How Critical is HIPAA Compliance for Messaging?

The answer...very.

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Approximately 92% of healthcare institutions are using non-compliant messaging apps in an effort to push forward their BYOD policies and healthcare communication. That means each one of these institutions is putting itself at serious risk for millions of dollars in fines (that's enough to bankrupt anybody!) Scary enough, the OCR is collecting $5 million dollars in penalties against HIPAA covered entities throughout 2016.

It's not all bad. 

While it's true that allowing medical staff to use their own devices is a serious risk, implementing BYOD policies in healthcare organizations is a good thing. It encourages a much cheaper and easier solution to staff-wide communication, and forgoes the trouble of providing company-approved devices to everyone. Not to mention, messaging apps are a great way to send information to colleagues in real-time. In fact, over 69% of clinicians use mobile technologies to view lab results and patient images. It's that popular. 

But for most messaging apps out there, these easy benefits come at a steep price. Can you imagine your own personal medical records being shared on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger? Unfortunately, that's our reality. Even among the claimed secure messaging apps, lacking security features for ePHI transfer, non-secure file-sharing, non-encrypted messaging, and a poorly developed search functionality are just some of the limitations in tooling healthcare organizations face. 

When looking for a communication tool, its critical that healthcare institutions pick one that is HIPAA compliant, secure, encrypted, and easily deployable across all staff devices--not just on phones (that includes desktops, laptops, tablets and wearables). Having these features integrated on your staff's mobile devices eliminates the scary reality of hacks, leaked patient information, and company records. 

Don't make it so complicated.

Maintaining a safeguard against fines and penalties is as simple as this: pick a messaging app that's HIPAA compliant. These apps integrate a host of features that make it easy for you to manage, restrict, and search among staff conversations. Ultimately, having messaging and secure file-sharing features save your organization the trouble of scrambling for transcripts and paperwork when the government swings by.

Using a compliant messaging app is not only efficient, it's critical. Check out our website to learn how Lua HIPAA-compliant messaging can help healthcare providers communicate securely.