People working in the healthcare industry are usually well-versed in complying with HIPAA regulations. Confidentiality of healthcare information is vital. A secure means of transmitting healthcare information is crucial for the healthcare industry. With the invention of e-mail, the internet, and instant messaging, the transmission of healthcare data must have regulations that keep it safe and secure between doctors and medical offices.
What is HIPAA Compliance; and its intended use?
HIPAA assures a patient’s healthcare information is protected at all times. With HIPAA compliance in place, healthcare workers can safely transmit healthcare information between offices without the risk of that information getting stolen. Not only will faxing with HIPAA compliance promote high-quality health care, but it will also protect a person’s personal information.
HIPAA protects the following types of information in a patient’s healthcare file:
- Patient Name
- Patient’s Geographic Information (Address, State, City, Country, Zipcode)
- Date of Birth
- Location of Birth
- Social Security Number
- Medical Procedures and dates
- E-mail addresses, IP addresses, and URLs associated with the patient
- Bio-metric voice and fingerprint information
- Medical record’s ID number, patient’s account number, licenses, certificates, beneficiaries
- Facial photography for recognition
There’s a lot of information within a patient’s healthcare file from birth to death. Keeping healthcare information safe while in transit from one medical practice to another is vital for the patient’s privacy.
Why Choose Faxing and not E-mail?
Faxing documents may sound antiquated to most people in today’s modern society, but it does serve a vital role in the healthcare industry. With eFax (e-mail to fax), medical practices can securely fax information from one office to another without the risk of that information leaking out. E-mail to fax has become a popular method for secure HIPAA-compliant transmissions in the medical field.
Sending an eFax is almost the same as sending a typical e-mail. The “faxed” document gets sent as an attachment with the recipient’s information (fax number, name, and cover information for fax). Typical e-mails get routed through multiple servers before arriving at their destination. With eFax services, the healthcare information gets encrypted and will only get passed through direct networks, bypassing additional e-mail servers.
Finding the Best HIPAA Compliant eFax Service
It’s good to know a few things before searching for an eFax service for a medical practice. The first thing to remember is to sign a BBA with the chosen provider. A “Business Associate Agreement” (sometimes called a “Business Associate Contract” by HIPAA regulations) is a legal document that ensures sensitive healthcare information remains private. If the BAA (BAC) becomes violated by one member, the other party will have legal recourse. Violating a BAA agreement also means violating FDA regulations and HIPAA compliance.
HIPAA’s e-mail rules have a standard requirement of safeguards, including the following:
- Access Controls
- Audit Controls
- Integrity Between Sources
- Unique User ID
- Authentication of Person or Entity
- Security of Data Transmission
When searching for the best eFax service solution, ensure they cover the standard safeguards required by HIPAA compliance.
Secure Medical Information is Vital
Securing healthcare information for patients and doctors is vital. Various options are available to healthcare companies that provide secure data transmission with HIPAA compliance. Make the best choice when applying reasonable safeguards for HIPAA compliance within your company. With eFax transmission services, healthcare information can remain secure during transmission.