If your organization needs to send sensitive PHI in email, you need to be HIPAA compliant. Here are a few ways you can keep your communications safe and secure.
First, train staff to use email correctly. It can be easy to send ePHI via email accidentally or to unauthorized individuals.
End-to-end encryption is a type of encryption that protects the data sent from one device to another. Basically, it jumbles up the information before sending it to the recipient, then unjumbles it once it gets there. That way, nobody can read what’s in the message except the recipient.
For healthcare providers, this means ensuring that any email containing Protected Health Information (PHI) is encrypted at the time it is sent. If not, it can easily become the target of a HIPAA violation.
This can lead to serious penalties, which can range from $100 to $50,000 per violation. The most common violations involve sending unencrypted emails to the wrong person or failing to encrypt PHI that has been accessed by an unauthorized party.
While Gmail does offer an option for email encryption, it does not satisfy all of the HIPAA requirements. This means that organizations using this platform will need to work with a third-party provider.
In addition, organizations must ensure that they are signing a business associate agreement with any service they choose to use. These agreements must outline the responsibilities of the business associate to uphold compliance.
The best choice for healthcare organizations is to use a company that offers end-to-end encryption with their service. Companies such as Protected Trust can be set up in as little as 10 minutes and will encrypt your messages before they leave the server. This will prevent phishing attacks and allow for the safe storage of electronic patient data.
Using this solution also allows users to send larger messages. They can even send up to 5GB of data with this service, so it’s a good choice for anyone looking to secure their communications with a simple, easy-to-use solution.
This service is a web portal that can be used to send encrypted emails directly from your office or mobile devices. It is accessible through any web browser, or by using the Microsoft Outlook email application.
This HIPAA compliant email service is affordable and easy to implement, making it a great choice for any organization that needs to secure their emails. You can start your account in just a few minutes, and you can access it on any computer or smartphone.
Access Controls are a vital part of any HIPAA Compliant Email Solution. They ensure that only the intended recipient can read messages or documents. This prevents the unauthorized sharing of information and helps maintain patient privacy.
The HIPAA Security Rule requires covered entities to implement technical controls to prevent the tampering, unauthorized access, and interception of electronic protected health information (ePHI) in transit. This includes encrypting emails and sending them through an encrypted mail service or secure message portal.
End-to-end encryption is the best way to meet these requirements. It encrypts both the in-transit and stored versions of emails to protect PHI from unauthorized viewing, editing, and printing. It also provides 100% message accountability through audit controls.
Role-based access control is another option for controlling access to sensitive data. This allows users to gain access only to what they need to do their job. For example, a human resources manager can only see the details of employee records but not the details of a company’s entire financial holdings.
Many companies use a role-based access control model to manage access and keep their sensitive information safe. In the case of healthcare, this means ensuring that only employees who need to send patients’ personal information via email can do so.
It’s also important to educate employees on how to use email safely. There have been multiple breaches in the healthcare industry as a result of employee error – for example, accidentally sending PHI to an unauthorized person.
Whether using Paubox Email Suite or other email services, ensure that employees can only use their account when they are authorized to. This ensures that PHI is not lost or stolen by a mistaken password reset.
Finally, it’s important to maintain a history of all ePHI sent and received. This will ensure that any potential issues can be resolved quickly and easily.
For healthcare providers, encrypting email is the most effective way to keep PHI secure. It’s easy to do with an email service like Paubox and doesn’t require any plugins or extra steps. It also enables users to securely communicate with patients and other medical professionals without compromising their privacy.
Whether you’re using an email service, cloud storage or security provider, you’ll need to make sure they comply with HIPAA standards. One of the most common ways to do this is by entering into a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with them.
A BAA is a legal contract that outlines the expectations and responsibilities of a business associate to keep patient data safe. This includes how they use PHI and what actions they take if there’s a breach of information.
If you’re looking to find an email service that meets the strict requirements of HIPAA, be sure to choose one that has end-to-end encryption and that also provides a private message center for clients. It’s important to also look for additional features like intake form templates and e-signatures so that you can be sure the service you choose is both secure and efficient for your business.
Some email providers, such as Microsoft and Google, are willing to enter a BAA with covered entities for their paid services. However, this is only a start and the CE still has to do their part to ensure the email service is properly protected.
In addition to a BAA, healthcare organizations should have a Breach Notification Policy that clearly explains how they will respond to a breach of PHI by their business associates. This should include a specific timeframe and responsibilities for notification.
The best way to stay compliant with these rules is by obtaining a signed BAA from every vendor that could come into contact with your client’s PHI on your behalf. This is an easy and cost-effective way to keep your practice HIPAA compliant and your patients’ privacy and security protected.
The best way to get a BAA is to speak with your compliance solution and ask them if they can provide you with a BAA for your business. If they can’t, then you should consider finding another provider.
HIPAA-compliant email is a vital tool for ensuring the security of sensitive patient information. It requires a variety of precautions and protocols, including encryption, access controls and BAA agreements.
In addition, it is important to train your staff on how to use a HIPAA-compliant email service effectively. There have been a number of data breaches that occurred due to careless use of email in healthcare, so it is essential to educate your staff on how to safely handle electronic protected health information.
It is also recommended that you train your staff on how to properly back up, retain and archive emails containing PHI in case of an emergency. This ensures that you will be able to recover and restore the data should a breach occur.
Another important factor in ensuring the security of email is to educate your employees on how to encrypt their email messages. This will ensure that any unencrypted information cannot be accessed by anyone outside of your organization.
Using encryption can be complicated, but it’s an integral part of being HIPAA compliant. The simplest way to encrypt emails is to use an email encryption solution that enables you to automatically encrypt your emails and attachments.
Some of these solutions offer a wide range of features that can make sending secure email a breeze. Virtru Data Protection, for example, offers a secure email extension and an app that makes it easy to share HIPAA-compliant emails with anyone from within your existing inbox.
The Virtru service is available for G Suite and Microsoft 365 users and supports a wide range of email services and platforms, such as Outlook and Google Mail. Its simple interface means that anyone can start using Virtru quickly and effortlessly.
NeoCertified’s secure messaging app is especially useful for therapists who often communicate with clients via email. The service allows for expiration times, message read receipts, and revocation options for your HIPAA-compliant emails. In addition, the service’s secure forms feature helps prevent your client’s personal information from being intercepted or viewed by third parties.
Protected Trust – Send It Secure is an encrypted email service that is designed for business accounts. It is a HIPAA-compliant solution that comes with a web portal and printer drivers, as well as support for multiple Windows applications. It also offers a free trial.