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We understand how important it is for you to protect the privacy and security of your patients' protected health information (PHI). HIPAA text violation notices can be a costly and embarrassing experience for any practice. That is why we are sharing some tips on how to avoid HIPAA text violations and protect your practice:
Choose the safest communication method: patient portal vs. email communications
One of the best ways to protect your practice from HIPAA text violations is by using a patient portal for electronic communication with your patients. Patient portals are secure communication channels that allow you to exchange PHI with your patients while adhering to HIPAA regulations. Patient portals are secure, convenient, and provide your patients with easy access to their medical information.
If using email communication is necessary, make sure to use a secure email system that is HIPAA compliant. Also, ensure that the patient has given you explicit permission to communicate with them via email.
Protect yourself from HIPAA violations with one simple item added to your emails
Adding a confidentiality notice to your emails can help you avoid HIPAA violations. A confidentiality notice is a statement that informs the recipient that the email contains PHI and that they should not share it with anyone else. This simple addition can serve as an important reminder to your staff and patients to handle PHI appropriately.
Identify when you can send PHI via email - or if you ever should
HIPAA regulations state that PHI should only be transmitted via email if certain conditions are met. For example, you must ensure that the email is sent to the correct recipient and that the PHI is encrypted or secure. You should also obtain written consent from the patient before sending PHI via email.
Stop the worst internal text message HIPAA violators from sinking your practice
Internal text messaging can be an easy way for your staff to communicate with each other. However, it can also be a source of HIPAA violations if not used correctly. Make sure that your staff knows the proper way to communicate via text messaging and that they understand the importance of protecting PHI.
Prevent private email use (i.e., Gmail, Yahoo etc.) from ending in catastrophe
It is important to prevent staff members from using their personal email accounts to communicate with patients. This is because personal email accounts are not HIPAA compliant, and there is a high risk of PHI being compromised. Make sure that your staff understands the importance of using only HIPAA compliant systems to communicate PHI.
Improve HIPAA security for all of your messaging easier than you thought possible
There are many tools available that can help you improve HIPAA security for your messaging. For example, secure messaging platforms that are HIPAA compliant can help you send and receive PHI in a secure manner. Additionally, regular staff training on HIPAA regulations can help ensure that everyone in your practice is on the same page when it comes to protecting PHI.
We hope that these tips will help you avoid HIPAA text violations and protect your practice from costly and embarrassing situations. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We offer consulting services to assist with HIPAA compliance. Our team is knowledgeable and experienced in navigating the complexities of HIPAA regulations and can provide guidance and support to help ensure your practice is meeting all the necessary requirements to protect patient privacy and avoid potential violations.