Like many others in the field, I had to transition from working directly with clients in the office to working remotely from home performing telepsychology. This was a difficult transition, one I am still getting used to, and I am sure I am not alone. After looking into different platforms with multi-leveled plans, the small private practice I work with chose to utilize Doxy.me. This is a HIPAA-compliant, audio and visual platform. Here is my personal experience with Doxy and what I have learned in the last few weeks.
Plans: Doxy offers three different plans to clinicians- Free (no charge), Professional (pay for individual users), and Clinic (pay for multiple providers). All three plans are HIPAA-compliant and offer unlimited minutes and sessions, personalized rooms, and low definition (LD) video. Of course, the plans for pay offer additional features such as higher video quality, group meetings, room passcodes, text/email notifications, file transfers, screen shares, etc., but the Free plan is just as secure and easy-to-use for both clinicians and clients. All three plans also offer easily accessible Business Associate Agreements (BAA). A BAA is a written agreement between the clinician and the platform that clarifies each party’s responsibility when it comes to the client’s personal health information (PHI). It is important for all healthcare providers to have a BAA available to them and on file for liability reasons.
Security: Security is nonnegotiable in our field. This is why I appreciate that all three plans meet HIPAA requirements, offer secure data centers, encryption on both ends, and do not store patient data. The easily accessible BAAs are helpful as well.
Connection: You can personalize the name of your virtual therapy room. The name and link never change, making it easier for recurrent clients to connect. The website can be emailed through doxy with the Free plan; it can also be texted, but additional payment is required. I simply type the link into an email or text and send it directly to my clients. When they click the link, they are asked to enter a name to notify you when they enter your virtual waiting room. You are able to see how strong your client’s connection is as soon as they sign in.
Dashboard: The Dashboard is the main page that provides you with all your information and options (even those not part of your plan). You see the link for your therapy room that you can copy, a preview of what your client sees, and your waiting room along the left side of the page. The client’s name they typed in shows up when they enter the waiting room along with a timer showing you how long they have been waiting.
Calls: A timer starts next to the client’s name as soon as you start the call. This is only seen by the clinician and is really helpful for insurance purposes. When a call is in place, buttons appear for the following options: to put the call on hold, toggle your video on and off, toggle your microphone on and off, and end call.
Problem Solving: Although the video quality on the Free plan is not always the best, I can almost always see my client. The only issues with lagging occur when the client has poor connectivity or service. I seem to have the most difficulty keeping a stable connection when the client is on a cell phone (rather than a laptop or computer) and/or when the client is moving around within the session. Putting the call on hold briefly and reconnecting is helpful; if that does not work refreshing could help.
Overall, Doxy.me offers a great free plan that can be upgraded for pay to gain access to additional features. It is secure, offers an easily accessible BAA, and is easy to use for clients and clinicians. Although no service or connection can be guaranteed, I’m glad I chose Doxy for this new era of telepsychology.
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and to assist other clinicians looking for telepsychology options; I am in no way endorsed by Doxy.me.