Tag Archives: encrypted email

Healthcare Breach Prevention & Email Encryption – Apparently Not a High Priority

The Second Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy & Data Security was just released by Ponemon Institute, a privacy and security research firm based in Traverse City, Mich. Some of the findings are surprising, if not shocking given the attention and legislation put in place to deal with this topic. Lip service? One is really left to wonder.

The Data

When looking at the data, let’s also keep in mind that the survey targeted data protection professionals, with 43% of respondents holding the title of chief security officer, chief information security officer, chief information officer, chief privacy officer or chief compliance officer. Additionally, the sample was skewed toward larger healthcare organizations, “excluding the plethora of very small provider organizations, including local clinics and medical practitioners,” the report said. There’s a lot of interesting (and highly disturbing) data in the report, but I’ll focus on only a few highlights according to healthcare organizations responding to the survey: 1.  96% have had at least one data breach in the past 24 months. On average organizations have had 4 data breach incidents during the past two years. Breaches increased 32% from the previous year. (96%?  Does that not sound a lot like 100%?) 2.  The top 3 causes for a data breach are:
  1. lost or stolen computing devices
  2. third-party snafu
  3. unintentional employee action.
Even more troubling is the data in regards to what appears to be the prevailing and unsettling mind-set surrounding security as a priority. 3.  Staff do not understand the importance of patient data protection
  1. 66% agree medical billing personnel do not understand the importance of patient data protection
  2. 58% say IT personnel do not understand its importance
  3. In contrast, 58% say administrative personnel do understand the importance of protecting patient data.
4.  Protecting patient data and privacy is not a priority for healthcare organizations
  1. Only  29% of respondents agree that the prevention of unauthorized access to patient  data and loss or theft of such data is a priority in their organizations
  2. Less than one-fourth (23%) said their organization has “encryption solutions  installed.”

Email Encryption – a minimum in healthcare prevention for breach of patient data and privacy

Let’s focus for a moment on the last piece of data shown in 4(2) above. Less than one-fourth (23%) said their organization has “encryption solutions  installed.”  This also means that healthcare organizations are not using email encryption (secure email) to communicate patient information securely. Which also ties into 3rd party snafus as one of the top reasons for patient breaches. It seems that email encryption and secure communication should be at the top of the priority list as one of the first steps in securing patient information. The report cites the following types of compromised patient data:
  • Medical file
  • Billing and insurance record
  • Scheduling details
  • Prescription details
  • Payment details
  • Monthly statements
While the report does not provide details about how this information was intercepted, I think it’s a pretty good guess that the breaches were not related to the use of encryption technology. Using phone, unsecured email, fax, couriers, mail, or in-person visits to transfer or share private patient information is not secure and can easily be intercepted. At the very least, healthcare organizations must adopt email encryption to communicate medical, insurance, scheduling and billing statements information with patients and other healthcare organizations.  Email encryption is well positioned to become the way of the future in healthcare communication, and it has the teeth to back up that privilege since it also addresses regulatory compliance with HIPPA and other technical security safeguard standards.  Its adoption must become as routine and pervasive as any other fundamental business practice in the healthcare industry. 51% named inadequate budgets for privacy and security as the top weakness in their healthcare organization’s security program.  Encrypted email is also a highly efficient and cost effective way to prevent patient privacy and data leaks – as well as providing enhanced patient services.  For example, sending monthly e-statements by secure email to patients and other healthcare providers is associated with significant cost savings, efficiencies, as well as the added bonus of a reduced environmental footprint. If email encryption were adopted by the surveyed organizations today, the survey results would show significant improvements next year.  Guaranteed. Ariane Laird works with Email2.  

Cyber-attacked prestigious Bay Street law firms claim securing client confidentiality is a priority. What about email?

Last night, the CBC reported on foreign hackers who launched a massive attack on Canadian government computers last fall, also broke into the data systems of prominent Bay Street law firms to get insider information on an attempted $38-billion corporate takeover of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. No surprise, statements issued by the legal firms were predictable and generic.  But what struck me was that the issued statements included something that goes like this:  “We take our obligations of confidentiality to our clients very seriously”. Following on to my blog entry in November, it sure doesn’t feel that way. The medium most used by law firms to communicate with their clients is email.  I have and continue to use lawyers extensively for personal and corporate representation, including employment lawyers for the HR side of my life.  Not once has a law firm ever used email encryption or secure email to communicate with me.  Not only does the body of the email contain sensitive strategy conversations, but there are also numerous draft documents that are transferred back and forth as unsecured email file attachments. Now I will concede that the information I am dealing with, such as personal family law matters or employee terminations are likely not as sexy or hack-worthy as the Potash deal.  But how do I know that this information is not being intercepted and reviewed?  Who is going to fess up if this happens?  It may be happening all the time and I just don’t know about it – and never will. Email is a much easier target for attacks then any client file saved behind a legal firm’s firewall. Email leaves the relative safety of the legal firm and travels into the world ‘wild’ web through various passages and nodes before it gets to its final destination.  It can be intercepted at any time through its zig zagged and stopped-over journeys through cyberspace. What we do trust is the technology used for internet banking to communicate and process the ultimate in high-risk and sensitive transactions because the protocol used to transfer information is as safe as we can get it. The transmission is protected by an end-to-end SSL pipe that cannot be intercepted.  When we see that additional ‘s’ in https:// in our browser, we are assured that it’s SSL protected – such as when we access internet banking or process a credit card transaction on line. Without that ‘s’, the information submitted is simply not secure. It seems to make sense that we (clients) should be expecting law firms (and government) to begin taking client confidentiality as seriously as banks do, by adopting the same type of security technology used by banking to secure email communication with clients.  After all, whose responsibility is it to safeguard my (the client) confidential and ultra-sensitive information – the law firm or the client?  Addressing compliance and the law is also clear in echoing my feelings about this important topic.  It’s unequivocally the legal firm’s responsibility. It really feels like it’s time for legal firms to put the ‘confidential’ back into ’priviledged and confidential’ for their clients.  Technology exists to help them do just that. Join the discussion. Agree or disagree? Ariane Laird works with Email2. Email2 provides straightforward secure email encryption solutions and data leak prevention for government and law firms that uses the same security technology as internet banking. Email2 enables professional services organizations to securely send, receive, track and automate delivery of confidential email and large attachments outside the organization – without requiring staff or recipients to change their existing email.
11-11-20 - Email tracking blog

Tracking emails & recipients – Applying social media fundamentals

When I ask my teenager to send me an email, she cringes as if I have just asked her to mow the lawn. When I ask her about the repulsion, the jist of her response is that email is ‘so yesterday’. That may be the case in her world, but email continues to be the primary communication tool for organizations and that’s not going to change anytime soon.  Email allows senders and receivers to communicate asynchronously – meaning that each party does not have to be present at the same time to engage in the conversation. It eliminates playing telephone tag, in-person meetings, or the even more delayed methods of mail and couriers. It occurred to me that as instant as email is, it does not provide the instant feedback that some of the other electronic communication methods provide such as Blackberry Messenger, Facebook, or Google Talk. With these tools, one knows instantly that the message has been received and can even see the recipient typing a reply  (and can see when they stop typing and decide to never send the reply they’re typing – there’s a whole social game attached to that one, and another full blog entry for another time). But bottom line is that communication is in real time and instant feedback exists. Which is not the case with email. There are many benefits to email, but one of the challenges is that you never really know what’s happening to your email after it leaves your sent box. What exactly is that email doing?  Did it get stuck in spam?  Was it intercepted?  Did it stop over in one of the many nodes it has to go through before reaching its final destination and decided it was a nice place to stay for a while?  Where exactly is it? And if you don’t hear back from the recipient within 24  hours, do you send another email asking if it was received? A sender is never really sure about the appropriate timing to reach out to the recipient to ask if they simply decided to not respond, or confirm that they received the message. How many times have we heard from a recipient “I never got your email”?  I for one have both said or heard those words on many occasions. The younger generation is impatient and don’t want to wait for a reply, and want to know what is happening to the words that have been sent electronically – and when it is being responded to – in real time. Email would be a much better 2012 communication tool if we had better visibility into its life cycle.  It would be ideal if email was a hybrid of social media’s instant feedback and email’s asynchronous qualities of not having to be be present in real time to communicate.  A ‘Fedex’ version of email would solve this challenge. Send out the email communication with the ability to track its every move.  In other words, evolve email so that we (the sender) know and can get proof when an email is received, read, forwarded, replied to, printed, or deleted. Otherwise, the next generation will continue to view email as the ’pigeon carrier’ of electronic communication.   Ariane Laird works with email2. email2 provides features that guarantees email delivery and tracks and provides proof when an email and attachment is received, read, replied to, forwarded, deleted or printed. email2 enables professional services organizations to securely send, receive, track, control and automate delivery of confidential email and large attachments outside the organization – without requiring staff or recipients to change their existing email.

5 ways Government can use encrypted secure email to address compliance and efficiencies

Government emailing confidential citizen information

The public sector is made up of thousands of different organizations with large numbers of staff, external partners and an even larger number of clients – namely the public and the environment. The biggest challenge facing public sector organisations (PSOs) today is the ability to securely exchange confidential information with citizens and other agencies outside of government secure networks, as well as complying with privacy and other regulations.  The answer continues to be to simply restrict access or prevent the electronic flow of highly sensitive information. The result is that current rudimentary methods for exchanging sensitive information with the public and a wide range of other government agencies continue to include in-person visits, telephone conversations (and phone tag), faxes, regular mail and couriers.  Not only are these methods not secure, but they only serve to aggravate the new reality for PSO’s to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, offer 24/7 online convenience, and improve green initiatives. And in the end, do nothing to delight the customer! Email2 helps public sector organizations delight their customers by providing encryption solutions to securely send, receive, track and automate delivery of confidential email and large attachments outside the organization – without requiring staff or recipients to change their existing email.

Secure email encryption solutions for government agencies

Email2 provides 5 email encryption solutions for public sector organizations to address specific needs relating to securing, tracking and automating the delivery of sensitive emails outside the organization.
  1. Secure email and tracking
  2. Enhanced email security including privacy compliance, data leak prevention, additional password protection, recipient permissions & authentication, message recall
  3. Secure e-Forms. Accept citizen data input & attachments directly from an online form on a government agency website
  4. E-Statements.  Automation and secure delivery of citizen invoices or notices
  5. Email any-size attachments or ‘print screens’

1.  Secure email & tracking for government

  • Email Encryption Plus provides encrypted email without the complications. 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, citizens and external agencies as remaining with their existing email application and mobile devices – including MS Outlook and Exchange, Blackberry, iPhone, as well as individual email programs used by citizens such as yahoo or gmail.
  • Now email and attachments can be used by provincial Social Services case workers, school administrators, or justice ministries to instantly and securely communicate with citizens and other government agencies: Email sensitive citizen files or information including social insurance numbers, financial information, welfare documentation, taxation questions and answers, judgement orders.
  • Eliminates telephone tag and allows for 24/7 asynchronous private conversations with citizens and other government agencies (ie: 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 the public’s confidence by adopting a straightforward email encryption solution that ensures citizen’s private information will only be seen by intended recipients.
  • Provides faster more efficient public services with anytime communication access and reduced in-person appointments, phone calls (and phone tag), and use of mail and couriers.
  • Provides disabled or ill citizens who may be unable to use the 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 for government, agencies or ministries that are all powered by Email Encryption Plus to ensure that emails are tracked, and sent and received securely without interception.

2.  Adresssing compliance & email data leak prevention for provincial ministries

  • Data Leak Prevention provides enhanced email security for extra protection that sensitive citizen 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 citizen may have to enter their SNN and birth date to authenticate their identity before they can access the secure email.
  • Prevents data leaks and mitigates the risk of a breach of privacy of citizen information.
  • Addresses compliance with privacy legislation.
  • Provides additional email security tools for system administrators.
  • Learn more about Data Leak Prevention.

3.  Secure e-Forms for government and citizens

Today, a citizen may visit a public sector organization’s office or website, obtain or print a form, fill it out in 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-Form, any form completed by citizens or other government agencies can now be securely completed online.
  • e-Form customizable fields are placed on any web page and are filled out by the relevant ‘customer’. e-Form does not require the existing web page to use SLL to safeguard the information submitted.
  • e-Form also securely accepts uploaded addendum files of any size that may be relevant to the particular form’s subject matter, for example a copy of a birth certificate, passport, school transcript, driver’s license.
  • Each completed form submission can trigger an encrypted email message that is sent directly to the designated government worker(s)’ existing inbox.
  • The public sector worker can securely reply to the form submission and engage in a private conversation with the citizen or external partner -  without divulging the email address or the name of the worker.
  • The submitted data is automatically entered into any third party application or government 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, ‘Welfare Application’ form, ‘Employment Insurance Application’ form, ‘Passport Application’, ‘Student Enrolment” form.
  • Learn more about Secure e-Forms.
  • See an illustration example for securely completing annual public school student forms online, using e-forms.

4. Government automation & secure delivery of citizen invoices, statements, or notices

Most public sector offices today, manually create and print statements, invoices or notices, place them in envelopes, and mail them to citizens.
  • Realize guaranteed efficiencies and cost savings using Email2′s automated e-Statements that securely emails hundreds or thousands of citizen notices overnight.
  • e-Statements automatically extracts sensitive details from any third party database used by the public sector offices.  Content is generated in a format that is ready to be sent directly to citizens’ existing inboxes via encrypted email.
  • Eliminates the need for building a secure portal where citizens are required to 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 recipients without the need for additional steps and linking outside their email inboxes.
  • Email Encryption Plus features are used to guarantee email delivery and track and prove when a notice 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 notification and payment cycles.
  • Data Leak Prevention features are used to authenticate citizens, and set recipient permissions including limitations for replying to, forwarding, saving or printing emails and attachments.
  • e-Statements improves Canadian government green initiatives and provides an immediate savings of 80% or more by eliminating waste and costs associated with creating, printing, mailing or faxing notices.
  • Other applications for e-Statements could include Healthcare invoices, government employee pay stubs, citizen account statements, tax return confirmations.
  • Learn More about e-Statements.

5.  Emailing large file attachments and ‘print screens’ by government agencies 

  • Now encrypted email can be used to send and receive any-size file attachments by government, so there’s no worry about sending that 20 MB, or even that 100 MB file.
  • Bypasses file size & security limitation & quarantined policies set by external government agencies or citizens’ existing email applications – such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail.
  • Eliminates the need for the use by government or citizens of 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 permission-based Library making it easy to download, store, search and set permissions.  Eliminates government staff 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 this feature.  For example, instantly and securely email student records or tax information even if they are rendered by specialized applications.
  • Learn more about Large File Attachments.
Learn more about email2 products.email2 is made in Canada

Canadian Government emailing confidential citizen information

The Canadian public sector is made up of thousands of different organizations with large numbers of staff, external partners and an even larger number of clients – namely the public and the environment. The biggest challenge facing Canadian public sector organisations (PSOs) today is the ability to securely exchange confidential information with citizens and other agencies outside of government secure networks, as well as complying with Canadian privacy and other regulations.  The answer continues to be to simply restrict access or prevent the electronic flow of highly sensitive information. The result is that current rudimentary methods for exchanging sensitive information with the Canadian public and a wide range of other government agencies continue to include in-person visits, telephone conversations (and phone tag), faxes, regular mail and couriers.  Not only are these methods not secure, but they only serve to aggravate the new reality for PSO’s to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, offer 24/7 online convenience, and improve green initiatives. And in the end, do nothing to delight the customer! email2 is made in Canada and has you covered.  We help public sector organizations delight their customers by providing encryption solutions to securely send, receive, track and automate delivery of confidential email and large attachments outside the organization – without requiring staff or recipients to change their existing email.

Made-in-Canada – secure email encryption solutions for Canadian government agencies

email2 is made in Canada and provides 5 email encryption solutions for public sector organizations to address specific needs relating to securing, tracking and automating the delivery of sensitive emails outside the organization.
  1. Secure email and tracking
  2. Enhanced email security including privacy compliance, data leak prevention, additional password protection, recipient permissions & authentication, message recall
  3. Secure e-Forms. Accept citizen data input & attachments directly from an online form on a government agency website
  4. E-Statements.  Automation and secure delivery of citizen invoices or notices
  5. Email any-size attachments or ‘print screens’

1.  Secure email & tracking for Canadian government

  • 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, citizens and external agencies as remaining with their existing email application and mobile devices – including MS Outlook and Exchange, Blackberry, iPhone, as well as individual email programs used by citizens such as yahoo or gmail.
  • Now email and attachments can be used by provincial Social Services case workers, CRA, school administrators, or justice ministries to instantly and securely communicate with citizens and other Canadian or provincial government agencies: Email sensitive citizen files or information including social insurance numbers, financial information, welfare documentation, taxation questions and answers, judgement orders.
  • Eliminates telephone tag and allows for 24/7 asynchronous private conversations with citizens and other government agencies (ie: 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 the Canadian public’s confidence by adopting a straightforward email encryption solution that ensures citizen’s private information will only be seen by intended recipients.
  • Provides faster more efficient Canadian public services with anytime communication access and reduced in-person appointments, phone calls (and phone tag), and use of mail and couriers.
  • Provides disabled or ill citizens who may be unable to use the 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 for Canadian or provincial government, agencies or ministries that are all powered by Email Encryption Plus to ensure that emails are tracked, and sent and received securely without interception.

2.  Adresssing compliance & email data leak prevention for provincial ministries

  • Data Leak Prevention provides enhanced email security for extra protection that sensitive citizen 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 citizen may have to enter their SIN and birth date to authenticate their identity before they can access the secure email.
  • Prevents data leaks and mitigates the risk of a breach of privacy of citizen information.
  • Addresses compliance with privacy legislation.
  • Provides additional email security tools for system administrators.
  • Learn more about Data Leak Prevention.

3.  Secure e-Forms for Canadian Federal or Provincial government and citizens

Today, a Canadian citizen may visit a public sector organization’s office or website, obtain or print a form, fill it out in 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-Form, any form completed by citizens or other Canadian or provincial government agencies can now be securely completed online.
  • e-Form customizable fields are placed on any web page and are filled out by the relevant ‘customer’. e-Form does not require the existing web page to use SLL to safeguard the information submitted.
  • e-Form also securely accepts uploaded addendum files of any size that may be relevant to the particular form’s subject matter, for example a copy of a birth certificate, passport, school transcript, driver’s license.
  • Each completed form submission can trigger an encrypted email message that is sent directly to the designated government worker(s)’ existing inbox.
  • The public sector worker can securely reply to the form submission and engage in a private conversation with the citizen or external partner -  without divulging the email address or the name of the worker.
  • The submitted data is automatically entered into any third party application or government 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, ‘Canadian Welfare Application’ form, ‘Canadian Employment Insurance Application’ form, ‘Canadian Passport Application’, ‘Provincial Student Enrolment” form.
  • Learn more about Secure e-Forms.
  • See an illustration example for securely completing annual public school student forms online, using e-forms.

4.  Canadian Government automation & secure delivery of citizen invoices, statements, or notices

Most Canadian public sector offices today, manually create and print statements, invoices or notices, place them in envelopes, and mail them to citizens.
  • Realize guaranteed efficiencies and cost savings using email2′s automated e-Statements that securely emails hundreds or thousands of citizen notices overnight.
  • e-Statements automatically extracts sensitive details from any third party database used by the public sector offices.  Content is generated in a format that is ready to be sent directly to citizens’ existing inboxes via encrypted email.
  • Eliminates the need for building a secure portal where citizens are required to 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 recipients without the need for additional steps and linking outside their email inboxes.
  • Email Encryption Plus features are used to guarantee email delivery and track and prove when a notice 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 notification and payment cycles.
  • Data Leak Prevention features are used to authenticate citizens, and set recipient permissions including limitations for replying to, forwarding, saving or printing emails and attachments.
  • e-Statements improves Canadian government green initiatives and provides an immediate savings of 80% or more by eliminating waste and costs associated with creating, printing, mailing or faxing notices.
  • Other applications for e-Statements could include Provincial Healthcare invoices, Canadian government employee pay stubs, citizen account statements, CRA tax return confirmations.
  • Learn More about e-Statements.

5.  Emailing large file attachments and ‘print screens’ by Canadian Provincial or Federal government agencies 

  • Now encrypted email can be used to send and receive any-size file attachments by Canadian government, so there’s no worry about sending that 10 MB, or even that 50 MB file.
  • Bypasses file size & security limitation & quarantined policies set by external government agencies or citizens’ existing email applications – such as gmail or yahoo.
  • Eliminates the need for the use by Canadian government or citizens of 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 Permission-based Library making it easy to download, store, search and set permissions.  Eliminates Canadian government staff searching through email inbox for a specific file.
  • ‘Print to Secure Message’ feature provides Canadian 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 and securely email Canadian student records or Canadian tax information even if they are rendered by specialized applications.
  • Learn more about Large File Attachments & PMS.
Learn more about email2 products. Ariane Laird works with email2, provider of encrypted email and patented compliance and secure content delivery features used by thousands of professionals. Definitions:  Canadian or provincial public sector organizations can include Federal or Provincial government agencies, Federal or Provincial government ministries, social services, CRA, Provincial employment standard branches.

5 ways medical clinics can use encrypted email to address compliance and productivity

Medical clinics emailing confidential patient health information

Health care professionals – including nurses, physicians, medical assistants, and health insurance providers – know they need to be more efficient, green and provide better service to their patients. But let’s face it. It’s almost 2012 and we’re still using in person visits, phone, faxes, mail and couriers as our primary tools for exchanging sensitive patient information with both patients and other healthcare organizations. Why? Because these methods are seen as more ‘secure’ than sending an instant email. Or are they? The truth is that these antiquated and inefficient methods for exchanging confidential patient health information are not secure and can be just as easily intercepted as unsecured email.  The use of phone and in-person visits may also not be feasible communication methods for disabled or ill patients who may either be bed-ridden or unable to speak. Below are 4 ways to help address compliance technical security safeguard standards (including HIPPA) with the use of encrypted email to securely exchange private patient health information (PII & PHI) between healthcare offices and:
  • patients
  • health insurance providers
  • other health care practitioners

1. encrypted email for medical offices

Unlike faxes or unsecured email, encrypted email is ultra secure because it is sent using an end to end ‘pipe’ that cannot be intercepted during the many stops encountered on its internet journey to get to its final destination. There are many encrypted email solution providers, but most are highly complex and require staff and patients and other external healthcare recipients to change the way existing email is currently used. Unfortunately, the secure email solution will end up being shelved if it requires the sender and recipient to change the way they use email. We recommend adopting a solution that does not use cumbersome encrypted keys and instead uses a ‘cloud’ solution (virtual servers on the internet) that wraps around any existing email and in effect uses the same technology as internet banking. This allows staff and patients to use secure email, but with the ease of continuing to use their regular email. For instance, if MS Outlook or a Blackberry are used for email, the experience with Outlook and any mobile device will remain unchanged for both staff and the external recipient of the email. A basic encrypted email solution will allow for content to be sent in the body of the email, for example:
  • Ask or answer sensitive and confidential patient-related questions
  • Provide 24/7 asynchronous communication with patients and other external medical stakeholders (does not require that all parties involved in the communication be present and available at the same time)
  • Use email for securely scheduling private patient appointments and gathering sensitive information or providing private instructions prior to the patient’s visit.

2. securely email very large confidential file attachments & medical scans

A big part of the appeal of email is the ability to send and receive attachments of any size in addition to content included in the body of the email. Here are 2 encrypted email file transfer features that are helpful for medical offices:
  • The ability to attach jumbo or even unlimited-size files to emails, so there’s no worry about sending that 8 MB file, or even that 100 MB file!
  • ‘Print to Secure Message’ feature (what you see is what you send). 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 application. PSM automatically captures all information viewed on screen rendered by any application – including the internet or proprietary, customized or in-house applications (example: EMR or specialized medical or accounting systems), and sends it to external recipients via encrypted email.
To illustrate:
  • A surgeon or another health professional has asked a medical office for a patient record or copy of an x-ray.
  • Simply click into the office’s third party database or application where these records are kept and instantly capture what is seen on the screen into a file that is emailed securely to the surgeon.
  • Eliminates numrous send steps including the requirement for printing and then using usecured methods for sending the document such as fax or courier.

3. Medical offices - email compliance, non-repudiation, permissions, tracking, reporting, audit trails, & HIPPA

Additional encrypted email features help with adhering to HIPPA and other regulatory compliance standards if email is used to send patient health information to a patient or other external stakeholders. A medical office may have a need to monitor and control what happens to a confidential email and attachments once it’s sent. Here are some examples of some compelling compliance features for encrypted email: Prove that an email was sent, and control, track and report on every step of the email’s life cycle:
  • when a message was received, read, replied to, forwarded, printed, or deleted
  • who the message or attachment was forwarded to (available only to sender)
  • Recall messages anytime – even after the message has been read
  • Include an additional layer of password protection in order to read the email for ultra-sensitive information
  • Prevent emails from being sent unsecured if certain words or patterns are included in the message
  • Authenticate users and recipients. (for example, a recipient may have to enter their SSN and birth date to authenticate their identity before they can access the secure email)

4. secure e-Forms and workflow automation for medical clinics

Today, a patient may visit a medical clinic 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 SLL 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.
Illustration Example 1 – Ask a physician
  • 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.
Illustration Example 2 – Transferring patient records
  • 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 e-form on their website that allows other health care professionals to share patient information and upload any-size file.

5.  Medical offices automation & secure delivery of patient invoices

Most medical 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.

Summary of email encryption benefits for medical offices

Here are the overall benefits of a feature-rich encrypted email solution for healthcare practitioners:
  • Use email to instantly and securely communicate with patients and other health practitioners
  • As easy to use for medical office staff and patients as using their existing unsecured email application
  • The email is guaranteed delivered – and can be proven
  • Instantly send jumbo attachments and any captured information viewed on a computer monitor
  • Track, control permissions, and report on an email’s life cycle after it’s sent
  • Set up secure on line forms for capturing and emailing patient or other health practitioner information
  • Mitigate the risk of a breach of privacy of personal health information
  • Comply with government personal health information laws such as HIPPA
  • Work smarter, faster and greener with less waste created by in person appointments, phone, printing and re-printing, faxing, shredding, mailing and couriers.
  • Provides disabled or ill patients who may be unable to use the phone or attend in person meetings, with a secure communication alternative
  • Provide a better customer service experience to patients and other external stakeholders.
Ariane Laird works with email2, provider of encrypted email and patented compliance and productivity features used by thousands of professionals.
  • Doctors, physicians
  • Medical Clinics
  • Medical Assistants
  • Health practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Health Insurance providers
 

Medical clinics emailing confidential patient health information

Health care professionals – including nurses, physicians, medical assistants, and health insurance providers – know they need to be more efficient, green and provide better service to their patients. But let’s face it. It’s almost 2012 and we’re still using in person visits, phone, faxes, mail and couriers as our primary tools for exchanging sensitive patient information with both patients and other healthcare organizations. Why? Because these methods are seen as more ‘secure’ than sending an instant email. Or are they? The truth is that these antiquated and inefficient methods for exchanging confidential patient health information are not secure and can be just as easily intercepted as unsecured email.  The use of phone and in-person visits may also not be feasible communication methods for disabled or ill patients who may either be bed-ridden or unable to speak. Below are 4 ways to help address compliance technical security safeguard standards (including HIPPA) with the use of encrypted email to securely exchange private patient health information (PII & PHI) between healthcare offices and:
  • patients
  • health insurance providers
  • other health care practitioners

1. encrypted email for medical offices

Unlike faxes or unsecured email, encrypted email is ultra secure because it is sent using an end to end ‘pipe’ that cannot be intercepted during the many stops encountered on its internet journey to get to its final destination. There are many encrypted email solution providers, but most are highly complex and require staff and patients and other external healthcare recipients to change the way existing email is currently used. Unfortunately, the secure email solution will end up being shelved if it requires the sender and recipient to change the way they use email. We recommend adopting a solution that does not use cumbersome encrypted keys and instead uses a ‘cloud’ solution (virtual servers on the internet) that wraps around any existing email and in effect uses the same technology as internet banking. This allows staff and patients to use secure email, but with the ease of continuing to use their regular email. For instance, if MS Outlook or a Blackberry are used for email, the experience with Outlook and any mobile device will remain unchanged for both staff and the external recipient of the email. A basic encrypted email solution will allow for content to be sent in the body of the email, for example:
  • Ask or answer sensitive and confidential patient-related questions
  • Provide 24/7 asynchronous communication with patients and other external medical stakeholders (does not require that all parties involved in the communication be present and available at the same time)
  • Use email for securely scheduling private patient appointments and gathering sensitive information or providing private instructions prior to the patient’s visit.

2. securely email very large confidential file attachments & medical scans

A big part of the appeal of email is the ability to send and receive attachments of any size in addition to content included in the body of the email. Here are 2 encrypted email file transfer features that are helpful for medical offices:
  • The ability to attach jumbo or even unlimited-size files to emails, so there’s no worry about sending that 8 MB file, or even that 100 MB file!
  • ‘Print to Secure Message’ feature (what you see is what you send). 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 application. PSM automatically captures all information viewed on screen rendered by any application – including the internet or proprietary, customized or in-house applications (example: EMR or specialized medical or accounting systems), and sends it to external recipients via encrypted email.
To illustrate:
  • A surgeon or another health professional has asked a medical office for a patient record or copy of an x-ray.
  • Simply click into the office’s third party database or application where these records are kept and instantly capture what is seen on the screen into a file that is emailed securely to the surgeon.
  • Eliminates numrous send steps including the requirement for printing and then using usecured methods for sending the document such as fax or courier.

3. Medical offices - email compliance, non-repudiation, permissions, tracking, reporting, audit trails, & HIPPA

Additional encrypted email features help with adhering to HIPPA and other regulatory compliance standards if email is used to send patient health information to a patient or other external stakeholders. A medical office may have a need to monitor and control what happens to a confidential email and attachments once it’s sent. Here are some examples of some compelling compliance features for encrypted email: Prove that an email was sent, and control, track and report on every step of the email’s life cycle:
  • when a message was received, read, replied to, forwarded, printed, or deleted
  • who the message or attachment was forwarded to (available only to sender)
  • Recall messages anytime – even after the message has been read
  • Include an additional layer of password protection in order to read the email for ultra-sensitive information
  • Prevent emails from being sent unsecured if certain words or patterns are included in the message
  • Authenticate users and recipients. (for example, a recipient may have to enter their SSN and birth date to authenticate their identity before they can access the secure email)

4. secure e-Forms and workflow automation for medical clinics

Today, a patient may visit a medical clinic 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 SLL 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.
Illustration Example 1 – Ask a physician
  • 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.
Illustration Example 2 – Transferring patient records
  • 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 e-form on their website that allows other health care professionals to share patient information and upload any-size file.

5.  Medical offices automation & secure delivery of patient invoices

Most medical 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.

Summary of email encryption benefits for medical offices

Here are the overall benefits of a feature-rich encrypted email solution for healthcare practitioners:
  • Use email to instantly and securely communicate with patients and other health practitioners
  • As easy to use for medical office staff and patients as using their existing unsecured email application
  • The email is guaranteed delivered – and can be proven
  • Instantly send jumbo attachments and any captured information viewed on a computer monitor
  • Track, control permissions, and report on an email’s life cycle after it’s sent
  • Set up secure on line forms for capturing and emailing patient or other health practitioner information
  • Mitigate the risk of a breach of privacy of personal health information
  • Comply with government personal health information laws such as HIPPA
  • Work smarter, faster and greener with less waste created by in person appointments, phone, printing and re-printing, faxing, shredding, mailing and couriers.
  • Provides disabled or ill patients who may be unable to use the phone or attend in person meetings, with a secure communication alternative
  • Provide a better customer service experience to patients and other external stakeholders.
Ariane Laird works with email2, provider of encrypted email and patented compliance and productivity features used by thousands of professionals.
  • Doctors, physicians
  • Medical Clinics
  • Medical Assistants
  • Health practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Health Insurance providers