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19
Jan
2021

HIPAA-Secure Email for Therapists

By Stephen Trout
Secureemail

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. 

 

What tools and practices will you use to preserve that trust?

We say it often, but it’s worth repeating: no technical solution or software by itself can make you HIPAA compliant. It’s whether you will use them in a compliant way that makes the difference.

From a HIPAA standpoint, this means,  

The potential of your client’s data being lost or exploited (breached, sold, or made public) depends largely on you and your practices. 

Failure to adopt and follow appropriate privacy procedures could lead to irreparable harm – not only to your clients but also to your reputation as a trusted provider.

Again, this means taking HIPAA policies and practices to heart – as an integral part of patient care – and following them closely.   

Got (HIPAA) Email?

That said, when you’re ready to adopt an email solution that not only fosters your therapeutic relationships but also meets the technical requirements for HIPAA privacy and security, look no further. 

HIPAA Vault offers an economical and highly secure email solution that will help keep your communications safe and integrate seamlessly with your current email. 

So what makes it secure?

Encryption

From a technical standpoint, private email communications with your clients depend on an encrypted network connection to make them secure. 

For those who may not know, encryption is simply the disguising of your email contents with cipher-text, before it leaves your inbox. Should an unauthorized user or hacker gain access to your (or your client’s) password-protected accounts, the contents will be unreadable. 

This extends to all stages of the email: in your therapist mailbox, during transmission to your client, and in the client’s inbox. And, no need to configure your recipient’s email; they can access the decrypted, secure email message simply by signing in to their account.

What about Gmail and Office 365?

Popular offerings such as Gmail and Office 365 by Microsoft need to first be configured for HIPAA compliance. If your organization utilizes Google Workspace (the business version), then Google is willing to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA). Required by HIPAA, this contract stipulates that Google and Microsoft will use the appropriate safeguards to protect PHI. A third-party vendor like HIPAA Vault is still required to configure security and ensure the encryption of the email from inbox to inbox. 

Once set up, HIPAA Gmail or HIPAA O365 can also be used for PHI on a mobile device, though special care must be taken to prevent unauthorized access. HIPAA Vault includes a two-factor authentication app for added security, requiring a password and an additional code that only the user has access to.

Transport Layer Security (TLS) allows users to securely transmit PHI through a secure network, harnessing advanced Data loss prevention capabilities to maintain HIPAA compliance, and prevent your sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.

Features

HIPAA Vault meets your need for a cost-effective, fully secure solution for HIPAA Compliant email, providing:  

  • ‘Zero Trust’ Security – only authorized parties can access
  • Advanced Encryption Technology
  • Easy collaboration with external recipients
  • No new software or logins – integrates seamlessly with existing email infrastructure – including Gmail and Office 365. 
  • Ability to revoke access, disable forwarding, and set expiration
  • Data Leak Protection (DLP) policy management

Want more clarity about HIPAA compliant email, and what it can do for you? Give us a call: 760-290-3460 or chat with us at www.hipaavault.com.  

HIPAA Vault is the leading provider of HIPAA compliant solutions, enabling healthcare providers, business organizations, and government agencies to secure their protected health information from data breaches, threats, and security vulnerabilities. Customers trust HIPAA Vault to mitigate risk, actively monitor and protect their infrastructure, and ensure that systems stay online at all times. In addition to providing secure infrastructure and compliance for health companies, HIPAA Vault provides a full array of HIPAA compliant cloud solutions, including secure hosting and email, HIPAA compliant WordPress, secure file sharing, and more.

 

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