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Keeping patient information protected and secure is not only the right thing to do, it’s also required by HIPAA regulations. You knew that. But did you know this also applies to your answering service when they communicate with you about your patients? Furthermore, did you know you’re legally responsible if your answering service isn’t compliant?
Fortunately, there’s a solution. Help protect the privacy of your patients’ healthcare information with the miSecureMessages app. This secure messaging app encrypts messages and patient information before sending it to smart phones and mobile devices. This helps ensure that protected health information (PHI) remains confidential.
When you or your answering service sends information to a smart phone or mobile device, the message is inherently open for interception. Just as you would never post a patients’ protected health information on your website, transmitting it over public airwaves to a wireless device without first encrypting it is almost as unwise.
However, when you use a time-tested, secure messaging app, protected health information is encrypted and therefore protected from parties who shouldn’t have access to it or who have a criminal motive. Using miSecureMessages is the best way to keep protected health information private when transmitting it to smartphones.
When you use miSecureMessages to send patient information to wireless devices, you send a strong signal to your patients. It says, “We respect you and aren’t taking any shortcuts that could compromise your private information.” Just as your patients expect and deserve the very best healthcare services that you can provide, they likewise expect and deserve that you will protect their information. This includes when you send their data to a smartphone and is why a secure messaging app is so important.
HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Though it’s been around for over two decades, there is still some confusion over it. The basic information is that your practice or clinic is a covered entity (CE) under HIPAA and is subject to its regulations. Furthermore, HIPAA classifies your answering service (and your other service providers) as business associates (BAs). When a BA does work for you, they must also comply with HIPAA requirements. And if they don’t, you and your organization are responsible. This confirms the essential nature of using the miSecureMessages app.
Yes, secure messaging protects personal health information, shows respect to your patients, and complies with HIPAA regulations. In addition to these three essential outcomes, secure messaging is also simply good business. You desire to do things with excellence and miSecureMessages is one more way to do it. It stands as a best practice in the healthcare industry.
Use miSecureMessages for answering service-to-doctor communication, for doctor-to-doctor communication, and for internal communication. Your organization’s future is at stake.
Richard L. Hutcherson is the director of operations for Answering Service One, a new kind of answering service that wants to become your number one resource to handle your communication needs. Contact Richard at 865-505-0456.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.