Handling sensitive personal data in a way that ensures data privacy isn’t always easy. There are regulations and procedures to follow and specific precautions you need to take. Additionally, for businesses in the health industry, further procedures need to be put in place to ensure protected health information (PHI) privacy and confidentiality.
That’s where HIPAA comes in.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets security standards for hospitals and private practices to protect sensitive patient data protection. Companies that are “Covered Entities” under HIPAA need to have physical, network and process security measures in place to ensure the protection of individuals’ PHI.
If you work in the health industry and routinely have video calls with associates and others who may require access to patient information, you need to ensure that your video conferences align with your HIPAA requirements.
What is HIPAA-compliant video conferencing?
Within HIPAA, there is both the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule. The Privacy Rule, by law, gives individuals the right to their own health information and sets rules on who can view and receive it, whether it’s written, oral or electronic. The Security Rule is a law that protects this type of information in any electronic form and requires companies who are covered by HIPAA to ensure that it is secure.
While there are no official government or industry certifications for HIPAA compliance as it relates to video conferencing, if your business uses a video conferencing tool to see, send or receive private health information, it’s important to select video partners that best align their products and security policies and procedures to your HIPAA requirements.
3 Video Conferencing Considerations for Health Care Professionals
To mitigate risks associated with the transmission of patient data, health care professionals should consider the following in their video conferencing vendor selection:
1. Secure Encryption
End-to-end encryption is a system of secure communication that blocks third parties from accessing in-flight data between users on a video conference call. Data that is encrypted end to end ensures privacy between sender and recipient, mitigating risk and protecting sensitive information from being publicized.
For a complete overview of Lifesize’s video conferencing privacy resources and collateral covering our availability, security, HIPAA privacy, certifications and GDPR compliance, please visit the Lifesize Trust Center.
2. Available BAAs
Business Associate Agreements (BAAs) are an essential part of an effective HIPAA- compliance program. The agreement ensures that business associates will appropriately safeguard protected health information. Lifesize customers who are required to comply with HIPAA must have a services agreement with Lifesize. If appropriate, Lifesize may sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement with such customers.
3. Default Safeguards
Security and encryption safeguards are hard work and resource intensive for video vendors to continuously upgrade and improve video communication. Many video conferencing vendors deprioritize security or make it an optional feature to try to preserve quality. Avoid solutions that require you to navigate through advanced admin options and physically turn on encryption.
Lifesize offers encryption by default and does not require users to do anything to encrypt their calls.
Extending Patient Care with HIPAA-Compliant Video Conferencing Software
Working within the medical and health service industry means there are many instances where Covered Entities have to deal with PHI and ensure that they are in compliance with HIPAA requirements.
Having the best HIPAA compliant video conferencing software can help you extend your care to patients around the world and enhance your service offerings by enabling instant access to remote specialists.
Virtual Checkups and Consultations
Many patients who live in remote areas are unable to receive in-person medical attention because they reside far from a health care provider. Telehealth video conferencing solutions from Lifesize enable patients and physicians to meet for consultations from wherever they may be without the need for travel and no waiting room required. Medical professionals can even use screen sharing during a video session to share electronic health records and discuss any medical concerns.
Medical professionals need to keep up with the latest advances and trends within the telehealth service industry. It’s important to keep training practices up to date and ensure that you are delivering the best possible telemedicine solutions and care at all times. Lifesize medical HIPAA-compliant video conferencing solutions let physicians learn and collaborate with the world’s best by virtually attending live surgeries and viewing fast-frame digital visuals, all without taking time away from their patients to travel.
Facilitate Global Collaboration
Connect geographically distributed groups with an effective, true-to-life form of communication and enable collaboration without travel complications. Lifesize video solutions enable experts around the globe to collaborate in real time over 4K video to securely present data, discuss prognoses, share treatment successes and more.
“Video conferencing removes the burden of distance and enhances the expertise within our team by giving us — and our patients — direct access to specialists wherever they happen to be.”
Dr. Allen Prettyman, Director at the Nurse Managed Health Center, University of Delaware
Finding a video conferencing solution that is secure and aligns with your HIPAA requirements isn’t easy. Fortunately, Lifesize provides a fully encrypted service that enables medical professionals around the world to effectively work with their staff, as well as consult patients while ensuring that PHI stays confidential. Get started with Lifesize for your health care practice today.
NOTE: Lifesize enables customers who are subject to HIPAA to leverage Lifesize’s secure environment to transmit protected health information (PHI) during real-time video conferences among participants who can legally receive such PHI. However, customers should not use Lifesize’s services to record or store PHI. Customers must ensure that all recording features, including Lifesize Record & Share, Live Stream and Chat, are not used for PHI. These features may only be used for purposes unrelated to PHI. A customer’s account administrator may elect to disable these features to ensure they are not used for PHI by the customer’s account users. For assistance with disabling account features, please contact a Lifesize customer support advocate.