The best messaging platform for healthcare

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Trust is one of the fundamentals of the healthcare system. Patients share with their doctors very confidential information they will never share with anyone else. Thus, they want to ensure that it will never get disclosed to third parties. All over the globe healthcare industry is heavily regulated by data privacy rules and all messaging platforms used for communication should comply with certain requirements.

First of all, all communication should take place in a secure messenger so that no medical information could leak. There are two types of communication:

  • internal between healthcare employees
  • external between healthcare providers and their patients

Health-related confidential information should be protected on all levels of communication.

Top requirements to a messaging platform for healthcare

Several regulations exist to protect health data:

  • GDPR – European Global Data Protection Regulation
  • HIPAA – USA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

HIPAA creates standards to protect the privacy of the health information. It gives patients control over their medical records so that they could decide who and when can get access to them. It is a known fact that people got refused by employers or insurance service providers because of their medical history. To prevent this from happening HIPAA was passed in 1996 to protect healthcare information.

HIPAA consists of security and privacy rules. While privacy rules regulate access to patient's information, security rules take care of patients' data safety. They are mostly focused on electronically transmitted patients' information.

When looking for a secure messaging platform, you should bear in mind the following data privacy requirements:

  • Data should be encrypted while being sent and stored
  • Access restriction settings
  • Secure data storage measures
  • Communication history should be available for auditing purposes

How to use Virola secure messenger for healthcare

Virola secure messenger gives you one place to manage and secure your patients' information. This is a comprehensive collaboration tool which can be used both for internal communication and for chatting with patients without any fear of data theft. Virola is hosted on-premises and the level of data protection depends on the security level of your server. All information is protected during the transfer by public-key cryptography and secure connection. No other external applications except push notification services for mobile devices are involved. And even push notifications can be disabled on the Virola server to fully detach it from the external world.

Virola collaboration tool has a wide range of permission roles:

  • Admin role – this person has access to all chats, can create chat rooms, both private and groups, create, update and remove user profiles
  • Moderator role – this person can manage users within a group chat room – add or remove
  • User role does not allow creating users and seeing their profiles. Additionally, Virola admin can restrict users from creating private and / or group chats. In this case restricted users will be able to message, initiate voice and / or video conversations only in those chat rooms where they were added by the Virola admin. This feature is very convenient if Virola is used both for internal communication and for consulting patients

It is also possible to use separate Virola servers for internal communication and for assisting patients. In Virola client in this case employees will need to launch different profiles in separate tabs with help of Application profiles tool. This is more secure than managing roles of employees and patients within one Virola server.

Virola messaging platform supports all features for smooth and productive team collaboration:

  • Topic-based and private chats: team members from different departments can effectively communicate in Virola group chats
  • Ability to quickly start audio and video chats: with a click Virola users can initiate or join audio or video group chat or call their co-workers in private chats
  • Unlimited files and chat history storage: Virola is hosted on-premises and thus the data storage is limited only by the server capacity
  • Global search in all messages and among attachments: you can look for words or phrases in all chats and attachment titles, switching between results with help of navigational arrows
  • Chat rooms sorting: it is possible to arrange chat rooms in a convenient list – pin the most important chats or archive the ones which are no longer used
  • Meetings scheduler: to remind about meetings and their agenda users can create meeting reminders directly in chat rooms
  • Converting messages to tasks: with a click Virola users can make tasks from the messages sent in chat. Such tasks can be viewed and tracked on a separate task board
  • Tasks and issues tracking: each issue or task supports an option to change status, indicating whether it is new, in progress or has been already done
  • Task board: allows viewing and tracking issues or tasks created and assigned by users

As was mentioned before, in addition to internal communication Virola secure messenger can be used by healthcare providers to assist patients in separate secure chats. For this purpose, patients will need to install Virola client and use login information to connect to their user profile. With help of permission settings chats with these users will be independent and they will never be able to see chats with other patients, even if one employee assists several patients in different chat rooms.

The best messaging platform for your healthcare company should not only comply with security and data protection regulations but contain all necessary features for smooth and efficient communication both among employees and customers.