It’s a new year, a time to prioritize our goals. 

Here’s one for you, if it’s not on your list already: with all the forces that seek to separate us, let’s recommit to preserve and grow our relationships. To that end,

Healthy communication is essential. 

As a therapist, you know this well. You take all your patient’s communications seriously – whether in the office or meeting remotely – and strive to preserve their dignity and privacy. Voicemails, appointment calendars, therapy notes – you handle them all with discretion and care. 

It’s part of the sacred trust between therapist and client. Private health information (including mental health) must be safeguarded – HIPAA privacy rules make this clear. 


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...and How Our Compliant File-Management Solution Can Help

File management tools have certainly come a long way.

In the not-too-distant past, the “secure delivery” of your health records consisted of: a) placing copies carefully into an envelope and sealing it, b) dropping it into interoffice mail or a slot at the post-office/UPS, or c) even trusting a guy on a bike to deliver it safely to your recipient. Then, sit back and hope all goes well.  

Of course, this method was fraught with vulnerabilities: any paper files or removable media such as CDs or USBs contained therein could be lost or intercepted – at any point on the journey. The bike courier might mistake the address. Even if you decided to hand-deliver yourself, you might misplace or lose it in-transit – not HIPAA compliant in the slightest.

Before you deride our predecessors for being “so archaic”, consider this: today, less than one-quarter of healthcare workers surveyed use secure file transfer to share sensitive data, according to a recent study. 

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How a Bitcoin-Inspired Technology is Poised to Change Healthcare

2020 officially goes in the record books as the worst year so far in terms of the number of breaches reported. Can blockchain technology help?

Imagine a one-stop-shop of information, tailored to your individual healthcare needs – a WebMD of your own personal data, designed and maintained just for you. Could this be the future of healthcare?

In part, that’s what current medical records systems attempt to do, as they seek a complete picture of “you” for diagnostic evaluations. The problem is that many of your records are likely scattered among various providers and referred specialists – some you may no longer even see. This is known as the “silo effect” – providers as geographically-dispersed “farms,” each with their own individual silos of grain (data). 

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What it is, Common Objections, and Why to Insist on it

Though many healthcare organizations still consider it optional, two-factor authentication – also known as multi-factor authentication (MFA) – is an indispensable part of a secure environment, and key to protecting your medical data. 

“Wait,” you protest, “why would I want to add another step to my logon process? After all…”

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Google’s acclaimed suite of collaboration and productivity tools – including Gmail, Drive, Docs and Meet – recently got a makeover, and a new name: Google Workspace.  

Before diving into what’s new, customers of HIPAA Vault’s popular HIPAA Gmail will be glad to know they’ll be unaffected by the rebranding of G Suite to Google Workspace; we’ll still require the business version of G Suite/Workspace, but there’s nothing for you to change, and the good news is that pricing stays the same.

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“All warfare is based on deception… when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”   ― Sun tzu, The Art of War

“What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”  Sir Walter Scott

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What you Must Do Now

It’s become the classic “Catch-22” of ransomware: you’re hit with a surprise attack – a rogue wave of ransomware – and find yourself unable to access your patient data or vital systems – “dead in the water.”  

You know the consequences of not paying the ransom (though law enforcement urges you not to) are dire: a loss of critical services to patients, and a potential loss of business reputation and future viability. So you pay up, and the criminals continue on their not-so-merry way.

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Few technical innovations are transforming the healthcare landscape as much as mobile devices. With nearly 90% of physicians now carrying a smartphone or tablet, they’ve become almost as ubiquitous as the stethoscope. 

Yet when it comes to HIPAA, the difference between these two “instruments of care” could not be greater. Consider the following examples:    

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… in a COVID-19 World

Never let a good crisis go to waste. 

Whoever said it first (possibly Churchill, though it’s debated) understood a deeper truth about life, often missed in easier times: storms of crisis and suffering tend to shake us out of complacency, spurring us to seek change. 

Case in point: it goes without saying that COVID-19 has been the titanic struggle of the year (over 50 million cases globally, and counting) for individuals, families, and organizations. Yet while the losses have been great, the crisis has also challenged many to see their faith renewed, families brought closer, and their courage to “help others into the lifeboats” (think nurses and other first responders especially) pushed to beautiful new heights. 

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