The average HIPAA violation costs the responsible party more than $3 million, just over $150 per breached record.
It’s critical to the success of a healthcare providing company to do all they can to protect themselves against HIPAA violations. Setting up secure systems will ensure that they aren’t liable for breaches. A HIPAA compliant phone service is an important part of that protection system.
Read on to find out all you need to know about these HIPAA compliant phone services and how to get started.
Qualifications of a HIPAA Compliant Phone Service
In order for a healthcare company to be HIPAA compliant, they need to make sure to follow all of the set standards and procedures. These are designed to protect a patient’s privacy and keep their information secure.
The biggest regulation is around identifying information of a patient. A provider cannot share specific details about a patient with anyone unless they have written consent.
This information includes; age, birthdates, names, and any other identifying traits.
When a company or provider hasn’t complied with the HIPAA rules, they can be required to pay massive fines. It may even lead to a loss in licenses and the practice having to shut down.
A healthcare practice is HIPAA compliant when they take the steps necessary to protect this sensitive information.
This means that they have security systems in place for all avenues where a patient is discussed; email, phone, and physical records. Phone systems are an often forgotten area of HIPAA protections.
A HIPAA compliant phone service is secure, can be monitored, and is protected on all levels (from the service provider to the healthcare providers).
Finding a HIPAA Compliant Phone Answering Service
In the healthcare world, everyone knows about HIPAA and works to protect themselves against violations. But often those efforts are focused in very specific areas and leave vulnerabilities in others.
A big chunk of HIPAA protection goes towards physical and cybersecurity as those are two very common data breach possibilities.
Many often forget to include their phone lines in the security system. But a HIPAA compliant business phone service can make a big difference in your overall security. Here are some of the most important things to look for when hiring a service.
Secure Phone Lines
One of the best ways to make sure that your phone lines within the practice are secure is to have a second phone line.
A second phone line allows you to put extra protection on your phone line while still having a regular line for other non-HIPAA related calls. The main feature of a secure phone line is the encryption added.
This level of security keeps hackers from being able to steal and decipher any data that can come from phone records.
Unique User IDs
A HIPAA compliant phone service will also often have a way to distinguish between users. This is often done through a confirmation password before use.
Separate user IDs are helpful for having a running log of calls and those are connected to the user. This is important when a breach happens to be able to lock things down quickly and know what information was most likely obtained.
This type of phone service is most commonly used in larger offices with multiple providers needing to make calls. But it can also work for small practices as well.
Healthcare Specific Procedures
A part of being HIPAA compliant is regularly examining systems to find any vulnerabilities so they can be reinforced or changed for more secure options. A phone service needs to have certain audit procedures in place for HIPAA compliance.
Most audits are done from a party outside of the healthcare office. Choosing a phone service that handles these checks for you is the best option.
This ensures that everything is handled without bias and you get the most accurate information about the security of your patient information. Which you definitely want in order to avoid penalties.
Using a HIPAA Compliant Phone Service
Utilizing a HIPAA compliant phone service shouldn’t be a big undertaking for a healthcare office if they choose the right company. There should only be a few steps necessary for setup.
One of the crucial aspects of this kind of service is making sure that everyone who will use the phone line is properly trained.
Many healthcare providers don’t feel like they have been fully trained in the security systems used by their company. This lack of training can lead to HIPAA violations because the providers aren’t using the system correctly.
Looking for a phone service that has a full training system attached can be an easy way to get everyone in your office on board.
There are likely features of your security systems that are being under-utilized. This is a great way to check for those.
Benefits of This Type of Service
A HIPAA compliant phone service is a great resource for healthcare companies. Once these systems are set in place the providers and administrators don’t have to think anymore. Their chance of a HIPAA violation goes way down.
Using a phone service has many of the same benefits of using a cybersecurity system company.
The main benefit is that the administrators don’t have to do the legwork themselves. These security professionals know the industry and what will work best for your specific situation. They can help you create an operation that solves your problems.
And as things change with technology, the right company will keep you informed and offer updates as they become available.
This way you are always as secure as possible, which means much less opportunity for data breaches and HIPAA violation fines.
Get Started with a Phone Service Today
There’s already enough stress to handle when running a healthcare business, you don’t need to add HIPAA compliance on top.
Setting up and using a HIPAA compliant phone service can help put your mind at ease. Your providers can safely and securely communicate with their patients without worry about stolen information.
If you want to learn more ways to set your business up for success, check out our other articles today!