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10 Best HIPAA-compliant Helpdesk Software
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10 Best HIPAA-compliant Helpdesk Software

Nov 22, 2023
    |    
7 min read
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Hiver HQ
Siddharthyka Saraswat

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Navigating the complexities of healthcare data management requires not only diligence but also the right tools. With the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) setting the benchmark for patient data security, choosing the right HIPAA-compliant helpdesk software is a critical decision for healthcare providers. 

This ensures secure management of sensitive patient information, functioning like a well-guarded repository for the countless inquiries and requests healthcare professionals handle daily. The market for such specialized software is limited, but selecting the right one is essential for compliance and efficiency.

In this article, we will discuss the top 10 HIPAA-compliant help desk software to streamline patient communication securely while also improving patient support. 

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What is HIPAA?

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a crucial federal law in the U.S. that plays a vital role in protecting the privacy and security of individual health information. This law prohibits healthcare organisations from sharing any protected health information (PHI) without the patient’s permission.
It sets clear rules for how healthcare providers and other entities handling health data must safeguard this sensitive information. The aim is to stop the unauthorized sharing or misuse of critical data such as medical records. Moreover, HIPAA gives individuals the right to access and control their own health-related information, enhancing their autonomy over their personal data.

For a helpdesk software to work with a HIPAA-compliant healthcare organization, a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) is signed between the two parties to ensure patient information security.

What is a BAA?

A Business Associate Agreement (BAA) is a legally binding document between a healthcare provider and a vendor. It delineates the vendor’s responsibilities in handling and protecting health information, ensuring adherence to HIPAA standards. This agreement is vital as it establishes a framework of trust and accountability, committing both parties to the protection of sensitive patient data.

10 Best HIPAA-compliant Help Desk Software

Check out the 10 best HIPAA-compliant help desk software that offer BAA and offer all the essential features to enhance patient communication:

1. Hiver

First on the list is Hiver, a holistic help desk software known for its seamless integration with Gmail and ease of use. It offers a BAA to healthcare organizations, ensuring that you stick to HIPAA regulations and can handle patient data securely.

Hiver’s User Interface

Hiver comes packed with all the crucial features you’d expect in a healthcare helpdesk software:

  • It offers omni-channel support, meaning you can connect with patients through various platforms such as phone, live chat, email, WhatsApp, and even a knowledge base.
  • Managing emails is a breeze with Hiver. It helps you streamline, track, and maintain visibility over every patient email.
  • When it comes to collaboration, Hiver offers features like Notes and @mentions, making it super easy to involve your teammates in resolving patient queries.
  • Its reporting and analytics tools provide visual reports, which are great for monitoring your team’s efficiency.
  • Hiver also simplifies repetitive tasks with automation, like automatically assigning patient queries to the appropriate agent.
  • It integrates seamlessly with all the essential applications your support team might use, including Slack, Zapier, and Asana.

2. Zendesk

Zendesk is best suited for enterprises and larger healthcare organizations, offering comprehensive helpdesk software. Its standout feature, Agent Workspace, provides a unified interface for agents to manage patient interactions across different channels seamlessly.

Zendesk consolidates various support functions like chat, email, and voice into a single, streamlined workspace, enhancing agent efficiency and ensuring a cohesive customer service experience.

Zendesk also takes significant steps to ensure HIPAA compliance, including offering a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) to its customers.

Zendesk’s User Interface

Nonetheless, Zendesk does have certain drawbacks, as noted by its users:

  • In terms of cost, it’s relatively more expensive compared to other alternatives. For instance, Hiver is 56% less expensive than Zendesk.
  • The platform’s interface is somewhat complex and often requires thorough training before healthcare teams can get started. 
  • Getting support from Zendesk can be expensive, ranging from $1500 to $2800. In contrast, systems like Hiver provide complimentary onboarding and 24/7 support.

3. Freshdesk

Freshdesk serves businesses of all sizes with its omni-channel approach, helping teams manage patient queries from email, social media, live chat, and other channels. It’s distinguished by its ability to convert these patient queries into actionable tickets. 

The parent-child ticketing system is a standout feature, breaking down complex patient queries for quicker resolution. Freshdesk also offers a BAA to ensure HIPAA compliance and a free plan for teams with limited budgets.

Freshdesk’s User Interface

However, Freshdesk falls short in several areas:

  • To achieve HIPAA compliance, Freshdesk requires specific configurations. For example, the Freshconnect feature, which is typically used for internal discussion of patient queries, needs to be disabled.
  • Agents working from Google Workspace may find it inconvenient that new tickets can’t be resolved directly through Gmail, necessitating a switch to Freshdesk’s platform.
  • The platform’s user interface is not very intuitive to navigate.

4. OhMD

OhMD is a HIPAA-compliant tool that provides a secure texting environment for communications between patients and healthcare providers. It features automated texts, call-to-text conversion, live web chat, EHR integrations, and secure video consultations. OhMD’s platform is tailored for efficient and secure communication within healthcare settings, integrating seamlessly with various electronic health record solutions.

OhMD’s User Interface

However, OhMD’s users face certain challenges:

  • Limited to communication tools, lacking comprehensive helpdesk features like ticket tracking or analytics.
  • The platform’s focus on messaging might not cater to broader administrative or support needs.
  • While offering a free trial, the paid plans start at a very high price point, which may not be suitable for smaller practices or healthcare organizations.

5. Giva

Giva stands out as a cloud-based helpdesk solution, offering a unified dashboard for viewing patient and vendor queries from various channels like live chat, email, phone, and social media. The platform can help healthcare teams generate reports on how quickly they respond to patients, amongst other things.

Giva is committed to HIPAA compliance and, like other options on this list, offers a BAA to healthcare providers.

Giva’s User Interface

However, Giva’s users have reported several issues:

  • The knowledge base has a user interface that is not intuitive.
  • Lack of visibility for agents to see if similar queries are being worked on by others.
  • Report customization options are not as robust as competitors.

6. Help Scout

Help Scout caters to businesses needing efficient patient query management. This software allows teams to convert patient queries into tickets, facilitating assignment, tracking, and resolution. 

A standout feature is the Beacon, which offers patients various methods to obtain information, whether through live chat, browsing FAQs, or sending email inquiries. 

Help Scout also emphasizes HIPAA compliance, providing a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) to healthcare providers.

Help Scout’s User Interface

Drawbacks of Help Scout include:

  • Difficulty in distinguishing between internal and external conversations.
  • The user interface is complex and requires time to become familiar with.
  • Lack of direct method for creating Service Level Agreements (SLAs); reliance on external integration for SLA creation.

7. TeamSupport

TeamSupport is geared towards B2B healthcare organizations, offering collaborative ticketing and customer support. It focuses on visual patient relationships and integrated customer experience analytics. Its unique Water Cooler social network feature helps drive internal collaboration. 

TeamSupport is HIPAA-compliant, offering a BAA to healthcare organizations.

TeamSupport’s User Interface

However, TeamSupport has its limitations:

  • Analytics features lack detailed insights and can be slow.
  • Management of open patient queries and their history of interactions
  • The absence of multi-level escalation for Service Level Agreement breaches, which can be a challenge for complex business arrangements.

8. Jitbit

Jitbit is a centralized help desk software designed for businesses aiming to provide efficient customer support. It includes features like automation rules for ticket management and an integrated knowledge base for quick patient query resolution. Multi-channel support and robust reporting tools are key aspects of Jitbit, which also offers mobile app support for on-the-go patient support. 

Jitbit ensures HIPAA compliance through stringent security measures, including encryption and regular audits, and provides a Business Associate Agreement.

Jitbit’s User Interface

Challenges faced by Jitbit users include:

  • Complications in integrating Google Forms or generating forms within Jitbit.
  • The user interface is not very friendly.
  • Technical issues with some social media integrations.
  • Problems handling high volumes of patient queries.

9. TigerConnect

TigerConnect is a unique HIPAA-compliant secure messaging app that bridges the gap between patients and medical professionals through convenient texting. It offers a feature for easy telemedicine sessions via SMS links. 

TigerConnect stands out for its user-friendly interface, role-based permission levels, and compatibility with both Android and Apple devices. It’s designed specifically for healthcare organizations, ensuring secure data flow and HIPAA compliance through robust security measures.

TigerConnect’s User Interface

However, TigerConnect is not without its shortcomings:

  • Absence of a free trial for user evaluation.
  • Limited to messaging and telemedicine services, lacking broader helpdesk functionalities.
  • Some users may find the feature set too focused on communication and lacking in other areas like ticket management or analytics.

10. Paubox

Paubox is particularly effective for healthcare providers, offering end-to-end encryption for emails and ensuring HIPAA compliance through robust security measures.

Paubox is a standout for its email encryption software, enabling teams to send secure HIPAA-compliant emails without the need for logins or plugins. It supports TLS connection fail-over and works with any mail server, making it highly adaptable. 

Paubox’s User Interface

Drawbacks of using Paubox include:

  • Sole focus on sending secure email messages, lacking in other helpdesk functionalities.
  • There’s a minimum user requirement of five users for the service, potentially excluding very small teams.

How to Choose the Right Hipaa-Compliant Helpdesk Software?

Selecting the right HIPAA-compliant helpdesk software is a decision that significantly impacts the efficiency and compliance of healthcare organizations. Each of the software options listed provides a unique blend of features and capabilities, catering to various needs and challenges within the healthcare sector. 

While considering factors like user interface, functionality, and cost, it’s also crucial to weigh the software’s ability to seamlessly integrate with existing systems and maintain stringent security standards.

Amidst these choices, Hiver is an option that checks all the boxes. Its seamless integration with Gmail, combined with a user-friendly interface and comprehensive set of features, positions it as an appealing choice for healthcare providers seeking an efficient and secure helpdesk solution.

If you are on the lookout for a HIPAA-compliant helpdesk software that is easy-to-use, secure, and cost-effective with all the right features— try Hiver for free for 7 days.

An engineer turned B2B marketer, Siddharthyka creates research-driven, actionable content for professionals from various backgrounds, such as customer success, IT, and finance. She also collaborates with industry experts to create insightful campaigns and content for readers. When away from her work desk, she can be found reading about the cosmos or picking a new coffee roast to try.

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