Using Texting in Healthcare Offices - HIPAA Considerations and Limitations

Instructor: Jim Sheldon-Dean
Product ID: 705623
  • 27
  • March 2018
  • 10:00 AM PDT | 01:00 PM EDT
    Duration: 90 Min

Live Online Training
March 27, Tuesday 10:00 AM PDT | 01:00 PM EDT | Duration: 90 Min

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Read Frequently Asked Questions

This Webinar 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. 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 texting is no exception.

Why Should You Attend:

Communications in healthcare is an increasingly complex issue. The use of texting is an issue of current interest as staff begin to adopt the technologies they are already used to, for use in the healthcare setting. Proper evaluation and management of risks is also on the hot list for audits and enforcement, and that includes considering communications appropriately for business purposes that may or may not contain Protected Health Information.

Violations are subject to enforcement that can include fines up to $50,000 per day and more, and years-long corrective action plans that can cost many times the financial settlement with HHS. Enforcement is no longer in the slap-on-the-wrist days; violations do bring significant penalties today.

With the advent of these new technologies and increased desires to use texting, and with increases in audits and 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, staff, and patients. You need the proper privacy protections for health information, including documented policies and procedures on which your staff has been trained, as well as documentation of any actions taken pursuant to those policies and procedures.

The stakes are high – any improper exposure of PHI against the rules 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.

In addition to HIPAA, there are impacts of the Telecommunications Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) that limit the use of cell phones for payment and healthcare purposes unless consent is obtained, and there have been recent actions by The Joint Commission (TJC) to approve and then withdraw approval of using secure texting for physician orders.

The session will discuss the requirements, the risks, and the issues of the increasing use of e-mail and texting for healthcare 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.

Areas Covered in the Webinar:

  • Find out the ways that patients want to use their texting to communicate with providers, and the ways providers want to use texting to enable better patient care
  • Learn what are the risks of using 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 texting, as well as any new technology
  • Learn about the training and education that must take place to ensure your staff uses 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
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Health Information Manager
  • Healthcare Counsel/Lawyer
  • Office Manager
  • Contracts Manager
Instructor Profile:
Jim Sheldon-Dean

Jim Sheldon-Dean
Principal and Director of Compliance Services, Lewis Creek Systems, LLC

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.

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