More and more businesses are adapting to remote services and the healthcare industry is no exception. Digital tools are a part of doctor-patient communications, as it helps them connect with their patients. Chat platforms are a means to establish such communications. These Hippa complaint chat api platforms work towards building secure texting tools and encryption technologies in order to maintain privacy and security.
While the live chat apps provide brilliant benefits for patient care, it is important to check if they are adequate when it comes to HIPAA security rules? In this blog, we will take you through a few important points that will help choose the best HIPAA-compliant chat platform for you.
Guide to Pick an Excellent HIPAA Compliant Doctor-Patient Communication App
Healthcare communication needs more attention as its usage accelerates. To protect practitioners’ and patients’ data is the primary step in securing patient care infrastructure. Cybercriminals are now more active in trying to monetize healthcare data. The urgency of ensuring safe communications in healthcare necessitates choosing your chat platform wisely.
Let us see what is HIPAA rule is and how does it also ensure quality care to patients?
Understanding HIPAA and Its Scope
A very big data breach that took place in the US that happened at American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA), exposed over 20 million users’ Social Security numbers. Given such scenarios, the issue concerns a lot of companies and this is where the need for regulatory compliance sets in.
HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability and was passed in 1996 to set data protection standards for patients and safeguard medical information.
- It covers standard procedures for electronic transmission of data.
- It protects a patient’s personally identifiable information like insurance, payment information, emails, lab results, name, date of birth, social security number, etc.
- It stops any such personal information of the patient from getting shared in any digital system, physically or even verbally.
Initially, HIPAA was applicable only to hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies. Now, the HIPAA law applies to “covered entities”. Covered entities include organizations that provide treatment to the patients, carry out health care operations and payment activities of such facilities. E.g.Hospitals, Doctors, Pharmacies, Insurance Companies, etc.
From the times when healthcare was being outsourced, the law became applicable to such outsourced companies also and to those using cloud providers. They’re called “business associates”. Such BAs need to follow HIPAA for transmission, storage, or any organization that receives PHI data. E.g. SaaS companies
Advantages of Having A HIPAA-compliant Communication Platform for Your Healthcare Organisation
HIPAA compliant chat platforms are built with the primary purpose of simplifying and securing the operations in a health facility. Apart from compliance benefits, here are a few other important benefits from a HIPAA-compliant chat solution that cannot be overlooked.
Remote Examination Facility
Ever since the pandemic hit, health organizations have recognized the rewards of providing diagnoses via telemedicine. The trouble of visiting a hospital and waiting for your turn has been fused. Patients can share details over voice, text, or video and receive the care treatment on a real-time basis.
Efficient Diagnosis and Treatment
Due to the systematized communication standards, a patient’s medical care team gets to communicate efficiently to decide upon the right line of treatment quickly. The coordination between physicians and specialists is enhanced, there is more clarity in communication which helps in offering the best diagnosis to the patient.
Non-essential tasks get reduced significantly with the use of chat platforms. The time spent on walking from one place to another, moving reports and prescriptions from one place to another is zeroed and the same time can be taken to treat more patients. In a nutshell, there is optimal use of medical resources and staff which further leads to good administrative efficiency, cost-savings and improved quality of care.
What makes a chat HIPAA Compliant?
Squander over these points to make sure that your Chat solution adheres to HIPAA IT Compliances.
1. BAA Contract
The SaaS companies that work for the healthcare industry are considered HIPAA business associates. Because they handle PHI, they must sign a BAA (Business Associate Agreement) contract to comply with HIPAA.
2. Employee Access Regulations
HIPAA requires that the employees should be able to see only “minimum necessary” information required as per their job role. Thereby, the chat solution should have strong authentication controls in place.
3. Data Accessibility In Case Of Crisis
Your HIPAA compliant live chat should be able to back up your data in a protected form, with a stable and consistent uptime to retrieve records during a disaster.
4. Data security checks
Your Live Chat platform must have strong encryption that can encrypt all messages in transit and at rest. Check if they are served over HTTPS or HTTP and also verify the encryption at rest.
6. Audit Logs
The chat software should create and record the audit log of all the chats that contain ePHI i.e. it must provision archives of conversations and provide transcripts of chats.
CONTUS MirrorFly is one such leading API and SDK provider for healthcare that has powerful tools for security and privacy features with countless benefits.CONTUS has extensive expertise and is full HIPAA compliant with a reliable chat infrastructure.
Since choosing or building HIPAA compliant software is not the area where you can afford to make mistakes, you must make a sensible decision here.
How Do HIPAA-compliant Communication Software’s Assist Healthcare Organisation?
HIPAA legislation is dynamic in nature. The legislation brings changes in its provisions and adapts to the changing digital landscape in healthcare. It started in 1996 when there were no smartphones, tablets, and other such devices and today cloud-based services are sweeping the IT markets. HIPAA laws accommodated the needed changes to account for this new means about 7 years back.
So, it is right to think that HIPAA laws keep itself upgrading by implementing adequate and advanced protection provisions in healthcare.
When the hackers are continuously at work to breach data, HIPAA adherence makes sure that the PHI remains safest at the hands of its users.
Healthcare data is more at risk, all the more because this data is permanent here, unlike financial data which tends to change often. Therefore, the Telehealth chat rooms, healthcare messaging apps, and video conferencing are vulnerable places for breaches of sensitive information.
Here is where the compliance of HIPAA laws helps patients and health workers to remain guarded and work calmly, without having to think much about the data leaks. Proper audits, logs, controls, and checks guided under HIPAA, prepare the organization to act proactively to any potential risks and keep the employees trained and well informed of the dangers attached to non-compliance.
Having a chat API that is HIPAA abiding, protects your organization, employees, and patients from the cyber risks and heavy penalties. HIPAA violations are expensive and may range from $100 to $50,000 per violation.
Chat Solutions for healthcare from CONTUS MirrorFly does this difficult part for you so that you never have to be concerned about violations and penalties. With its one-time license cost and a highly secure and cutting-edge technical stack, CONTUS offers an API that helps build trust among your users. Its affordable pricing structure makes your investment in Telehealth valuable.
For your doctor-patient apps, rely only on upscale ecosystems because it can save you money not just by protecting from penalties, but by simplifying and boosting your operations with expert opinions and experiences too.
This is the time to realize that HIPAA compliance is also an element to potential growth and hence right HIPAA-abiding digital healthcare solutions bring long-term benefits at a small price.