With growing use of personal mobile devices for communicating professional to patients or discussing patient concerns requires healthcare professionals to address the use of technology and HIPAA compliance. Using channels like SMS, e-mails, Skype etc. put confidentiality of healthcare information on stake as the copy of that message remains on the server provider’s system on which there is no control of the healthcare professional. So therefore one most important factor that one should consider while selecting a technology for patient communication is that it must have a system that ensures access to and the use of PHI (Public Health Information) is monitored. This will ensure compliance with two of the HIPAA requirements:
- Authorized users are complying with the secure messaging policies.
- To conduct risk assessments
Complying with HIPAA requirements and correct use of technology have been proved to be most beneficial for healthcare organizations. One of the tested and tried technologies for communication includes secure texting. Safeguards exist to prevent PHI from being transmitted beyond the healthcare organization´s network, copied and pasted or saved to an external hard drive. All activity is monitored by a cloud-based “Software-as-a- Service” platform that produces activity reports and audits for the needs of compliance oversight and risk assessment. Obviously, if technology is used correctly, it will give numerous advantages. Several areas are benefited from the introduction of technology to comply with HIPAA. Let’s look at some of them:
- On-call physicians, first responders and community nurses can communicate PHI on the go using secure texting.
- Images, documents and videos will be hooked up to secure text messages, which can then be used at distance to determine accurate diagnoses.
- Secure texting will be accustomed contour the administration method of hospital admissions and discharges – considerably reducing patient wait times.
- Activity reports change risk assessments whereas, once integrated with associate degree EHR, secure texting conjointly helps organizations meet the necessities for patient electronic access for meaningful use of the incentive program.
The CMS accepts that text messages are crucial means of communication in healthcare, text messages, are currently essential for effective communication between care team members.
However, so as to go with the CoPs and CfCs, healthcare organizations should use and maintain text electronic messaging systems/platforms that is secure. To know more about HIPAA requirements for patient and professional communication, join our upcoming webinar on April 09, 2019.