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Monday, January 23, 2012

Technology Helps Doctors Comply With HIPAA Regulations

Ensuring that patient records are kept confidential requires more of doctors and other healthcare professionals than just not chatting with neighbors about your patient's thyroid problem. HIPAA regulations require doctors' offices to go through a rigorous security screening, ensuring that all communication technology is up to snuff. So if you want to send a fax, make a call, save a chart to a database or send an e-mail, all lines must be secured.

While this can create some roadblocks for hospitals, new technologies are helping hospitals maintain compliance without changing basic daily practices. This guide gives you a few essentials that your office can use to protect against infiltration and still get work done for your patients.

Online Fax: While typical phone lines can have security holes, internet fax services offer a compliant 128-bit encryption so fax transmissions cannot be intercepted. That includes prescription information, letters to specialists and work orders that require signature that are still faxed from doctors' offices every day. Online faxing offers a more feature-rich environment, including a never-busy fax line for all the departments in your hospital or office and back-up storage for all faxed documents, while still complying with HIPAA regulations.

VOIP: HIPAA compliance can be expensive if you have to pay for testing on all communication portals. By reducing these portals, your facility can save time and money. Voice Over IP allows your facility to eliminate contracts with the phone company by making all calls over the internet. Since you are getting your Wi-Fi signal tested for security anyway, why not make this portal your phone portal as well? Partnering this service with an online fax can give you complete communication compliance on all outgoing and incoming messages.

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