The HIPPA compliant text messaging law clearly states that any and all information regarding a patients case remain private. That those working in the medical field not share this any information with anyone on the outside. Not even a patients family or friends without their given consent to do so. When the HIPPA law first came into effect in 1996 it wasn’t hard for those in the health field to comply by this law. After all, any health information regarding a person was in a hard copy chart known than as a medical record.
That was than, this is now. Years later the issue of whether medical information can fall into the wrong hands whether a healthcare professional intends it or not has again become a major concern. Why, because all medical information has now gone electronic in most if not all medical atmospheres. When the electronic medical record came along security had to be heightened as it was, yet the concern of hacking was always there. Now comes the device known as the smartphone.
The smartphone has made it possible for many businesses to instantly send text messages to give vital information. The health field has become such a business platform that such texting and email is being done over smartphones. This sort of practice has become known as HIPAA Compliant Messaging So, just how sensitive can these emails be? Well, it’s possible that a healthcare provider such as a nurse could send out a text giving information on how to log into the network, or even vital information on a certain patients health. So, the information being shared can be quite sensitive and not to be shared with anyone outside the medical field.
This has led to even more concerns over whether the information could fall into the wrong hands. The sad thing is even if it did who would be liable for this, the employee that had the smartphone to begin with. Even if the phone was stolen, why because HIPAA requires all healthcare professionals and other staff must sign a form that puts liability squarely on their shoulders if the information falls into the wrong hands due to their actions. Needless to say the concerns are quite real and might make a patient wish that we could go back to the days of the room full of hard copy charts. Technology may have made this more efficient to handle but it could also make things more vulnerable if not handled properly.