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With the explosion and acceptance of “texting,” doctors have streamlined their communications with their answering services by using texting as a way to receive urgent messages. Secure Messaging and Texting saves the doctor time, both with the receiving the message and not having to write the entire message because they have the details of the emergency at their fingertips.  As the reliance of communications via cell phones and texting grew, so did concerns about patient’s privacy and security of the messages being sent. HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a federal law that was formed to protect patients’ privacy, and is very important when using text messaging systems.

What is HIPAA and what is it for?

HIPAA is a federal law that sets out rules for sharing personal medical information and protecting it from unauthorized uses. It applies to information collected in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other places that provide health care as well as to the businesses that help providers manage and store the data. The information may be on paper or in an electronic health record.

HIPAA is based on two important ideas in patient care: privacy and confidentiality. Privacy refers to a person’s right to limit who knows what about one’s medical condition. It also refers to the right to have conversations about medical care in places where others cannot overhear. The detailed regulation that covers HIPAA is called the Privacy Rule. Confidentiality refers to a health care professional’s obligation to keep information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent, unless required by law or considered necessary for clinical reasons.

Secure Messaging is HIPAA Compliant

The HIPAA law is a highly regarded set of standards, as medical information is very personal and can be used in dangerous ways. Secure Messaging, a service Call24 Communications now offers, uses a secure network that is not accessible by the general public. It’s a new and improved way doctors can continue to enjoy the ease and flexibility of receiving a text message from their answering service and still be HIPPA compliant.