Are you sending Patient Health Information (PHI) using free email services like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, or AOL? From Internet service providers such as AT&T or Verizon? How about reputable web hosting companies like GoDaddy or 1&1? Most email providers have Non-Compliant Privacy Policies and Zero Email Security, meaning your email can be intercepted and stolen by thieves. You can be fined up to $1.5 million during an audit!
If your practice is a covered entity under HIPAA, emailing a patient or emailing patient information involves both the HIPAA Privacy and Security rules. The content of the email, including the patient’s email address, constitutes protected health information (PHI).
Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express . Issue is everything is tied to the computer running Outlook. You can’t see the same interface from another computer (unless you install Outlook there too)
In order to maintain a secure environment, you should monitor computer activities and keep track of all gmail or yahoo messages sent by employees. The gathered information is a source for risk analysis. Here is a list of non-HIPAA Compliant email services:
Ensuring that our customers' data is safe, secure and always available to them is one of our top priorities. To demonstrate our compliance with security standards in the industry, Google has sought and received security certifications such as ISO 27001 certification and SOC 2 and SOC 3 Type II audits. For customers who are subject to the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Google Apps can also support HIPAA compliance.
Under HIPAA, certain information about a person’s health or health care services is classified as Protected Health Information (PHI). Google Apps customers who are subject to HIPAA and wish to use Google Apps with PHI must sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Google.
Administrators for Google Apps for Work, Education, Government, and Google Apps Unlimited domains can request a BAAbefore using Google services with PHI. Google offers a BAA covering Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive (including Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms), Google Sites, and Google Apps Vault services.
Google Apps customers are responsible for determining whether they are subject to HIPAA requirements and whether they use or intend to use Google services in connection with PHI. Customers who have not entered into a BAA with Google must not use Google services in connection with PHI.
We have published our Google Apps HIPAA Implementation Guide to help customers understand how to organize data on Google services when handling PHI. This guide is intended for employees in organizations who are responsible for HIPAA implementation and compliance with Google Apps.
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Let Seowebpower help you get rid of your generic Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL email address and get a HIPPA compliant email account.
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