Healthcare facilities need to take patient confidentiality and data security seriously, especially when it comes to transferring medical records and other documents that contain protected personal information. Switching to a cloud-based faxing service that offers exceptional security standards can help. Read on to find out about five features to look for in a fax solution to ensure that its security standards are up-to-par.
1. HIPAA Compliance
A HIPAA compliant fax service designed specifically for healthcare facilities is the best bet when it comes to information security. Ensuring compliance with HIPAA requires implementing some extra administrative, technical, and physical safeguards such as encryption, two-factor authentication, IP restriction, and physical security. While doctors and other healthcare providers are at least partially responsible for ensuring physical security at their facilities, fax services that specialize in providing services for medical facilities take steps on their end, such as securing their servers and databases, which is just as important.
2. Audit Trails
HIPAA states that all documents sent or received via fax must be tracked. The right fax service will make this easy by generating automatic audit trails to track the transmission of all electronic protected health information (ePHI). This is a huge improvement over traditional fax machines, which required hospitals and other healthcare facilities to keep physical copies of all records and documents sent via fax. Some healthcare facilities still print paper copies of their audit trails to save as backups, in which case they should take extra precautions to ensure the physical security of their paper documents, as well.
3. Admin Controls
Administrators need to maintain control of their communications not just to ensure data security but also to keep things running efficiently. Find a fax solution that offers strong administrative controls, including the ability to restrict access permissions and implement additional security protocols as well as the ability to generate reports for an audit trail. Custom admin controls allow healthcare providers to meet their organizations’ unique needs, depending on their business models, without having to contact the company every time a user’s permissions needs to be added or changed.
4. Adequate Mobility
Many of today’s administrative professionals are switching to remote work strategies, and that trend doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon. Cloud-based software solutions, including fax solutions, help to streamline the workflow for remote workers without compromising information security. Make sure the software program offers security measures that will allow approved users to send and receive faxes from anywhere without compromising the security of patients’ protected data.
5. Transparent Pricing
All the security measures in the world won’t do healthcare providers any good if they only come as part of exorbitantly expensive advanced plans. That’s why it’s important for administrators to find fax services that offer transparent pricing. Administrators tasked with choosing a service should read all the fine print, especially on supposedly “unlimited” plans, as they often come with hidden costs that don’t become apparent until facilities try to implement the new software solution on a large scale.
The Bottom Line
Making the switch to cloud-based faxing is a great idea, but only if administrators take the time to thoroughly explore their options. Make sure the service is designed for use in healthcare environments and the provider takes extra precautions to ensure HIPAA compliance to ensure ePHI security and avoid data breaches that could land healthcare companies in legal trouble.