Google Voice is a telephone service that provides call forwarding, voicemail, voice and text messaging services. It's a popular choice due to its integration with other Google services, affordable international calling rates, and the ability to ring multiple devices with one phone number. Users can access the service across devices, including computers and smartphones, making it a flexible solution for communication needs. Another notable feature is its voicemail transcription service which converts voice messages into text.
In a healthcare context, Google Voice can support telehealth, and a variety of other use cases. For telehealth, it offers a convenient way for providers and patients to communicate via calls or text messages, which can be used for appointment reminders, follow-ups, or brief consultations. Google Voice's voicemail transcription service can also be helpful to healthcare providers, allowing them to review patient messages more efficiently. Google Voice can also be used for internal communication within the healthcare team, improving coordination and collaboration.
Google Voice can be made HIPAA compliant when used with the G Suite edition and when Google signs a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with the healthcare organization. Google employs strong security measures including encryption for data in transit and at rest, two-factor authentication, and detailed audit logs to ensure the security of sensitive data. Further information on Google Voice's approach to HIPAA compliance can be found in Google's HIPAA Compliance Guide. However, healthcare organizations must follow the recommended settings and usage policies to maintain the privacy and security of PHI handled via Google Voice.
Take a look at our ultimate guide to HIPAA compliant software and services for help selecting compliant service providers. Though careful vendor evaluation and selection is only one piece of the puzzle for maintaining HIPAA compliance. At TeachMeHIPAA, we offer an affordable HIPAA training solution to ensure your staff are knowledgeable in how to comply, and to help you meet your legally mandated HIPAA training requirement with ease. Learn more about our tips and tricks for maintaining compliance with our HIPAA compliance blog.