Secure Electronic Communications

Friday, September 22 2023

As a health care professional, it’s necessary to make sure that you’re following all HIPAA regulations — one of which relates to electronic communications with clients. The HIPAA Privacy rule permits email usage given that the content is protected and various safety measures are taken. This article reviews the legality of emailing clients regarding their health status and treatment as well as the documents that you send to them. 

Before sending an email to a client: 

  • Obtain confirmation from the client that they’d like to receive information via email 
  • Double-check that the email address is correct/confirm with the client that the email address is correct
  • If the email (including any attachments) is not encrypted, limit the amount of protected health information (PHI) included

If the client is not comfortable with receiving information via email, you should communicate via alternative methods.

There are some vendors that offer email encryption services that you can use in your electronic communications with clients to ensure secure transmission. There is typically a monthly fee associated with these encryption services but most have an affordable plan for small businesses. Be sure to research to know which is right for you. Here are a few for reference: HIPAA Privacy Rule 

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