September 10, 2017

by Appointment Reminder Team
Categories: thoughts

HIPAA compliance is always a large topic for healthcare provider’s. Simple services that are designed to aid your patients can sometimes fall out of bounds of the strict privacy rules. Penalties for failing to comply with proper HIPAA violations can run up to $1.5 million, as well as impact your business in a large way. So, you’re right to worry about data security practices and safeguarding your patient’s information, as it is very important to adhere to the rules.

You can surely be at ease, knowing that Appointment Reminder’s messaging services meet the requirements for full HIPAA compliance and patient privacy protection. We’ve invested in the necessary technology and certifications to ensure complete protection. That’s why we’ve made it as simple as possible for you to provide compliant messages, without having to jump through a million hoops!

Here are some reasons HIPAA compliance is a must for your medical practice.


Security Worries Are Not An Issue

Security is the technology that surrounds your patient’s sensitive information. If you work with third-party vendors, it is your duty to make sure that they meet compliance standards and have rigorous security measures in place to protect that data. If something is overlooked or not done properly, your practice could face severe consequences.

Appointment Reminder’s security includes a number of industry-standard protections that eliminate worries about intrusion or unauthorized access.We make sure that At-rest data is always encrypted, In-transit data is encrypted (except for SMS or email messages),and that SSL security is in place.

Peace of mind that comes from having this level of security is something that many of our customers appreciate. With data security being such an important topic and a central issue regarding HIPAA compliance and sensitive patient information, it’s important to feel 100% trust in the security of your tools and technology.

Employee Access Safety

Anyone who deals with sensitive information such as third-party vendors and their employees, should be fully trained on HIPAA compliance and have proper credentials and background checks. This may be difficult to achieve depending on which system you use, especially if you have technology staff or vendors who come into contact with your sensitive data but do not have the proper training to deal with these types of records.

Part of the Appointment Reminder HIPAA compliance process is making sure that all our employees have proper training and credentials for dealing with such data. No one without this certification will ever have access.It’s also beneficial to have Appointment Reminder work as a stand alone system that runs outside of your other technology, so it’s easy to provide the right access to the right people at all times.

All the technology and training doesn’t guarantee HIPAA compliance if you use the technology to send out incorrect or restricted information through unsecured channels (SMS, email, etc.). This is why the most important part of HIPAA compliance is having strict guidelines as to the content of any outgoing messages. Due to the potentially sensitive nature of the information being transmitted, important not to include any details regarding the patient’s diagnosis, treatment, or tother specifics of their appointment.

Messages should only include three specific pieces of information:

  • Appointment Date and Time

  • Provider Company and Name

  • Appointment Location

Message templates created by Appointment Reminder include these details and can be easily customized for added discretion or to include additional, necessary details.


Patient Preferences

The frequency, and channel of messages being delivered to patients should meet their needs. This may mean creating an entirely new workflow for patients who choose to have messages delivered via alternate channels or who want to opt out of messaging altogether. Basically, this creates much more work for your staff and opens you up to liabilities if mistakes are easily made.

Appointment Reminder has complete flexibility in allowing patients to decide if, when, and how to receive reminder messages. This feature relieves much of the stress of having to remember, manage, and deliver reminders to individual patients. Not only is the entire system automated, but the messages will be delivered when and how the patient wants them. This reduces errors and also improves appointment attendance.

HIPAA compliance can be a daunting responsibility for many medical practices and it adds additional complexity to the already stressful job of running an office but it doesn’t have to create extra challenges. Using technology with these convenient features can relieve stress and ensure your practice is abiding by the correct privacy laws.