London North West University Healthcare (LNWUH) NHS Trust has made the Hospify secure messaging app available to over 10,000 employees at its four hospitals.
It will used for clinical messaging and as part of the trust’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company said the app was the first of its type to be approved by NHS Digital for the NHS Apps Library in March.
It provides similar functions to popular consumer messaging apps, such as group messaging, unlimited text exchange and the ability to share photos. Along with these it has additional privacy features such as a built-in passcode, the ability to hide personal details such as phone numbers and email addresses, and to prevent harvesting of behavioural and other metadata for marketing or advertising.
It also encrypts and deliver messages from phone to phone and then deletes the messages from its servers, so the only copies are in the phones of the people in the conversation or group; even here, messages are automatically deleted after 30 days.
A Hospify Hub online admin portal supports onboarding staff and provides the ability to broadcast important messages and document attachments to all of the staff or individual teams.
The app enables teams to coordinate and message each other using mobile devices, whilst keeping communication secure and compliant with data protection rules. Teams can create chat groups, talk directly, and contact external parties to share information safely and instantly when close interaction is being reduced and many staff and patients are in self-isolation.
Sonia Patel, chief information officer of LNWUH Trust, said: “Rolling out this service not only helps our teams to communicate at a time when normal interactions are more challenging but is a step in a wider strategy to improve our digital offering to all health and social care staff.”
Hospify said the app is being used by a number of other NHS organisations, including NHS Wales, Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and Lincolnshire Community Health Services.
Image from GOV.UK, Open government Licence v3.0