What are the rules for emails and texting with health information?
Reminding people of their appointments has now become a prevalent practice. These reminders can be in the form of physical reminders or electronic reminders. Technology has now enabled people and especially doctors and patients, to be continuously reminded of their upcoming appointments. Hence, the room for error at both ends decreases significantly, and there is no loss of valuable time and money.
What are appointment reminders?
Especially from the point of view of doctors or the health clinics, the appointment reminders are very important since they enable the patient to come on time. This also prevents a loss of valuable time, capital as well as other resources because on average, a skipped or a canceled appointment can cost the clinic as much as thousands of dollars since the patient is not able to come, take the appointment, and give the required fee of the consultation or more. Appointment reminders can also be through HIPAA compliant texting solutions.
These clinics now use some of the electronic reminders, mainly to avoid any confusion from their end. The electronic reminders are sometimes automatic and sometimes manual depending upon what information needs to be added or subtracted. Some of the prominent and most common examples of the electronic appointment reminder systems include generating reminders through text messages (SMS services) or via email (emailing services). Both these methods are not only easy to handle, but they are also very convenient for the patient and are very hard to miss, ignore, or even overlook due to any possible reason. Hence, the chances of appointments being missed by the patients are very slim, and sometimes they are very close to zero.
Are text message appointment reminders HIPAA compliant?
The best thing about the SMS appointment reminders is that they are HIPAA compliant because they might consist of very important and sensitive patient information that the patient might not be comfortable sharing with anyone other than the doctor or the people clinic who are treating the said patient. Because these are HIPAA compliant texting solutions, the patient, can rest assured that all of their information is strictly confined to the concerned people. Therefore, the chances of anyone else getting their hands to the information is close to zero.
Rules for texting with health information
In case the information is being sent by the patient to the doctor via text, it must be understood that no rules are applied in this scenario. However, if the same or related sensitive information is being sent from the clinic to the patient, then the rules are definitely applied since it is the responsibility of the doctor or the clinic to protect the information being provided. In such a scenario, the security protocol rule is applied. This enables the information to get protected once the information is received from the patient by the health clinic. The same is applied in the case of emails since email is also another source of sending or receiving health appointment reminders that may contain sensitive information.