Most people may be unsure what HIPAA compliant texting stands for and the purpose of a system of its kind. HIPAA is an acronym that refers to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability and it is an act together with Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act ensures Protected Health Information (PHI). HIPAA compliant messaging therefore is a way for healthcare organizations and other related businesses to protect and maintain patient confidentiality. This kind of system ensures a secure open flow and exchange of information among authorized personnel and other entities. Information about patients that is of a sensitive nature is secured and only accessible to people with the required credentials.
Health organizations that fail to share health information in a secure or encrypted text messaging form can face consequences and even attract fines. HIPAA act was passed in 1996 by Congress so as to ensure the standardized security of public health information and efficient healthcare provision across the nation. Any physician who is currently using the traditional texting method to enquire on medical conditions of patient to fellow colleagues is going against HIPAA.
Traditional text messaging does not assure users of complete confidentiality when it comes to information shared since the information may remain on the telecommunication provider’s server for very long periods of time. Organizations in the health sector that may be looking into the HIPAA Compliant messaging platform should ensure they meet the top HIPAA goals: integrity status, its availability, and confidentiality standards.
HIPAA privacy regulations dictate that health care organizations should ensure that any health information shared or handled is done so through confidential, secure and well established procedures. All types of PHI (Protected Health Information) must adhere to these standards, like electronic, oral, or paper. In addition, only relevant information is to be shared for purely business purposes.
This system forms a perfect example of how technology has improved patient services. A number of research institutions have supported this Act by stating the merits of using smart phones and laptops. Unfortunately, there are a number of perceived risks thereby these systems are not used as much. Some of the HIPAA requirements do more harm than good by damaging patient care services. Thus, HIPAA makes it difficult to easily access electronic patient information and not allowing the use of portable devices.
However, HIPPA’s impacts have also been negative. It has burdened doctors with a lot of paperwork in order to meet set regulations. In other cases, some physicians refuse to send results via email and demand that patients pick them up personally. Discussed below are the challenges that face HIPPA.