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HIPAA Compliance: SMS < Secure E-mail < EASE

Health data security breaches are on the rise, with millions of patients being affected by hundreds of health data breaches in the last decade. These breaches lead to higher IT administrative costs and costly mediation, as well as possibly hiring an auditing company, providing services and/or compensation to affected patients, and HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) fines. The 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) introduced healthcare administrators and providers to Protected Health Information (PHI) regulations and the 2003 Privacy Rule required practices to take further steps to secure PHI.

SMS Text Messaging

Texting patients may be more convenient than using the telephone when it comes to communicating with patients but there is a major problem with sending PHI over SMS text messaging—it’s not compliant with HIPAA security measures! Physicians using text messages to communicate with their staff or other medical providers regarding patient care, and doctors who text directly with patients are sending PHI over SMS and are in violation of HIPAA.

“Secure” Email

Using email on a non-HIPAA compliant system puts you at risk of a $50,000 fine every time you send PHI. Add to that the massive increase of cyberattacks and security breaches and it is easy to see that even “secure” email, isn’t always safe. According to a December 2017 report in the HIPAA Journal, “78% of healthcare organizations have experienced a ransomware or malware attack in the past 12 months” with email being listed as the number one area of attack.

EASE

EASE allows hospital communication to catch up to today’s technology and desire for instant information. Ease offers a secure solution for patients and their care providers to communicate quickly and easily. With EASE, healthcare personnel can share real-time, HIPAA compliant,  messages, pictures, or short video clips with a patient’s chosen list of recipients. EASE abides by the same health care regulations (HIPAA) that hospitals uses to keep protected health information safe and while using 256-bit encryption (the same level of security used by banks and credit card companies) to protect all communications. Plus, all messages, photos, and videos disappear after 60 seconds of viewing them, with nothing saved to a device.

EASE’s secure platform offers the convenience of texting without the security risk or possibility of incurring costly HIPAA violations like you may have when using SMS text messaging or “secure” email. It is also free to use, meaning healthcare facilities can improve their efficiency without incurring additional overhead costs. Plus, no training costs! If your staff can text, they will have no problem using EASE!

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