Healthcare Messaging App - Definition

A healthcare messaging app is a secure, mobile application that physicians, nurses and hospital staff use to exchange the patient’s protected health information (PHI). A healthcare messaging app must be HIPAA-compliant and must be deployed when healthcare employees send messages that contain identifying patient information.

Failure to use a healthcare messaging app when sending messages to colleagues that contain PHI can constitute to a HIPAA fine. Indeed, HIPAA officials have cited health facilities for exchanging PHI that was neither encrypted nor password protected. When a HIPAA fine is instituted, the fine can reach several millions of dollars.

The mandate to protect patient privacy was set into effect by the U.S. Congress with the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that decreed the importance of maintaining patient privacy and ensured its protection.

Since 2013, HIPAA-compliant messaging has gained even more importance as the 2013 legislation increased privacy and security protection for individuals’ personal health. The legislation also increased the penalty for breaches and penalties for noncompliance based on the level of negligence, with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million per violation.

Since that time, hospitals have also increasingly realized that exchange of PHI via pagers risks a HIPAA violation and could incur a significant fine. By exchanging PHI via pagers and not through a healthcare messaging app, patient information can be accessed by unauthorized third parties and used to defraud patients and their healthcare providers.

Today’s healthcare institutions are moving toward a healthcare messaging app that provides secure messaging and upholds the mandates of HIPAA.



Healthcare Messaging App



Healthcare Messaging App and HIPAA Compliance

Use of a HIPAA-compliant, healthcare messaging app is required when the physician or nurse sends a message containing sensitive patient information, care instructions or relevant records. When this type of patient information is sent, the content of the message must be both secure and encrypted.

When hospitals and clinics introduce a healthcare messaging app into their organization, they must maintain reasonable and appropriate administrative, technical and physical safeguards in protecting electronic protected health information (e-PHI).

The Department of Health and Human Services provides further detail and states that organizations must:

  • Ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of all electronic protected health information which is created, received, maintained or transmitted.
  • Protect against any reasonably anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of this information.
  • Protect against any reasonably anticipated uses or disclosures of this information.
  • Remotely wipe patient information from the HIPAA-compliant messaging app if the app is lost or stolen.
  • Ensure compliance by users of the information.

OnPage HIPAA-Compliant Pager Replacement

The OnPage healthcare messaging app enables healthcare providers to easily communicate via encrypted and secure text communication with employees as well as each other.

OnPage allows care teams to:

  • Create and manage escalation policies.
  • Receive alerts that bypass the silent switch on all mobile devices
  • Send alerts that cut through the noise and bring critical notifications to the forefront. Alerts continue for up to eight hours until acknowledged.
  • Use audit trails to track messages with SENT, DELIVERED and READ receipts.
  • Get their preferred, on-call rotation with on-call scheduling for multiple individuals without limitation to location.
  • Add images and voice attachments to text messages to convey more information, allowing for more informed decisions.
  • Mute OnPage when users are off duty and do not want to receive alerts.
  • Remotely wipe sensitive patient information

Healthcare Messaging App

Benefits | OnPage Pager Replacement System


OnPage provides on-call rotations and escalations. Web console administrators can task physicians and create “turns” if the first person is unavailable. This helps eliminate physician burnout. OnPage also provides distinguishable high-priority alerts. This way, on-call physicians will always know the severity of alerts!

Current integrations include OpenEMR and Amion physician scheduling. OpenEMR continuously monitors a patient’s electronic medical records and triggers an alert to physicians and/or care teams via the OnPage smartphone app. The Amion integration allows care teams to automate the manual on-call process and give patients direct 24/7 access to on-call physicians.

OnPage streamlines clinical processes and helps organizations achieve maximum patient satisfaction. Discover the power of OnPage by requesting an enterprise free trial today!

eBook: 8 HIPAA-Compliant Messaging Myths Dispelled

When healthcare personnel embrace HIPAA-compliant messaging, their offices will see benefits such as improved security of patient information, better patient outcomes and stronger communications.

Our eBook entitled, “The Benefits of HIPAA-Compliant Messaging,” looks into these advantages as well as investigating details such as:

  • Why pagers are insufficient
  • What is required for HIPAA-compliant messaging
  • Further advantages of HIPAA-compliant messaging

Healthcare messaging app

What OnPage Customers Have to Say!

Miguel A. Cano, MD, FACOG
Adventist Health Center

Susan E. Moynihan, MD
North Shore Physicians Group