How To

User Friendliness: #7 Factor in Choosing a Secure Texting App

December 17, 2014 | Adam Turinas

Usability is the seventh-most critical factor to consider when selecting a secure texting provider. Healthcare organizations must deliberately evaluate the user friendliness of a potential secure texting app otherwise their care coordination, efficiency, and HIPAA compliance goals will be at risk.

Here are some key issues to consider when selecting a user friendly secure texting app:

  • Intuitive design: Does the secure texting app clearly illustrate the various actions users can take? In our experience clinicians use our Clinical Communications solution when they are between patients. With only a few minutes to spare, it is imperative that they’re able to quickly identify, select and perform any task.

  • Readability: Can the text displayed in the app be read easily? One of the biggest complaints physicians have of the EHR is that their attempts to access patient data during appointments diverts attention from patients. Secure texting applications with EHR integration capabilities remove the large screen of separation between physicians and patients. Easily readable text can, furthermore, limit the time physicians and other clinicians spend checking or updating patient data while in front of a patient.

  • Simple process: How many steps does a user need to go through to complete a task? Secure texting apps that sustain high user adoption rates must be just as simple to navigate as the native applications of users’ smartphones. If it only takes one press for a dialpad to appear when users hit the call button of their smartphone’s native app, for instance, the same must be true for the HIPAA compliant app.

  • The Grandpa test: Is the app so simple and clear that an elderly citizen can use it? The aging baby boomer population will soon become the dominant class of mHealth app users. Both internal and patient facing secure texting apps must cater to the needs of older populations.

  • User Testing: How does the vendor get user feedback? Are clinicians involved throughout the design process? How is usability tested? Is there are a way for users to provide ongoing feedback and do they have a user group?


Secure texting applications have the potential to solve the efficiency, care quality and data security needs of healthcare providers. HIPAA compliant texting is just one of the many features that must be considered when evaluating whether a secure texting apps can support those goals.

Download our rubric of 60 critical factors to consider when choosing a secure text provider.

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