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HIPAA Compliance For Remote Workers – Are You Secure With Tools Like Microsoft Teams or Google Meet?

HIPAA Compliance For Remote Workers – Are You Secure With Tools Like Microsoft Teams or Google Meet?

What does work look like post-COVID-19?

Even before 2020, the office environment was changing. You could see patients anywhere you had internet access. You could update patient files from your phone just as easily as sitting behind the desk in your office.

And statistics show it’s changing. Just 3.6 percent of the US workforce worked from home half-time or more as of 2018, while over 56 percent had the capabilities. Estimates now show that up to 30 percent will continue working remotely as we return to “life as normal.”

So what does that mean for running an efficient practice? It means you’ll need tools that help you work remotely, while keeping your data safe in the process.

Upgrading your phone system to VoIP technology can give a variety of options. Like staying connected, no matter where your “office” is for the day. Expanding and adding new services as your business grows. And never worrying about reliability again; the right options will ensure your communication services are always strong.

What about collaboration tools? A good phone system is mandatory for staying in touch with patients, but your office staff needs even more programs to ensure the work gets done.

Tools like Microsoft Teams is a favorite, as it integrates nicely with the Microsoft 365 family of products. Google has entered the market with Google Meet, a service that integrates with the Google productivity stack, G Suite. Then there’s Slack, HeySpace, Wire - let’s just say if you’re looking for options, a wide variety of them exist to help you collaborate with your team on a broader scale.

With so many choices, how do you know what to do? Have you jumped quickly at a product or service, only to have it blow up in your face later? Hello, zoombombing.

Investing in HIPAA compliant software is critical. If you make the wrong choice, a violation can impact your business in a big way. A small offense may cost you a few hundred dollars, but what will it do with patient trust is even more catastrophic?

A quick search will show you that many of today’s top tools meet HIPAA compliance standards. Better yet, with tools like Microsoft Teams and Google Meet, they can easily integrate with other programs you’re already using.

But there are extra steps you have to take to ensure full protection over your data. Request a business associate agreement (BAA) from the third-party company you choose to do business with to ensure you’re fully compliant with HIPAA. Then ensure your remote team is adequately trained for handling both the system and the data while working remotely.

Not quite sure how to do all of that effectively? That’s where we can help.

As you get back on your feet again, working hard to bring your practice back up to full capacity, let’s work together to make sure you’re doing it in the most effective (and economical) way.

For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.