Do you operate a busy medical practice? Does your help desk operate 24-hours of the day?
Is it HIPAA compliant?
Protecting your patients’ private information is one of the most important jobs you have. And it all starts with your contact center and the way they handle their responsibilities. When patients give their names, contact information, social security numbers, payment information and more, they assume you do everything within your power to prevent the data from falling into less than scrupulous hands. But are you?
In the world of cyber criminals, personal data is hot. If a thief can gather information and sell it for a profit, he’ll work hard to get as much of it as possible. But whereas credit card information is worth pennies, stolen medical records can sell for 10, 20 times as much or even more. While credit cards may only have hours before they are turned off and reported stolen, medical information can offer opportunity for weeks, or even months. And that’s hard for some cyber criminals to resist.
Every day, dozens of patients make contact with your help desk. They book appointments, call in for information, and handle things life referrals and billing. HIPAA rules are there to ensure you handle all personal health information (PHI) the right way. Are you?
First, understand that all identifying information is considered PHI. Whenever you transmit any identifying information, it’s your job to protect it. This includes voice, and includes every phone conversation you have with your patients.
Avoid recording sensitive data. As a part of your quality control, you might record all conversations that take place through your contact center. But that doesn’t mean you have to record collection of payment. When receiving credit card information, stop recording so sensitive information isn’t in your database.
Take encryption seriously. If you use a high-quality encryption policy to lock out criminal behavior for PHI, it takes away the value for potential thieves. Encryption is one of the best means to keep your data safe.
Ensure you use HIPAA-compliant vendors and services. While many companies will sell you on their bells and whistles, it’s security that matters most. Partnering with the right hosting, call center providers, software, and other programs will ensure you stay in compliance every time you access your data.
If you aren’t sure who to trust, that’s what we do best.
Creating an office that remains fully HIPAA compliant through every interaction you have with your patients isn’t difficult. It just means taking extra precautions to ensure you’re HIPAA compliant every step of the way.
Is your help desk HIPAA compliant?
For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.