HIPAA Compliance and Medical Records

HIPAA’s Records Retention Requirements

Stage 2 Meaningful Use, HIPAA Compliance and EHRs

Stage 2 Meaningful Use elevates the standard on the conditions that must be satisfied to ensure HIPAA compliance and security of medical records. To be eligible for Medicare and/or Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive payments, qualified healthcare companies should now meet a new array of requirements.

This article talks about the major changes to Stage 1 Meaningful Use and the new requirements created in Stage 2. It likewise recommends how using a secure texting option with an EHR could make certain HIPAA compliance and medical records protection, while satisfying the requirements of Stage 1 and Stage 2 Meaningful Use.

The Stage 1 Meaningful Use Major Changes

Three major changes to Stage 1 Meaningful Use and four new requirements must be satisfied by eligible healthcare establishments under Stage 2 Meaningful Use. The three major changes are:

  • Instead of documenting more precise demographics of 50% of patients, healthcare companies now should document more precise demographics of 80% of patients.
  • A timeline of 36 hours is now implemented for giving a patient his medical information digital copy. In the past there was no time frame.
  • While Stage 1 Meaningful Use requires a secure storage of electronic health records, this secure storage is currently true for electronic document sharing.

These modifications may all be adapted using a secure texting solution. Medical specialists could log patient information on their mobile gadgets, print off a digital record of a medical file from a built-in EHR and utilize secure texting to share files, photos and videos that contain ePHI.

The New Requirements Under Stage 2 Meaningful Use

The new requirements under Stage 2 Meaningful Use are closely related to HIPAA compliance and security of medical records. Much like Stage 1, the requirements could be adapted with the incorporation of a secure texting option with an EHR:

  • Healthcare companies now must record patient health behavior digitally.
  • Photos – such as x-rays, wound pictures and scans – should be available from EHRs.
  • The passage of prescribed medicines should be supervised from doctor to administrator.
  • Prescription handoffs should be performed digitally.

Utilizing secure text messaging for HIPAA compliance and medical records security, recording patient behavior and including photos to an EHR is simple. Medical specialists could use their mobile device to write patient notes and transmit them to the EHR. Photos can likewise be stored straight into the EHR.

The passage of medicines and prescription handoffs may likewise be supervised using a secure messaging system. This is the system via which all ePHI moves when it is routed through secure texting. The platform additionally generates audit reports to assist administrators in figuring out how processes could be enhanced.

Attaining HIPAA Compliance and Medical Records Security By Using Secure Texting

Secure texting aids healthcare establishments sustain HIPAA compliance and medical records security, update patient information in real time, and safely share files and photos – especially crucial when a patient connected to a different healthcare company is getting treatment services at your medical center, and medical information must be interchanged swiftly and safely.

If healthcare organizations utilize secure texting to keep patients’ EHRs updated, providing a copy of the patient’s acquired treatment on discharge is simple. This simple use can considerably minimize patient waiting times while collating paper records. In addition, the documenting of Clinical Quality Measures will likewise be much faster when the data is kept on one safe database.

Prescriptions may be checked and sent securely by using secure text messaging, getting rid of patient wait time as orders are confirmed. Access to patient´s medical files is supervised as per the HIPAA technical security , so there is no risk of compromising medical records during these secure texting procedures.

Additional Advantages of Secure Texting for Healthcare Companies

Besides helping meet the requirements of Stage 1 and Stage 2 Meaningful Use, and support HIPAA compliance and medical records security, the use of a secure texting solution could improve workflows, boost efficiency and improve the quality of healthcare patients receive.

Conversations concerning a patient´s healthcare may be straightaway added to their EHR to do away with the manual encoding of treatments and prescribed medicines.

Delivering notices and reading receipts lessen the amount of time wasted by medical specialists when playing phone tag and allow more productive use of their resources.

Doctors can work together securely to decide patient diagnoses, coordinate the administration of proper treatments and speed up patients´ healing.

Emergency services staff, on-call doctors, and home healthcare experts can safely receive patient information “on the go” using secure texting.

Administrators could handle accessibility configurations whenever a secure texting solution is built with a company directory to help with HIPAA-required risk analysis.

Administrative controls may likewise lessen the risk of patient information being compromised when a message is delivered to the incorrect person or when an authorized user has lost his/her personal mobile gadget.

Medical Records HIPAA Guidelines

The HIPAA guidelines for medical records are only applicable to medical records that are generated, stored or sent digitally. All medical records are governed by the HIPAA Privacy Rule and similar considerations ought to be given to keeping the reliability of paper medical records and avoiding the unauthorized PHI disclosure.

Though the HIPAA guidelines for paper medical records are not as extensive as those for digitally-maintained medical records, a lot of the requirements still apply. Covered Entities and Business Associates ought to have a procedure for logging information and monitoring their location when in transit. They ought to be kept in areas with controlled access and must be used only in places with safety measures in place to limit accidental PHI disclosure.

The HIPAA guidelines for paper medical records are detailed in OCR´s Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule under the “General Principles for Uses and Disclosures” section.

One Last Thought Concerning Secure Texting Solutions

One more reason for healthcare organizations to use a secure texting solution is noted in a 2012 survey of business mobile device users. 92% of mobile users preferred to utilize text messaging compared to other means of communication because it of the high response rate of text communications.

This notion is not just observed in the business community, but also in the healthcare industry. Medical experts who in the past use pagers for bleeps now give text messages their immediate attention. As a result, healthcare companies employing a secure text messaging solution for HIPAA compliance and medical records security benefit from a faster communications cycle.

This consequently results in efficient workflows, improved efficiency and a higher quality of healthcare provided to patients.