ComplianceOnline

Texting and E-mail with Patients - Meeting Patient Desires Within the HIPAA Rules

Instructor: Jim Sheldon-Dean
Product ID: 702854
Training Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Duration: 90 Min

recorded version

$229.00
1x Person - Unlimited viewing for 6 Months
(For multiple locations contact Customer Care)
Recorded Link and Ref. material will be available in My CO Section

Training CD

$299.00
One CD is for usage in one location only.
(For multiple locations contact Customer Care)
CD and Ref. material will be shipped within 15 business days

Customer Care

Fax: +1-650-963-2556

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Read Frequently Asked Questions

This HIPAA compliance training will explain how HIPAA requirements for privacy and security can be reconciled with patient requests for information to be provided by e-mail and text messages.

Why Should You Attend:

E-mail and texting present new challenges to health care providers, as there are simultaneously new requirements to share information with patients, and a new enforcement effort to ensure the privacy and security of Protected Health Information (PHI). Meeting both challenges requires careful consideration of all the regulations and technologies, as well as patient preferences and work flow.

This webinar will focus on the rights of individuals to communicate in the manner they desire, and how a medical office can decide what is an acceptable process for communications with individuals. The session will explain how to discuss communications options with individuals so that you can best meet their needs and desires, while preserving their rights under the rules.

This training session will discuss the requirements, the risks, and the issues of the increasing use of e-mail and texting for patient and provider communications and provide a road map for how to use them safely and effectively, to increase the quality of health care and patient satisfaction. In addition, the session will discuss how to be prepared for the eventuality that there is a breach, so that compliance can be assured.

The session will describe the information security compliance process, how it works, and how it can help you decide how to integrate e-mail and texting into your organization in a compliant way. The process, including the use of information security risk analysis, will be explained, and the policies needed to support the process will be described.

Areas Covered in this Webinar:

  • Find out ways in which patients want to use e-mail and texting to communicate with providers, and how providers want to use e-mail and texting to enable better patient care.
  • Learn what are the risks of using e-mail and texting, what can go wrong, and what can result when it does.
  • Find out about HIPAA requirements for access and patient preferences, as well as the requirements to protect PHI.
  • Learn how to use an information security management process to evaluate risks and make decisions about how best to protect PHI and meet patient needs and desires.
  • Find out what policies and procedures you should have in place for dealing with e-mail and texting, as well as any new technology.
  • Learn about the training and education that must take place to ensure your staff uses e-mail and texting properly and does not risk exposure of PHI.
  • Find out the steps that must be followed in the event of a breach of PHI.
  • Learn about how the HIPAA audit and enforcement activities are now being increased and what you need to do to survive a HIPAA audit.

Who Will Benefit:

This webinar will provide valuable assistance to all personnel in medical offices, practice groups, hospitals, academic medical centers, insurers, business associates (shredding, data storage, systems vendors, billing services, etc.). The titles are

  • Compliance Director
  • CEO
  • CFO
  • Privacy Officer
  • Security Officer
  • Information Systems Manager
  • HIPAA Officer
  • Compliance Officer
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Health Information Manager
  • Healthcare Counsel/Lawyer
  • Office Manager
  • Contracts Manager

Instructor Profile:

Jim Sheldon-Dean is the founder and director of compliance services at Lewis Creek Systems, LLC, a Vermont-based consulting firm founded in 1982, providing information privacy and security regulatory compliance services to a variety of health care providers, businesses, universities, small and large hospitals, urban and rural mental health and social service agencies, health insurance plans, and health care business associates. He serves on the HIMSS Information Systems Security Workgroup, has co-chaired the Electronic Data Interchange Privacy and Security Workgroup, currently serves on the WEDI Breach Notification sub-workgroup, and is a recipient of the 2011 WEDI Award of Merit. He is a frequent speaker regarding HIPAA and information privacy and security compliance issues at seminars and conferences, including speaking engagements at AHIMA national and regional conventions and WEDI national conferences, and before regional HFMA chapter meetings and state hospital associations.

Mr. Sheldon-Dean has nearly 30 years of experience in policy analysis and implementation, business process analysis, information systems and software development. His experience includes leading the development of health care related websites; award-winning, best-selling commercial utility software; and mission-critical, fault-tolerant communications satellite control systems. In addition, he has eight years of experience doing hands-on medical work as a Vermont certified volunteer emergency medical technician. Mr. Sheldon-Dean received his B.S. degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Vermont and his master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Topic Background:

As new requirements for allowing patients electronic access to their health information go into effect, and as patients increasingly come to depend on electronic communications, there are new demands for communication via e-mail and texting. Patients don't want to bother with secure website-based solutions, they just want to use the tools they already use for communication, and they have a right to communicate how they wish. How can HIPAA requirements for privacy and security be reconciled with patient requests for information provided by e-mail and text messages? This session will discuss the differences between professional communications and patient communications, and how they must be treated to best serve patients, most efficiently enable communications, and remain within the bounds of HIPAA compliance.

  • Smart phones and the Internet have changed the way people communicate and introduced new risks into the process. Now patients want to be able to communicate with their health care providers, and providers want to communicate with each other using these devices, and to be able to access, send, and receive health information. But communications using mobile devices has some inherent privacy and security risks that may put providers out of compliance.

  • E-mail and texting present new challenges to health care providers, as there are simultaneously new requirements to share information with patients, and a new enforcement effort to ensure the privacy and security of Protected Health Information (PHI). Meeting both challenges requires careful consideration of all the regulations and technologies, as well as patient preferences and work flow.

  • Most HIPAA covered entities now face difficult choices between compliance and ease of communication. Most organizations haven't updated their information security risk analysis or policies and procedures and run the risk of breaches, rule violations, and fines in the event of mishandling of PHI using these new technologies.

  • With the new HIPAA random audit program now getting under way, and increases in enforcement actions following breaches, now is the time to ensure your organization is in compliance with the regulations and meeting the e-mail and texting communication needs and desires of its providers and patients. You need the proper privacy protections for health information, and the necessary documented policies and procedures, as well as documentation of any actions taken pursuant to your policies and procedures. Your policies and procedures will probably need major revisions to maintain compliance in areas such as individual access of records, accounting of disclosures, and breach notification. And, of course, you will need to train your staff in all the new policies and procedures.

  • E-mail has long been a staple of people's lives, but as we move into the new digital age, it seems everyone is moving to a new smart phone and wants to use it in all the incredible ways it can be used for health care purposes, including the use of e-mail and texting. Doctors are finding that texting is far more flexible, convenient, and effective than paging, and patients want to be able to use short message texting for handling of appointments, updates, and the like, where even e-mail or the telephone would seem inconvenient.

  • In order to integrate the use of e-mail and texting into patient communications, it is essential to perform the proper steps in an information security compliance process to evaluate and address the risks of using the technology.

  • But the process must also include consideration of various patient access requirements in the HIPAA Privacy Rule. There are new requirements to provide patients electronic access of electronically held PHI which raise new questions of how that access will be provided and how the information will be protected during and after access. And there has long been a HIPAA requirement for covered entities to do their best to meet the requests of their patients for particular modes of communication, and using e-mail or texting is no exception.

  • The stakes are high - any improper exposure of PHI may result in an official breach that must be reported to the individual and to the US Department of Health and Human Services, at great cost and with the potential to bring fines and other enforcement actions if a violation of rules is involved. Likewise, complaints by a patient if they are not afforded the access they desire can bring about HHS inquiries and enforcement actions, so it is essential to find the right balance of access and control.

  • HHS compliance audit activity and enforcement penalties are both increased, especially in instances of willful neglect of compliance, if, for instance, your organization hasn't adopted the complete suite of policies and procedures needed for compliance, or hasn't adequately considered the impact of e-mail or texting on your compliance.

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