Exchanging patient health information within healthcare
Healthcare organizations have one of the most complex and diverse set of requirements for securing and exchanging sensitive medical information. Confidential patient information can include patient medical records, scanned images such as x-rays, prescriptions, and test results. Current antiquated methods for exchanging sensitive information with patients and a wide range of other agencies continue to include in-person visits, telephone conversations (and phone tag), faxes, regular mail and couriers.
Email is an obvious choice for exchanging healthcare information, but standard email is not secure and have been subject to increased cyber attacks. Encrypted email has been viewed as too cumbersome to adopt. The challenges with electronic exchanges of information are also compounded because patients and external entities all use different email applications and IT processes. And of course, healthcare organizations also have to address compliance with regulations such as HIPAA.
Email encryption & protected information exchange for healthcare
Email2 provides 5 email encryption solutions for healthcare organizations to address specific needs relating to securing, tracking and automating the delivery of sensitive emails outside the organization.
- Secure email and tracking
- Enhanced email security including privacy compliance, data leak prevention, password protection, recipient permissions & authentication, message recall
- Secure e-Forms. Accept patient data input & attachments directly from an online form on your website
- Email any-size file attachments
- E-Statements. Automation and secure delivery of citizen invoices or notices
1. Encrypted email & tracking
- Email Encryption Plus provides encrypted email without the complications. Offered as a cloud on-demand service that is deployed in minutes and uses the same security technology as internet banking. It wraps around any existing staff and recipient email application so there’s no new software to learn and email encryption will actually be adopted. Ìt’s as easy to use for staff, patients and external partners as remaining with their existing email application and mobile devices – including MS Outlook and Exchange, Blackberry, iPhone.
- Now email and attachments can be used to instantly and securely communicate with patients and other healthcare entities: Email sensitive patient files; communicate test results; schedule private patient appointments; gather sensitive information or provide private instructions prior to the patient’s visit.
- Eliminates telephone tag and allows for 24/7 asynchronous private conversations with patients and other healthcare entities (does not require that all parties involved in the communication be present and available at the same time).
- Email is guaranteed-delivered – and can be proven. Tracks and proves when an email is received, read, replied to, forwarded, deleted or printed.
- Increases patient confidence by adopting a straightforward email encryption solution that ensures their confidential health information will only be seen by intended recipients.
- Provides faster more efficient patient services with anytime communication access and reduced in-person appointments, phone calls, and use of mail and couriers. Reduce printing and re-printing, filing, archiving and shredding of forms and documents.
- Provides disabled or ill patients who may be unable to use the phone or attend in person meetings, with a secure communication alternative.
- Can be deployed by a single department or throughout the entire organization.
- Learn more about Email Encryption Plus.
Email2 offers the following add-ons that are all powered by Email Encryption Plus to ensure that emails are tracked and sent and received securely without interception.
2. HIPAA compliance & data leak prevention
- Data Leak Prevention provides enhanced email security for extra protection that sensitive health information won’t fall into the wrong hands.
- Instantly retracts email messages – even after the message has been read.
- Includes permission settings to prevent a recipient from replying, forwarding, saving or printing an email.
- Provides the option to include an additional layer of password protection for selected ultra-sensitive emails. Prevents even email delegates from reading the email.
- Prevents emails from being sent unsecured if certain words or patterns are included in the message.
- Authenticates recipients. For example, a patient may have to enter their SSN and birth date to authenticate their identity before they can access the email.
- Prevents data leaks and mitigates the risk of a breach of privacy of patient health information.
- Addresses compliance with privacy and technical standards legislation such as HIPAA.
- Provides additional tools for system administrators.
- Learn more about Data Leak Prevention
3. Secure e-Forms (secure data workflow automation)
Today, a patient may visit a medical office or website, obtain or print a form, fill it out with a pen, and use time-consuming and unsecured methods for delivering the completed form such as in person office visits, mail, or fax.
- With Secure e-Forms, any form completed by patients or external healthcare practitioners can now be completed securely online.
- e-Form customizable fields are placed on any webpage and is completed by the patient or other external partner. e-Form does not require the existing web page to use SSL to safeguard the information submitted.
- e-Form also securely accepts uploaded addendum files of any size that may be relevant to the particular e-form subject matter, for example a copy of a birth certificate or proof of immunization.
- Each completed form submission can trigger an encrypted email message that is sent directly to the designated healthcare worker(s)’ existing inbox.
- The healthcare worker can securely reply to the form submission and engage in a private conversation with the patient or external partner – without divulging the email address or the name of the worker.
- The submitted data is automatically entered into any third party healthcare application or database, and eliminates time-consuming interpretation of handwriting, data entry, and data entry errors. Reduces manual collection, filing, archiving and eventual destruction of physical forms.
- e-Form examples include: secured ‘Contact Us’ form, “Medical History” form, “Appointment” form.
- Learn more about Secure e-Forms.
- A medical clinic creates a secure online form on their website that allows patients to securely ask medical questions of a specific physician.
- The question is sent to the particular doctor’s existing email in-box and the doctor can respond to the question in detail after hours and after referring to the patient’s medical history file.
- The doctor’s email address may be hidden from the patient to disallow numerous email threads.
- The patient does not have to leave their home and each answered question may be associated with a fee which provides an additional revenue stream for the medical clinic.
- When a patient transfers to a new physician, the new physician requires the patients medical history file. This is typically accomplished by courier or unsecured fax.
- A healthcare office creates a secure online form on their website that allows other health care professionals to share patient information and upload any-size file.
4. Emailing large file attachments & medical scans
Healthcare organizations have moved from physical to electronic patient records. Medical scans for example, are often very large (10+ MB) and need to be sent quickly and securely.
- Now encrypted email can be used to send and receive any-size file attachments, so there’s no worry about sending that 100 MB x-ray file, or even that 5000 MB file.
- Bypasses file size & security limitation & quarantined policies set by external organizations or patients’ existing email applications – such as gmail or yahoo.
- Eliminates the need for complicated FTP or external services such as DropBox.
- Eliminates saturation of email inbox storage limit. No taxing of the network – reduces IT costs and overhead.
- Provides storage, permissions, search and download functionality for file attachments.
- All file attachments are saved in a Library making it easy to download, store, search and set permissions. Eliminates searching through email inbox for a specific file.
- ‘Print to Secure Message’ feature provides public sector professionals with the unique ability to instantly ‘print screen’ what is viewed on screen – regardless of the length of the page or what application was used to view the information – and send the file via encrypted email. Any scanned document or any content that is typically sent to a printer and distributed via fax, mail or courier will benefit from the PSM feature. For example, instantly email patient records or medical scans that may be only available by opening a specialized application or database.
- Learn more about Large File Attachments & PSM.
5. Automation & secure delivery of patient invoicesMost healthcare offices today manually create and print invoices, place them in envelopes, and mail them to patients.
- Realize guaranteed efficiencies and cost savings using Email2′s automated e-Statements that securely emails hundreds or thousands of patient invoices overnight.
- e-Statements automatically extracts invoice details from any third party database used by the healthcare offices and content is generated in a format that is ready to be sent directly to patients’ existing inboxes via encrypted email.
- Eliminates the need for building a secure portal where clients link through to a website and have to remember logins and passwords to access their information. Now, all relevant information is securely delivered via email or attachments to patients without the need for additional steps and linking outside their inboxes.
- Email Encryption Plus features are used to guarantee email delivery and track and prove when an invoice has been received, read, printed, saved or deleted. Prevents statements such as “Sorry, I never received it” or “It got stuck in spam” and significantly shortens payment cycles.
- Data Leak Prevention features are used to authenticate patients, and set patient permissions including limitations for replying to, forwarding, saving or printing emails and attachments.
- e-Statements improves green initiatives and provides an immediate savings of 80% or more by eliminating waste and costs associated with creating, printing, mailing or faxing invoices.
- Other applications for e-Statements could include employee pay stubs, account statements, health insurance claim transfers or confirmations.
- Learn More about e-Statements.