The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, came into effect in 1996 after it was enacted by Congress and signed by President Clinton. For consumers, one of the biggest impacts was to make your health and medical care information standardized across the various providers and healthcare channels. With privacy and portablity standards come some protections for workers and families if they lose or change jobs, especially those with employee sponsored healthcare coverage.
While HIPAA has many positive facets, there are issues concerning keeping privileged information secure. For example HIPAA secure texting and Hipaa email compliance guidelines can restrict the communications from your doctors. Fortunately there are over 500 certified medical information software companies in the U.S. that offer more than 1,000 software solutions.
Finding the right software package for the consumer medical field can be tricky to insure that patient records and information is properly secured. As part of your evaluation process for HIPAA secure texting, you should start with the various third party review sites and industry related forums. The forums discussing various software packages are important since they can also provide some of the more technical background information relating to deployment and best practices.
As you develop your list of potential secure SMS services, you may want to install trial or limited use versions of the software to pilot the program. This allows you to experience the messaging system in a real world environment and it allows you to analyze adding a new workflow for yourself or your staff. For example, if you determine that the technology is appropriate, but client or staff adoption are off, then you may have to look at bigger communication issues first.
For staff that may interact with the systems, this is a good time to ascertain if they will be using their own devices, in a bring your own device scenario, or if they will access the systems from certified devices and computers. With BYOD policies, there is an extra level of security that must be audited to insure compliance.