What you need to know before you use Pigeon.
Pigeon is a secure, HIPAA-compliant doctor to patient communication tool created to make it easier for patients like you to connect directly with your healthcare provider when you need to. Pigeon does this by allowing you to send text messages from your phone through Pigeon to a secure software application that your healthcare provider can use to see and respond to your message. For you, it’s no different than sending a text message to your friends and family.
You’ll be communicating directly with real people at your healthcare provider’s office, including doctors, nurses, receptionists and other employees.
Though we’ve taken every step to ensure that Pigeon is secure, there are few things you should know before using the service.
Messages could potentially be sent out of order
This isn’t likely to happen, but due to SMS technology that can’t be guaranteed. If your healthcare provider is sending important information, it’s best to respond with confirmation that you received and understand the information. If the messages don’t make sense, just ask them to clarify.
Inform your provider if your phone number changes
If your phone number that you used to register for Pigeon with your healthcare provider has changed or will change in the near future, inform your provider. If your provider doesn’t know that your phone number is updated, they could potentially continue to send sensitive information to your old phone number, which would be received by a different person.
Your messages could be linked to other devices
Messaging apps for iOS and Android are accessible on devices other than your phone. If you set up security features like adding a passcode or security pattern on your phone, you should do the same on any other devices that you use for messaging. For instance, many iPhone users have iMessage logged in on their phones, iPads, and/or Macbooks. Make sure that with any device you use to communicate through Pigeon, you’ve set up the appropriate security features.
Third party apps could be unsecure
For Android phones, users have the option to download third party apps like Google Voice to use as their default messaging app. These apps could lack the privacy needed to ensure that the providers of these apps can’t read your messages. Be sure to check the privacy policies of any third party apps and avoid them in general for text messaging to be safe.