looking for a comprehensive patient engagement solution, of which HIPAA compliant messaging would be one part. Once that’s determined, the buyer should take a look at the various channels through which they’d want to communicate with their patients, as well as the number of patients they would be communicating with. An important part of implementing a HIPAA compliant messaging solution is how well it integrates with an existing tech stack, so prospective buyers should be cognizant of potential solutions’ interoperability. 

Compare HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software Products

Create a long list

Buyers should remove any products that they know do not meet the basic criteria that they put together during their requirements gathering. They should compile a standardized list of questions based on those requirements to ask vendors during initial conversations. 

Create a short list

Once they have their long list based on vendors that meet their requirements, prospective buyers should send out RFIs and look at the responses to help compile a short list. The buying team should research via every available avenue at this point, looking to research reports, user reviews, and other third party sources to build out their knowledge of the solutions on the short list.

Conduct demos

When conducting demos, the team should ask to see the solutions handle situations typical to their day to day work. For example, buyers must ask the vendor to show how easy it is to upload and send lab results to patients. The selection team should also ask to see the solution handle outlier situations to test the full breadth of functionality of the solution.

Selection of HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software

Choose a selection team

The actual users of the software should be involved in the conversation (providers, administrators). Whichever team is going to deal with implementation and integration into the existing tech stack should also be involved. 

Negotiation

The price will be an important factor at the negotiation stage. Decision makers from the selection team will have to weigh the cost against the benefits of a streamlined provider-patient communication process. 

What Does HIPAA Compliant Messaging Software Cost?

HIPAA compliant messaging solutions are typically priced per user of the software on a monthly basis. There may be additional costs for any customization or difficult implementations. 

Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI can be measured in several ways for HIPAA compliant messaging software. The primary indicators to look at are reduction in phone tag, reduction in consult wait time, reduction in the average length of patient stay, improved patient satisfaction, and reduction in preventable readmissions. Tracking all of these factors pre- and post-implementation is an excellent way to determine the ROI of the system.