If you want to send HIPAA Compliant Email text messages, there are a few things that need to happen. These include using an app-to-person (A2P) texting platform, ensuring patient consent, and keeping track of your texts.
These steps help protect patients’ sensitive health information as it travels across the internet and other unsecure networks. They also prevent data breaches when mobile devices are lost or stolen.
1. Use an App-to-Person (A2P) Texting Platform
SMS (Short Message Service) messages are a great way to keep in touch with customers and prospects. Businesses use them for appointment reminders, order status updates, and promotional messaging to stay top of mind with consumers.
Using an app-to-person (A2P) texting platform allows you to send automated messages to your entire customer base. These messages can be delivered by text, email or both.
If you are a healthcare provider, for example, you can set up a system that automatically sends confirmations and reminders when clients book an appointment. In addition, restaurants and hospitality businesses are also seeing a lot of success with SMS marketing.
A2P SMS messages are also used for two-factor authentication, which sends a one-time password to your mobile phone when you try logging into a certain account. This helps protect your accounts from hackers and keeps your customers’ sensitive information safe.
2. Use Autoresponders
One of the most simple ways to make your text messages HIPAA compliant is through Autoresponders. These automated email sequences are triggered by triggers you define, such as when a subscriber joins your list or makes a purchase.
When choosing an Autoresponder, look for a tool that offers features that allow you to build out complex workflows with highly personalized triggers. These tools allow you to target each customer based on their shopping behavior, customer journey, and more.
You should also consider whether your Autoresponder is secure enough to encrypt a patient’s PHI while in transit. You can find business text messaging platforms that offer this feature and MessageDesk is a great example of one.
In addition to encrypting text messages, a HIPAA-compliant platform should have emergency access procedures in place and automatically log off users after a specified period of inactivity. These measures ensure no unauthorized people can access a patient’s health information, even if their phone is lost or stolen.
3. Ensure Patient Consent
When you communicate with patients by text, there are certain HIPAA best practices that you need to follow. These include making sure that patients consent to receive messages.
Having patients sign a text messaging consent form is the best way to ensure that you’re complying with HIPAA standards. You should also have an asterisk next to the patient’s name in your system that indicates they have consented to receive marketing and other communications.
In addition to this, you’ll need to make sure that you have a list of authorized employees who can view patient conversations. Having unauthorized staff accessing data in this way is an extremely common and costly mistake that can jeopardize your practice’s reputation.
This is why it’s important to ensure that all employees are properly trained on HIPAA compliance and have systems in place that minimize human errors. Additionally, having an annual HIPAA risk assessment is critical to maintaining compliance with all guidelines.
4. Keep Track of Your Texts
If you’re texting patients from a personal phone, you may be violating HIPAA regulations without even knowing it. That’s why it’s always better to text from a professional platform that requires a secure login.
Using an app-to-person (A2P) texting platform will help you track all the messages that are sent to patients in one place, so you can ensure that your employees never breach HIPAA and aren’t compromising patient privacy.
You can also use a platform that will automatically record authentication events, message read receipts and other key information for future audits.
The only way to make sure that you’re HIPAA compliant is to follow all the rules and ensure that all your healthcare employees are trained properly. That’s why Textline includes contact consent safeguards to ensure that all patients give their permission before they ever text you with their medical information.