By: Aaron Boatin on November 30th, 2020
Secure Text Messaging and Email for Medical Practices
Managing Protected Health Information (PHI) with Secure Text Messaging
Startel Secure Messaging App
It is ideal for organizations where HIPAA compliance is a necessity or sensitive data needs to be securely delivered to mobile devices.
When the recipient receives a new message alert, the secure message can be viewed instantly using the secure messaging app. The secure messages are kept separate from email and text messages.
Socket Layer (SSL) Technology
- Includes reporting and an audit trail of all messages with all message events.
- Issues persistent alerts to the recipient’s mobile device, helping ensure immediate action.
- Allows you to designate High Priority messages, which is displayed at the top of the message list.
- Provides encrypted Message Delivery and Message Read receipts, indicating that the device has received the message, or the recipient has opened the message.
- No need to add a text messaging plan, the app bypasses traditional SMS messaging
- Free secure messaging between devices – no text charges apply.
- Ability to send secure broadcast messages to a group.
Management of Secure Text Messaging for Medical Practices
Standard email is not HIPAA complaint. Email that is sent from one user to another is vulnerable at any point along that transfer without email encryption.
Using unencrypted emails not only puts the content of the emails at risk but also the identities of the sender and receiver.
About Encrypted Email Delivery
In order to provide additional protection for email communication in transit and keep electronic communications from prying eyes, companies often apply encryption methodologies to their electronic communications.
Encrypted email refers to the process of encoding email messages in such a way that eavesdroppers or hackers cannot read it, but that authorized parties can.
Two Popular Options for Encrypting Email
Ambs Call Center supports both TLS and Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) encryption methods.
Using TLS encryption
Transport Layer Security transcription (TLS) protocol keeps prying eyes away from your emails while they are in transit. TLS is a protocol that encrypts and delivers mail securely for inbound and outbound email.
It helps prevent eavesdropping between email servers. It's worth noting that your email messages are encrypted only if the sender and receiver both use email providers that support Transport Layer Security.
Not all email providers uses TLS. Not sure if your mail server has TLS enabled? Use this online tool to test your email address.
Using S/MIME secure email
S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is a widely accepted method for sending secure email messages. It allows you to encrypt emails and digitally sign them. It gives the recipient the peace of mind that the message they receive in their in box is the exact message that started with the sender.
It also ensures that the person receiving the email knows that it really did come from the person in the 'From:' field.
S/MIME provides for cryptographic security services such as authentication, message integrity, and digital signatures.
Information and messages containing PHI can be faxed immediately as they are received or sent as a batch at the days and times that are most convenient for you.
Secure Web Portal
Many medical answering services offer real-time access to call records and information via a secure web portal.
You can mark messages as read, forward via email, and sort and filter calls as you see fit. Most web portals are mobile-optimized for smartphones and tablets.
Putting it all together for your practice is a challenging endeavor - and the best way to start is to do you due diligence, and if you've decided to use an answering service, find some way to compare them on an even playing field. We've got you covered in our Medical Answering Service Comparison Checklist - download it now to make a comprehensive comparison.