5 Questions to Consider Before Choosing a Secure Messaging Platform

As more organizations move towards utilizing their professionals’ own personal digital devices for work, they face the task of finding the right secure messaging platform. If your call center works with the healthcare industry this is not a small decision. Choosing an incompatible or insufficient platform can be costly, both to your business and to your clients.

In order to help make this important decision a little easier, here are five questions to ask when selecting a secure messaging platform.

1. Is the platform HIPAA compliant?

One of the most important factors to ask when choosing a secure messaging platform is whether or not the platform is HIPAA compliant. HIPAA guidelines exist in order to ensure that clients’ protected health information (PHI) remains secure and confidential. The truth of the matter is that most SMS communications fail to meet the standards set forth by HIPAA. Some important features your messaging platform should include:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Unique passcode and password settings
  • Off-device storage of PHI
  • Ability to remotely disable a lost or stolen device

Failure to achieve HIPAA guidelines can lead to breach of sensitive client information. It can also lead to costly fines.

2. How fast and efficient is the technology?

One of the biggest draws of utilizing personal devices and person-to-person digital communications is the increased speed and efficiency of communications. Some professionals still rely on antiquated pager technology, which, while typically secure, make communication unwieldy. Therefore, when selecting a secure messaging platform, call centers should consider how efficient the technology is. Some features of a high-quality, highly efficient messaging platform include:

  • Platform settings that automatically keep professional messages separate from personal messages
  • Seamless two-way communications
  • Ability to securely include attachments, including photos, videos and audio recordings, to messages
  • Easy-to-access information about who is currently on call

3. How easy is the platform to use?

Related to the efficiency of the platform is the ease of use. One of the main reasons that many organizations are moving towards a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy for their organizations is that people tend to be most comfortable with their own devices. This results in an easy learning curve when adopting a person-to-person messaging policy.

Organizations will want a secure message platform that’s easy to implement. When selecting a secure messaging platform, organizations should consider what types of devices are supported by the platform. For instance, will the platform work with both Android and iOS operating systems? Also, organizations should consider coverage when choosing a platform: a high-quality platform will integrate 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi mobile networks.

4. How thorough of an audit trail is provided by the platform?

A real benefit of a high-quality secure message platform is a detailed, actionable audit trail. When making their choice, organizations should look at the audit trail features offered by the prospective platform. The best platforms will provide an exact timestamp of when a message is delivered, read, completed, and deleted.

A thorough, accurate audit trail can support accountability and PHI security and is an essential feature to consider when deciding upon a secure messaging platform.

5. How robust are the platform’s administrative tools?

Each organization has unique messaging needs; therefore, it’s important that the platform decided upon is adaptable to fit the specific context. Robust, efficient administrative tools are an essential feature to consider when choosing a secure messaging platform. Some of the administrative tools found in a high-quality messaging platform include:

  • Full control of user access
  • Thorough group and contact management
  • Modifiable complexity settings when choosing passcode and password security
  • Ability to access a full audit of message history
  • Easy-to-access archiving

Lack of these tools will cause headaches for administrators and could result in gaps in security and efficiency.