Texting and E-mail with Patients within the HIPAA Rules

When:  Jul 18, 2019 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM (ET)

This 90-minute session will focus on how a dentistry office can decide what is an acceptable process for communications with individuals, and on the rights of individuals to communicate in the manner they desire.  The session will explain how to discuss communications options with individuals so that you can best meet their needs and desires, while preserving their rights under the rules.

Now is the time to ensure your organization is in compliance with the regulations and meeting the e-mail and texting communication needs and desires of its providers and patients.  In order to integrate the use of e-mail and texting into patient communications, it is essential to perform the proper steps in an information security compliance process to evaluate and address the risks of using the technology. This session will describe the information security compliance process, how it works, and how it can help you decide how to integrate e-mail and texting into your organization in a compliant way.

But the process must also include consideration of various patient access preferences required in the HIPAA Privacy Rule. There are new requirements to provide patients electronic access of electronically held PHI which raise new questions of how that access will be provided and how the information will be protected during and after access. And while there has long been a HIPAA requirement for covered entities to do their best to meet the requests of their patients for particular modes of communication, using e-mail or texting is no exception and must be considered.

The stakes are high - any improper exposure of PHI may result in an official breach that must be reported to the individual and to the US Department of Health and Human Services, at great cost and with the potential to bring fines and other enforcement actions if a violation of rules is involved. Likewise, complaints by a patient if they are not afforded the access they desire can bring about HHS inquiries and enforcement actions, so it is essential to find the right balance of access and control.

How can HIPAA requirements for privacy and security be reconciled with patient requests for information provided by e-mail and text messages? This session will discuss the differences between professional communications and patient communications, and how they must be treated to best serve patients, most efficiently enable communications, and remain within the bounds of HIPAA compliance

Areas Covered in the Session:

  • Find out the ways that patients want to use their e-mail and texting to communicate with providers, and the ways providers want to use e-mail and texting to enable better patient care
  • Learn what are the risks of using e-mail and texting, what can go wrong, and what can result when it does
  • Find out about HIPAA requirements for access and patient preferences, as well as the requirements to protect PHI
  • Learn how to use an information security management process to evaluate risks and make decisions about how best to protect PHI and meet patient needs and desires
  • Find out what policies and procedures you should have in place for dealing with e-mail and texting, as well as any new technology
  • Learn about the training and education that must take place to ensure your staff uses e-mail and texting properly and does not risk exposure of PHI
  • Find out the steps that must be followed in the event of a breach of PHI
  • Learn about HIPAA audit and enforcement activities and what you need to do to survive a HIPAA audit or investigation
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Contact

Steve Neidlinger
717-737-4682
steve@pennagd.org