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Phoning it in HIPAA compliant?

 

Question:
Hi Jennifer, 
With summer in full swing I plan to be away with my family.  Can I use my cell to call, text and email with patients?
Thanks, Dr. F
Answer:
Absolutely, but be careful.  HIPAA does not restrict communications by device, but does require you (as a covered entity) to implement technical, physical and administrative safeguards in your patient communications, in whichever medium.  By cell, some simple guidelines to start with -
make sure your phone is password protected if you have patient info on it
make sure remote wipe is activated
use the locator functionality in case you lose your phone
control who else may have access to your phone
do not speak with identifying information or sensitive information in a public place 
consider disclosing you are on a cell phone at the start of the call  
and, enjoy your time away

Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.

June 27, 2018

 

Question:

Hi Jennifer, 

With summer in full swing I plan to be away with my family.  Can I use my cell to call, text and email with patients?

Thanks, Dr. F

Answer:

Absolutely, but be careful.  HIPAA does not restrict communications by device, but does require you (as a covered entity) to implement technical, physical and administrative safeguards in your patient communications, in whichever medium.  By cell, some simple guidelines to start with -
 


and, enjoy your time away!


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