HIPAA compliance and technology : In 1996 when Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted HIPAA compliance and the use of technology was not given that much importance as it is today. Only a small percentage of people owned mobile phones twenty years ago, which didn’t have a lot of capabilities of communicating except the basic text messaging. Twenty years later the mobile device technology is much advanced and has much more capability and much faster than imagined. Advanced capabilities include messaging, internet access, e-mails, and ability to take pictures and be able to send using the mobile device.
The problems with medical organizations staying HIPAA compliant with modern technology: The faster and more functional mobile devices with Multi capabilities raised concerns regarding the use of the technology and HIPAA compliance. Concerns relating to patient’s privacy and ePHI(electronically protected health information) security. Due to these concerns regulations within HIPAA were enacted in 2013 to address these concerns.
Legislation related to use of technology to comply with HIPAA requires insurance companies, health care providers, employers insurance, to implement administrative, physical and technical safeguards for protecting the confidentiality of patient’s information which prevents a breach of ePHI. If a breach of ePHI occurs, Healthcare providers, employers, third party service providers and insurance companies are liable for substantial financial penalties if they don’t comply by the HIPAA safeguards.
Health care organizations benefit from modern day communication technology like smart phones-SMS text messaging:
To improve communication ability with hospitals, other physicians, or offices many doctors or physicians are turning to Short message services(SMS) texting- using smartphone technology. Because of this technology could physician be susceptible to unrecognized liabilities will be subject here.
Text messaging: An effective communication tool In today’s society, people try to avoid a prolonged communication. To limit conversation the most effective communication tool would be text messaging. Texting is the preferred communication service when compared to e-mails. Hospitals and organizations have used pager’s and call back for years, but text messaging is fast, easy and direct. Obviously text messaging has several advantages when it comes to social communication.
The Problem with this technology is that under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), SMS messaging is insecure and noncompliant with its privacy regulations even though SMS is fast and best way to social communication. Everyone cares about the privacy of their health information.
It could cause problems when ePHI containing messages are sent unencrypted on senders’s and receiver’s mobile device it could be read and forwarded to anyone compromising safety and privacy. The sender cannot guarantee the message has been sent to or opened by the right person and personal information can get into wrong person’s hand.