Being a licensed medical professional in the United States requires full compliance with PHI security and confidentiality. Having a Bay Area medical answering service is a staple service for doctors and physicians and it’s vitally important to ensure that messages are gathered and delivered in a secure manner and in accordance with HIPAA regulations.
In a world where everything is accessible online and where one phone call can make a big difference in dealing with patients, having a HIPAA compliant medical answering service that answers your patients’ questions is a great asset.
HIPAA Compliant Call Centers Can Assist Doctors
For those of you who are not familiar with the term HIPAA, it’s an acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which sets the standard for patient data protection. Many companies and other organizations that deal with protected health information (PHI) — in this case call centers and answering services, are considered business associates. When outsourcing this type of service, a Business Associate Agreement is required. This type of agreement ties the medical provider and their third-party vendor together and they both share in HIPAA compliance responsibilities and liability.
HIPAA compliant call centers are familiar with the level of sensitive data that patients have — and call agents are required to obtain a HIPAA certified status in order to take these types of calls. A HIPAA compliant medical answering service can assist your patients when you’re not available. Knowing that each patient has different health concerns, call agents can be counted on to speak with your callers with a compassionate voice and organize message details to be delivered via a specialized dispatching service called secure interactive messaging.
If a HIPAA compliant medical answering service has bilingual call agents, the benefits are even greater. Fully bilingual agents can accommodate more patients without the need of translation which delivers a less stressful caller experience.
As you’ve probably determined by now, choosing a HIPAA compliant medical answering service is not a nice to have — it’s a must have. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act has revolutionized the way health information is handled by the healthcare industry and many service providers.
The Importance of Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI)
Sutter Health defines “electronic protected health information (ePHI) as protected health information (PHI) that is produced, saved, transferred or received in an electronic form. In the United States, ePHI management is covered under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Security Rule”.
What’s also important to note is the fact that HIPAA compliant call centers increase messaging security by sending a notification that a message waiting. Once this notification is received by the medical provider, they simply log in to a secure portal to access the message detail. This notification can be texted or emailed.
Advancements in call center technology provides the healthcare industry with many benefits as well as increased connectivity regarding the ability to securely share information between the providers and their patients.
The responsibility to preserve patient confidentiality while delivering a high level of customer service is best seen through the HIPAA compliant medical answering service — one that has the technology, training and tools to be a successful partner in complying with HIPAA regulations.
At Direct Line (https://www.directlineinc.com/), we pride ourselves on our over 40 years of medical answering and HIPAA compliant training for our agents. For more information about our Bay Area answering and call center services and our secure interactive messaging, contact us today! 888-365-2424.