Loads of information are being shared every second on a daily basis. We can’t help but wonder if the information that we share is safe and protected. How free and safe can we share things without the fears of it being leaked? This raises a ton of concern especially if the information being transmitted over text has to do with one’s health records. And even with the doctor-patient privilege, there is still that possibility of the clinic’s records being hacked.Can you just imagine the worry one has while knowing that someone has access to this sensitive information? How do you ensure that the information hasn’t been altered in any way? This is where the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) comes in.
This law sets the standard for safeguarding sensitive patient data. Companies that deal with protected health information (PHI) must have sets of protocols in place and follow those protocols in order for them to achieve HIPAA compliance. This law not only protects the privacy of an individual’s health information, it also lets companies and other involved parties to adopt new technology to improve the quality and efficiency of their services. Likewise, the US government passed a supplemental act called HITECH – the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act – which raises penalties for those who violate HIPAA security and privacy rules.
Because of the widespread use and convenience of text messaging, many health care providers choose to use it to get in touch with patients and colleagues, so it begs the question, “Is text messaging HIPAA compliant?”
While the answer is a general “no”, the HIPAA journal says that there are workaround solutions to that and that safeguards have to be in place in order to protect valuable PHI. One way to enforce this is by having all health care providers (staff, doctors, and affiliates) and their third-party vendors know and apply HIPAA guidelines. One of the rules HIPAA has when it comes to text messaging is that proof of identity must be provided before sending and receiving messages. Another is that audit and reporting controls must be implemented for them to analyze, identify, and address any risk that may arise. Encryption and physical data protection must also be used especially when personal devices are used to access or communicate private health data.With all that in place, you can now breathe easy as your data is being protected by law. Still, text messaging and HIPAA compliance remains important.
Choosing the right health care partner is also crucial for your peace of mind. And so is your healthcare partner having the right partner to guarantee privacy and quality service. Providertech, an automated and integrated text solutions for healthcare company, can give you that and more. A key partner of numerous providers, payers, and federally qualified health centers (FQHC), Providertech offers customizable, patient-centered solutions that are HIPAA-compliant and easily managed. These solutions combine the use of automated mobile text, email, and voice communications that help our healthcare workers get the jobs done easier, safer, all while providing quality patient care at all times.