Telemedicine HIPAA Compliant

Telemedicine is a method that doctors can use to stay in touch with their patients. The CoronaVirus, known as COVID-19, has made HIPAA Compliant Telemedicine very popular. This technology allows a doctor to tend to their patients remotely, allowing doctors to adhere to strict social distancing guidelines.

Patients who need attention but who are unable to come into the office can set up an appointment with the Doctor online. Typically the Doctor will make the connection from a desktop computer in the office to the patient who will likely use their Smartphone. However, in order to accomplish this legally, you must be HIPAA compliant to have access to your patients’ health information.

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Types of Telemedicine

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Live Video Interactive Medicine

This type allows you to communicate with your patients in real time while maintaining HIPAA compliance. This allows for 2-way interaction between provider and patient using audiovisual telecommunication technology. This service can in most cases replace in-person visits.

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Store and Forward

This version allows you, as the main health care provider, to share your patients’ health information with specialists in different locations when necessary. It allows for the transmission of recorded health history. As compared to in-person real time visits, this service provides access to data.

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Remote Patient Monitoring

This is where you, as the remote caregiver, monitor your patients from wherever they are using electronic mobile devices to collect information such as a person’s blood sugar or blood pressure. This information is transmitted to the medical provider, this allows a provider to track a patient's healthcare data.

Benefits of Telemedicine

Accessible Patient Care

Today, people value convenience and simplicity. With Telemedicine technology, patients can easily access medical services from wherever they are. Saving time by eliminating the need to visit the medical facility and sitting in the waiting room. This virtual care offers on-demand care to your patients who may be homebound, living in remote areas, or too busy with work to take time off.

Thanks to smart phone apps, video conferencing, and online management systems, you can connect and keep in touch with your patients now more than ever before. The Cisco global survey shows that 74% of patients actually prefer online access to health care providers as compared to making personal visits to the medical facility or hospital.

Improved Patient Engagement And Better Care Quality

Technology helps you to keep in touch with your patients and follow up on their progress. Most patients are sometimes shy about sharing all their problems with their doctor when face-to-face. With this virtual system, your patients may be more confident in opening up about their health problems. Telemedicine may also help with patients who tend to be late or miss appointments altogether.

The virtual interaction with your patients will enable them to deal with healthcare issues more quickly and learn more about any treatment or procedures they may need. Research shows that patients who use Telemedicine to communicate with their doctors experience lower rates of stress, anxiety, or depression and eventually reduced their hospital admissions by 40%.

Telemedicine: Increased Access While Decreasing Barriers To Healthcare

Telemedicine technology allows patients increased access to specialists via virtual healthcare. Telemedicine provides a specific kind of Telehealth that allows clinicians to provide medical services. Telemedicine will enhance virtual interactions between the specialist and the patient and help to improve patient care.

Telemedicine can also be used to support provider-to-provider training, manage patients with multiple conditions and to monitor a patient’s health remotely. It can also be used to improve service quality and capacity. This virtual system will enable you to refer your patients to specialists whenever needed regardless of the distance.

A survey showed that for every 100,000 patients in rural areas, there are 43 specialists available. This shows how troublesome it can be to book an in-person appointment with a specialist. Telemedicine will help alleviate the problem.

How to ensure that you are HIPAA compliant

Now that you’re ready to implement telemedicine for your practice, how can you ensure that you are HIPAA compliant?

To be telemedicine HIPAA compliant means that you are in agreement with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which provides rules and regulations to safeguard medical information. This will ensure that the private health details of your patients are safe from people who are trying to benefit from getting this information illegally.

Moreover, it will ensure that you have certain security measures in place before communicating with your patients online. You cannot simply call your patients via Skype or Zoom and have them share their medical information with you.

Criminal penalties for HIPAA violations can be severe. Wilfully violating HIPAA rules comes with a minimum penalty of $50,000 and a maximum criminal penalty by an individual is $250,000. Criminal violations resulting from negligence can result in a prison term of up to one year.

HIPAA Compliance Guidelines

The technology you use for virtual interactions with your clients needs to have high-level security to prevent any breach of information that cyber criminals may use to attack or blackmail your medical practice or your patients.

The medical staff you hire must also comply with HIPAA. This means that they will respect the health information of your clients and will not discuss any details about patients with anyone who should not have access to such information.

As the medical caregiver, you must also comply with the guidelines by ensuring that you maintain doctor-patient privileges with your clients and do not share their information with any unauthorized personnel. HIPAA Compliant Telemedicine technology will help ensure the tools used for virtual engagements are in compliance.

The software that will run the digital medical consultations must also have features that comply with HIPAA. This will ensure secure, monitored, and documented procedures that will maintain the privacy required for the health information data.

Importance of HIPAA Compliance

It maintains the privacy and confidentiality of all patients’ health data. Compliance assures patients access to their medical information. There is no withholding important health information from the patient by any health practitioner.

Improved data security will lead to reduced cybercrime by making it more difficult for hackers to access patient information. Offering a more secure structure with better controls over who can access and view private health information will minimize access to sensitive data to authorized personnel only.

It also protects the rights of your patients by making sure that they have full access to their personal medical records. Making sure your practice is telemedicine compliant with HIPAA laws is essential to both you and your patients.

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