HIPAA-compliant messaging describes the exchange of text messages containing protected health information (PHI) of patients. Messages containing PHI must follow the mandates of the 1996, 2003 and 2013 HIPAA legislation passed by Congress which requires:
- The upholding of patient privacy (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996)
- The use and disclosure of PHI by “covered entities” such as health insurers (2003 Privacy Rule)
- The increased scrutiny of encryption for PHI messages and the increased fines for noncompliance of up to $1.5 million (2013 Final Omnibus Rule)
Since 2013, HIPAA-compliant messaging has gained importance among healthcare providers. By exchanging PHI via pagers, patient information can be accessed by unauthorized third parties and be used to defraud patients and their healthcare providers.
Today, healthcare institutions are moving toward HIPAA-compliant messaging applications that provide secure messaging and uphold the mandates of HIPAA. The apps enhance clinical communication and collaboration to help facilities improve the patient experience.