With updated HIPAA regulations and the rise of technology in the workplace, healthcare facilities must find a balance between advancing their workflow technology and maintaining compliance to protect not only their own facility but the information of their patients. Regulations assign responsibility of all transmitted PHI to a facility and their staff no matter the policies facilitated in the work place to help regulate this transmission. Specifically, updated HIPAA regulations address the electronic transmission of any patient information. Electronic transmission includes common communication channels such as text messaging, paging or email. Facilities may begin with policies that prohibit electronic transmission such as a “no texting policy”, but this does not guarantee employees will stop using their own devices for work communication. Ultimately, the best answer is to implement a solution that will address electronic transmission and use this technology to optimize current workflow in the healthcare facility.
Email is a common form of communication across healthcare facilities no matter the level of advanced technology available. Because of the common use already in place, facilities often begin with HIPAA email security to comply with updated HIPAA regulations. Beginning with HIPAA email security allows a facility to maintain the security of a single communication channel to communicate encrypted PHI in a timely and efficient manner.
Taken a step further, HIPAA email compliance acts as the precursor to secure messaging solutions, allowing healthcare to branch out past one secure communication channel. With secure messaging, facilities are able to transmit multiple forms of media in an encrypted fashion for both the sender and the recipient. Secure messaging solutions captures not only the HIPAA email security users but widens its audience to include multiple platforms, devices and types of facilities to allow efficient and compliant communication.
When complying with updated HIPAA regulations, facilities should consider the following to ensure an effective solution: