Most people who use a fax machine think very little of how it works or its security level. Users want a fax to go from point A to point B without interruption. In the healthcare industry, there are rules employees must follow when sending faxes. HIPPA compliance means all healthcare workers must protect personal health information. Healthcare organizations should understand the law and follow it precisely, or they could receive fines of thousands of dollars.
Steps Involved in Sending a HIPPA-Compliant Fax
Most healthcare workers send and receive faxes multiple times a day. Although employees do their best to ensure protection, loopholes can occur, leading to HIPPA law infractions. The following steps should help organizations remain compliant so their organizations do not face fines when sending out a fax.
- When sending or receiving faxes, employees should never allow them to sit on public machines. Before sending a fax, senders should call recipients and verify the fax machines are in a private area, out of the public’s eyesight.
- To guarantee full protection, healthcare organizations should consider removing their old manual fax machines and using cloud options instead. A cloud fax service offers a high level of protection against security breaches.
- HIPPA laws require healthcare workers to use cover sheets with the approved HIPPA statement explicitly written. When using a cloud fax server, healthcare organizations will not have to worry about remembering to add a cover sheet because it is automatically included with each fax.
- Without a full audit trail for every sent fax, healthcare organizations could face serious fines. Cloud fax services provide audit trails automatically, so healthcare organizations will not have to worry about compliance.
- One of the biggest threats to personal health information breaches is PHI stored on local devices. Portable media like laptops, cellphones, removable drives, and notebooks can easily become stolen, putting a patient’s personal health information at risk. Failure to provide a cover sheet is a fineable offense. Healthcare organizations must ensure the cloud fax server they use encrypts all fax documents in their entirety.
How to Choose the Right Cloud Fax Server
Choosing the right cloud fax server is essential for HIPPA compliance. Healthcare organizations must choose a server that provides full encryption and other security features. Organizations should consider asking the following questions when deciding.
- What initiatives are used to ensure faxes are kept secure throughout transmission?
- Does the cloud fax server automatically save audit trails for each fax transmission?
- Does the cloud fax server automatically include HIPPA-compliant cover sheets?
- What are the fees for the service?
Researching the options and learning as much as possible is essential for helping healthcare organizations make the best choices. The finest cloud fax server should offer integrative options that help ensure organizations are fully compliant with all HIPPA laws. These servers help healthcare organizations avoid the hefty fines that come with non-compliance.
Get Started Right Away
Healthcare organizations cannot afford to amass fees because their fax transmissions are not HIPPA-compliant. An organization should never wait for a HIPPA violation to begin seeking a cloud fax server. By researching now, healthcare organizations will find the servers they need without the stress.
HIPPA compliance is critical for the protection of personal health information. Patients have the right to ensure their information is secured at all times. Healthcare organizations must ensure their fax transmissions are compliant with all HIPPA laws.