Apr 14, 2016

Protecting health information security and privacy

The second-grade class stands in line at the chalkboard fidgeting, pushing, and giggling. The school nurse puts on gloves, picks up a magnifying glass, and starts examining each child’s head. Going down the line, one by one, she takes extra time with one child. She tells them to see her in her office later. And then everyone knows. Surely, there was a better, more private way to do this.

Embarrassment is one of many concerns people have when it comes to outsiders knowing things about our health. While embarrassment is a very real and raw feeling, weightier matters over privacy concerns such as discrimination, safety, and identity come into play should our records fall into the wrong hands – intentionally or by accident.

Gains in technology have cut costs and increased efficiency, but it has also spiked levels of concern over patient privacy within the healthcare industry.

Healthcare, legal compliance, and you

These worries continue to be heard and addressed. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) introduced national standards for health information security and privacy.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule pertains to saving, accessing, and sharing an individual’s medical and personal information. The HIPAA Security Rule provides guidance on national security standards intended to protect health data of an electronic nature, referred to as electronic protected health information (ePHI).

Security and notification issues are managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) who have implemented an office called the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to ensure compliance. Tasked with enforcing the laws as outlined in HITECH, HHS OCR established a pilot audit program in 2011 to assess processes and rules covered entities (those who provide treatment) and business associates (those with access to patient information and provide support in treatment, payment, or operations) have put into place.

The pilot audit program has created a set of instructions used to measure 115 covered entities. To take things further, HHS OCR also launched a formal evaluation of the pilot audit program’s productiveness.

A secure healthcare communication solution

Wellness professionals are seeking technological solutions to reduce costs and provide a satisfactory experience for everyone. An investment in cloud-based communications carries them away from the archaic, money-losing call center standards of several decades ago. The cloud replaces old practices with a blend of customer or patient management software. Our platform for patient engagement centers is a reliable way to meet and exceed patients’ expectations.

How vulnerable technologies make health information secure? IntelePeer is uniquely qualified to be a leader in the healthcare vertical giving customer engagement centers a HIPAA-qualified solution to help their business proactively respond to growth and change. Our solutions provide a secure experience with our industry-leading encryption certification, two-factor authentication, and triple redundancy features.