The messaging platform WhatsApp is becoming the go-to texting solution for people communicating with their friends and family who want easy, free, encrypted communication. Unfortunately, people are also using it professionally, as healthcare providers and healthcare professionals naturally seek digital solutions to improve communication and workplace operational efficiencies. The benefits of a real-time communication solution in healthcare are too many to list. WhatsApp has advantages compared to other traditional communication methods used by clinicians, but it comes at a price: Non-HIPAA Compliance.
Sure, WhatsApp is more secure than SMS texting and perhaps it is one of the reasons why clinicians go for it. Another reason is that WhatsApp allows group communication between Android and iOS users, also allows new users to be easily added to group conversations in contrast to email. However, all these advantages are not worth it when WhatsApp is clearly non-HIPAA compliant. There are no password protections, the data is not stored in US locations, and contacts are shared freely. Bear in mind that HIPAA breaches and investigations of HIPAA compliance by the US HHS OCR (US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights) can lead to fines amounting more than $100,000.
Keeping all the pain points of healthcare communication in mind, we developed Hucu.ai. It is one of the fastest-growing and efficient healthcare communication applications with an easy, intuitive interface and features that specifically cater to healthcare operations.
WhatsApp as a Medical Messaging App Vs Hucu.ai
Despite WhatsApp’s apparent benefits compared with legacy solutions like paging, fax, SMS, and email, there are numerous issues with using WhatsApp as a real-time messaging solution for healthcare professionals.
Lack of Dedicated Workflows for Healthcare
Sophisticated and efficient healthcare communications demand more than just a simple messenger, which is all WhatsApp really is. But what about patient-centered communication that supports dedicated workflows to manage clinical handover between providers and multi-disciplinary team collaboration? Hucu.ai is a great hospital communication app that supports such workflows in a simple-to-use interface that can be accessed on desktop and mobile. This leads to better organization of messages and saves significant time for healthcare teams.
Lack of Accountability
Professional healthcare communication requires transparency, audit trails and accountability. One can’t find that in WhatsApp. If anything goes wrong, there’s no way to retrace communications. Different individuals can delete messages, set disappearing timers, and manipulate channels with no audit tracing. Hucu.ai keeps a running log of user activity that ensures accountability and transparency as patient information is shared or modified. Admins have the ability to manage access and channels.
Lack of Formatting
Clinical information is too important to get lost within a deep and broad message thread, which compounds as more users are added to a message group. The very nature of real-time messaging often severs critical information from a clinical case. Hucu.ai is one of the best healthcare communication apps that creates a unique environment that promotes real-time messaging and collaboration while maintaining contextual communication. Separate patient channels can be created in Hucu.ai, which are specific to each patient and contain only those team members and staff that are caring for the patient. This ensures that patient information is discussed only among relevant staff members. Important messages can be ‘flagged’ so that those are not missed.
Lack of Patient/Family Communication
Often patients and family members send texts to inquire about medication, health status, etc, because texting takes less time and is more convenient. However, many times one to one messaging requires multiple repetitive communications among different providers and then for patients and family members resulting in multiple complex threads. Hucu.ai has a separate patient/family chat feature through which family members can be added to the patient-centered channels for live updates and discussion.
Hucu.ai offers categorized, customized, patient-centered, group and direct message channels within and across care communities in ONE platform. This is what makes Hucu.ai successful as a healthcare communication application.
Hucu.ai supports internal operations as well. Clinicians can have messaging groups with just their staff members, categorized by departments, topics, or needs. Targeted notifications can be sent at an organizational level when announcements have to be made. Hucu.ai saves time chasing communication and helps team members stay connected with each other, patients, and family members.
WhatsApp Not Designed for Post Acute Care
WhastApp is only a messaging application that does not provide any insights or reports that could really help with post-acute care. Hucu.ai offers an evidence-based acuity scoring feature that helps highlight and prioritize critical patients among hundreds. Real-time priority-leveled patient hotlists are available at all times for view. Clinicians can also get top insights from the readily accessible patient health and risk analytics in Hucu.ai.
Lack of Personal Boundaries
WhatsApp is an excellent choice for personal communication with friends and family. But when between those threads, professional communication is also taking place it can quickly diminish the boundary between personal and professional life. Hucu.ai helps keep a clinician’s personal and professional lives separate while promoting interprofessional collaboration in healthcare.
Lack of HIPAA Compliance
Data handling (including storage in overseas servers), and security workflows or lack thereof compromise WhatsApp’s ability to fit the bill as a healthcare messenger app. Moreover, the recently announced plans to merge Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram further raise privacy concerns about handling sensitive personal information on such social media platforms. Clinicians have a number of responsibilities when handling sensitive health information and risk fines for non-compliance. Some of these considerations include data sovereignty, ensuring that clinical images that could identify a patient are not stored on a personal mobile device, and having controls to prevent unauthorized access.
Hucu.ai can only be accessed with either a Pin code, password or biometric identification. It logs the user out after five minutes of inactivity to avoid accidental, unauthorized access. Hucu.ai is 100% HIPAA compliant, which makes it the perfect communication app for the healthcare industry.
Hucu.ai is making healthcare accessible to people living in far-fetched areas because it is HIPAA compliant, offers real-time communication, and has all the modern features that a modern communication app has e.g., video conferencing, status updates, DM/channels, and sharing multi-media. It is designed for post-acute care and supports patient-centered care and communication.
Healthcare professionals need a purpose-built, secure communication solution – not a repurposed solution designed for the mass market. We believe that the best solution for healthcare providers is Hucu.ai. It is a dedicated, encrypted messaging app that is designed specifically for the healthcare industry.
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