Routine follow up visits can become more efficient when conducted digitally, without requiring patients to travel to a distant clinical location.
Increasingly, patients are faced with a number of chronic diseases. Maintaining treatment over time can be challenging. Video conferencing makes it easier to monitor and maintain these patients.
Preventative care and education models benefit from telehealth. Both patient health outcomes and the quality of life for clinical providers can improve.
Video conferencing can be used in our schools to treat colds and flu or simple bumps and sprains without requiring a parent to leave work to rush the child to urgent care.
Video conferencing can also be used to connect seniors with care, keeping them in their homes longer.
Ensure patients receive exceptional care from the best specialists.
Aid patients in managing chronic conditions.
Help medical professionals achieve better health outcomes.
Reduce clinical overhead costs.
Cut costly and unnecessary trips to the emergency room.
Provide excellent care to patients quickly and conveniently.
But each of these benefits comes with risks associated with HIPAA non-compliance. How can your healthcare organization reap the benefits of telehealth while mitigating the risks and staying HIPAA compliant? What factors can help a healthcare professional or company choose the best HIPAA compliant video conferencing for their needs?
When choosing a HIPAA compliant video platform or free HIPAA compliant video conferencing tool, healthcare providers should look for encryption, direct contact with patients, and digital security.
An Encrypted Solution for HIPAA Compliant Web Conferencing
The best HIPAA compliant web conferencing solutions on the market are encrypted. If you are not familiar with the world of technology, you may wonder what encryption is. The process of encryption scrambles video packets of data when they are in transit across the web. This digitized data, which travels from one place to another, can't be understood until it reaches the recipient's device and merges with their video software. At this point, the data is decrypted, and the recipient can fully understand the information.
Why is this is a vital factor when choosing HIPAA compliant web conferencing? Certainly, the threat of a data breach and the ensuing fines for non-compliance could be harmful to your practice. But the effects on a patient can be just as detrimental.
Imagine that you are a patient sitting in the treatment room of a specialist. How do you feel? Granted, it's often not the easiest and calmest moment in your life when sitting in front of a medical professional. But, as a patient, you trust that your provider will take care of you, make you well, or improve your condition.
It’s unlikely that the patient worries about their private health data. But they should. What could happen if the private news of your healthcare condition reached your employer? What could happen if your social security number, address, or other personal identification data became open to the public? Would you trust your healthcare provider if your personal data or healthcare status was leaked?
Meeting with a medical professional over a video conferencing call should be able to give patients the same sense of security and confidence. Each patient encounter should have all the necessary security measures in place to give you all the peace of mind you need. Encryption plays a major role in creating this secure environment.
A Direct-to-Patient HIPAA Compliant Video Platform
MegaMeeting, as a browser-based solution, works on nearly every device in use today from smartphones and tablets to desktop computers and laptops. This ensures that medical professionals will be able to contact the vast majority of their patients directly, without any need for the patient to travel to a separate location.
The direct one-to-one (or, if a panel of health professionals is needed, one-to-several) connections between patients and their healthcare providers make it easy for patients to communicate safely and securely in the privacy and comfort of their own homes, where they will be more comfortable to discuss their issues over a HIPAA-compliant video platform.
Recording and HIPAA Video Conferencing
Today, doctors and other clinical care providers frequently record their patient video conferences to ensure that a history of care is created for the patient. However, this process also presents several significant risks. Healthcare providers must ensure end-to-end security of their video conferencing service and should require their technology provider to offer encryption on data while it is at rest and during transmission over the Internet.
The most secure HIPAA compliant video chat services will record clinical encounters in the safest way possible and on any device. Healthcare providers must work with their technology partner to ensure HIPAA compliant video conferencing iPad devices, on mobile, desktop, or any other digital device the patient or clinical provider uses. Storage of each patient encounter should always follow the highest levels of HIPAA compliance, including the use of end-to-end encryption and browser-based, secure video chat.
The Bottom Line — Is Video Conferencing HIPAA Compliant?
Ultimately, HIPAA compliance exists for a very important reason; protecting the patient and their confidential information is your priority, and always should be. As telehealth enters the mainstream, and more patients choose the virtual visit over the traditional in-office encounter, healthcare providers will be increasingly tasked to follow HIPAA compliance no matter the venue or method of care delivery.
When looking for the best HIPAA compliant video conferencing, it is important to understand compliance in every avenue of care delivery, the workflows that are affected, as well as knowing which entities and bodies are responsible for following these important rules. HIPAA compliance protects the patient — and your video conferencing solution should work hand-in-hand with this compliance.
HIPAA secure video conferencing is not only possible but also likely when you understand the compliance rules and can compare technology providers by these standards. Complying with government PHI rules starts with the right technology to offer the best services for your patients.