google-site-verification: googleb1df861bb4c8f715.html How Does HIPAA Compliant Email Keep ePHI Safe? - Stay Healthy and Informed with MyTreatmentCapital

How Does HIPAA Compliant Email Keep ePHI Safe?

Healthcare professionals and their business associates are expected to comply with HIPAA standards to keep electronic protected health information (ePHI) secure. One way to achieve this compliance is through using HIPAA conforming email service providers. HIPAA conforming emails feature robust end-to-end encryptions for patient data at rest and during transit over healthcare provider networks. Here are some ways HIPAA compliant email keeps ePHI safe:

Encrypting All PHI Transmitted Electronically

End-to-end encryption is at the core of sending a HIPAA compliant email. All emails containing protected health information require encryption to prevent hackers from accessing the sensitive contents of the email. Encryption involves converting the email and its contents into sophisticated codes that require special deciphering only available to the rightful recipient. Healthcare professionals encrypt emails during creation and transmit them using AES and TLS protocols. AES encrypts the email and message at rest or during creation, while TLS encrypts emails in transit.

When a nefarious actor hijacks an encrypted email, they can’t decrypt the message or attachments to access sensitive details such as patient name, date of birth, address, and evaluation results. Healthcare providers achieve end-to-end encryption by using email service providers that automatically encrypt all data. Without automatic encryption, healthcare providers must manually encrypt the emails, which is time-consuming and increases the risk of human error. HIPAA conforming emails have automatic encryption to protect ePHI from unauthorized access.

Controlling Access to PHI, Devices, and Networks

Secure emails feature technical, physical, and administrative measures to guard ePHI against unauthorized access at rest and in transit. Healthcare providers must specify employees who have access to PHI and how they communicate with patients. PHI at rest requires strict access control through passwords, multi-factor authentication and verification, activity logs and audits, and automated device logouts. Access to shared equipment and networks is limited to authorized employees. Healthcare providers also provide physical safeguards, such as electronic access control systems or video monitoring, to limit access to servers and devices.

Administrative security measures are required to control PHI access for both on-site and remote workers. HIPAA compliance involves limiting access to network sections, individual files and folders, databases, and digital services. If employees bring their own devices, these devices must go through proper security audits to prevent data leaks. Patient emails and ePHI access must receive authorization from designated security personnel. Healthcare providers must also request consent from patients before sending emails and include warnings to remind recipients of security threats.

Implementing Data Integrity and Backup Systems

HIPAA conforming email services maintain the integrity of ePHI by filtering suspicious incoming emails to prevent phishing attacks. These services also detect and correct errors in outgoing emails, such as misspellings, grammar issues, and suspicious email addresses. Maintaining data integrity minimizes the risk of breaches and misleading patient emails. Healthcare providers are expected to train employees on how to navigate cybersecurity risks when dealing with ePHI. Employee activity must be logged to provide an auditable trail that specifies who accessed what and at what time.

Complying with HIPAA email security standards involves establishing reliable data retention and backup plans. Emails and patient data must be backed up in real time and stored for the required duration according to state laws. Archiving emails also provides convenient indexing and retrieval when you need a compliance audit. HIPAA conforming email services offer secure storage where you can back up encrypted patient emails and attachments for several years. These services also offer secure retrieval, including AI-powered data leak prevention to avoid misdirected emails.

Set Up Your HIPAA Compliant Email Infrastructure Today

Getting started with HIPAA conforming emails requires the right implementations, training, and autonomous monitoring. Complying with HIPAA protects the integrity of patient PHI you hold while preventing unnecessary fines and litigations from data breaches. Contact a one-stop shop for HIPAA conforming products today to set up your HIPAA compliant email service.

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