Doctoring By Text

Scheduling doctor visits around your workday can be difficult. Lunch breaks come and go too quickly, and most doctor’s offices are closed by the time you get off. Employees are tired of playing phone tag, using PTO for doctor’s appointments, and spending large sums of money when they only have a simple concern. Gnymble’s solution is doctoring by text and that is exactly what our customer Percentric does! This use case for healthcare helps encourage workplace wellness and showcases how doctors are now helping their patients by text.

Why is doctoring by text better for employees?

  1. More Convenient

Doctoring with Gnymble does not require an app download for patients. They will use their normal texting app that is already on their phone to send their doctor text messages. No more remembering passwords for patient portals, app downloads, or leaving voicemails. Doctoring by text also allows patients to receive medical care from the comfort of their own home, office, or wherever they’re most comfortable. This is a huge advantage for those with mobility issues or those living in more rural areas with limited access to local clinics or hospitals. Gnymble’s got your patients covered when it comes to convenient care.

  1. Less Time Consuming

Think about all of the time we spend on the phone trying to schedule a doctor’s appointment. Then we have to drive to the doctor’s office which can take quite a while, depending on where we live. When we arrive, we’ll spend time doing paperwork, paying our copay, and then waiting for an unknown amount of time. A simple doctor’s appointment can take hours that many people don’t have. Percentric uses Gnymble to doctor by text. Patients can fill out their paperwork from the link sent by the doctor’s office, easily have questions or concerns answered, and even get prescriptions and have them sent to the pharmacy–all from the tip of your fingers via text. 

  1. Budget-Friendly

Percentric offers a non-primary, non-urgent concierge-for-all healthcare service at no cost to employees using the service. Employee healthcare services promote better mental health, better work ethic, and people tend to take less time off.  

Many physicians are starting to explore doctoring by text. Help your patients save time, money, and be more convenient. Bryan R. Fine, MD, MPH is a leader in this industry and continues to use Gnymble to doctor by text. If you’d like to learn more about how you can start using business texting please text 757-818-8010 or contact us here.


Can Texting Be HIPAA Compliant?

Many healthcare providers would rather use SMS than other communication methods to communicate with patients because it’s convenient and easy. With sensitive information being shared, there are many rules and regulations when it comes to texting in the healthcare industry. This has many healthcare providers wondering if texting can be HIPAA compliant.

The short answer is yes. Texting can be HIPAA compliant under certain circumstances. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was revised to acknowledge that texting was a technological advancement now used to communicate private health information, also known as PHI. 

Patients can communicate any PHI to you via text. That is their own personal information, and they have the right to share it with whomever they please. Texting is not as easy for the healthcare provider. You must make sure you follow the rules set in place when sharing PHI with patients.

Here are some of the HIPAA rules around texting:

  • Create rules and procedures to manage who is authorized to access PHI when texting.
  • Execute audit and reporting controls for HIPAA compliant texting.
  • Make sure PHI is not improperly changed or deleted while texting.
  • Authenticate your identity before sending or receiving messages.
  • Protect the integrity of PHI during transmission.

What is the difference between encryption and compliance?

Encryption is simply the process of encoding information. Secure messaging solutions adhere to HIPAA encryption requirements by encrypting PHI while at rest and in transit. In laymen’s terms- PHI becomes unreadable and undecipherable. Texting is HIPAA compliant if you are not sending PHI via text. Texting is also HIPAA compliant if you receive consent from the patient to send PHI. 

Texting Features to Boost HIPAA Compliance

One of our favorite features is SPAM prevention. You can enable SPAM prevention in your Gnymble inbox to receive consent before the patient ever receives any medical information via text. This is an easy process, and the consent messages can be stored under the patient’s profile to be easily retrieved if needed.

HIPAA requires you to make patients aware of the risk of communicating their PHI in an unsecured channel and to obtain their consent prior to doing so. This can be done easily with a message like the following: “Dr. John Doe’s office complies with HIPAA and wants to exchange text messages with you. Text messaging may not be fully secure. To consent, reply YES.” This type of consent is a great way to protect your business by documenting permission from patients. 

Over 80% of doctors already use smartphones and unlike waiting at the doctor’s office or completing treatment plans, texting is quick. There are plenty of valid concerns when it comes to texting your physician, but some people use the argument that texting is more confidential than phone calling because the messages cannot be overheard. 

We All Get Calls From Our Doctor, Is That HIPAA Compliant?

Most medical practices in the United States still use phone calls as a form of communication. The use of mobile devices in the healthcare industry is not HIPAA compliant without consent, however, patients still accept phone calls every day. Like our SPAM prevention- you are typically asked your name and date of birth before beginning a conversation. The phone call continues like normal and is HIPAA compliant by consent, just like texting. A few other ways to text smartly and securely include: keeping an eye on the device you’re using to text, reviewing the content of your messages before sending them and deleting message history after the correct medical records have been documented. 

Texting for the healthcare industry is continuing to grow as we learn more about how to keep PHI secure. If you’d like to learn more contact us or text 757-818-8010