Instant messaging solutions have replaced pagers and loud speakers as a form of communication in hospitals and healthcare organizations. However, before you jump on board the IM train, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with HIPAA data security requirements.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) guidelines were amended to include requirements for organizations that incorporate texting solutions into day-to-day communication practices. In short, HIPAA data security requirements control:
- How hospital and healthcare office workers access and share electronic protected health information (ePHI)
- The way data and messages are sent between personal mobile devices
- The methods of storing messages and information on mobile devices
The Rundown on HIPAA Data Security Requirements
The price of unsecured, non-compliant messaging is high – at minimum, a $50,000 penalty will be assessed to any healthcare organization that fails to comply with HIPAA guidelines. The good news is that avoiding non-compliance fees is simple. You just need to make sure that the instant messaging solution rolled out to employees meets core HIPAA data security requirements:
- Employees should not store messages containing patients’ ePHI on personal mobile devices.
- Corporate IT staff and system administrators should have 24/7 access to messaging accounts.
- Organizations are responsible for conducting regular risk assessments, and revisiting policies to ensure they’re HIPAA compliant.
Finding a Messaging Solution That Meets HIPAA Data Security Requirements
Finding an instant messaging solution that meets HIPAA data security requirements shouldn’t require an intense scavenger hunt. Even more, the right technology doesn’t need to be a complex piece of software that will take employees weeks to understand – you need a solution that meets standard HIPAA guidelines:
- Cloud-Based Storage – Since messages shouldn’t be stored on employee devices, you need a platform with cloud-based storage. This automates message and data management, so your organization remains compliant with corporate and federal data retention policies.
- Total Account Control – Unparalleled account controls allow you to monitor all employee activity, including data and message sharing. If you need to communicate with a patient, you can provide temporary guest access.
- Remote Wipe Capabilities – It’s not uncommon for IT staff to wipe information housed on a web server.. Look for a platform that enables account administrators to remotely wipe sensitive company data from employee mobile devices and servers.
Need to Meet HIPAA Data Security Requirements? No Problem.
NetSfere has developed top-tier, innovative messaging solutions that allow healthcare organizations, physician practices and hospitals to use instant messaging in compliance with HIPAA data security requirements. Our platform features:
- 256-bit encryption for robust security
- Improved account controls
- Secure, cloud-based storage
- In-depth performance tracking and risk assessment capabilities
When you choose NetSfere, you’re choosing simpler, streamlined communications between employees and patients. To learn more about our instant messaging platform for healthcare companies and how it works with HIPAA data security requirements, contact us today.