Though a text alert system for business lack features for HIPAA compliance, it is a good idea to have the system as a HIPAA compliance helpline. It can be used in training personnel to become more HIPAA compliant.
In a medical setting, a text alert system for business may be used to alert a lot of personnel all at the same time about an emergency situation. In the event of an emergency, the text alert system may help in coordinating emergency response and checking the condition of personnel. It can help the business continue even when other means of communication are not working.
A text alert system for business is an ideal tool to use for internal communications because it is normally fast and dependable. The messages are accounted for because the system records the messages for review. Healthcare organizations can potentially use it as a HIPAA compliance helpline in non-emergency situations.
What is a HIPAA Compliance Helpline?
A HIPAA compliance helpline serves to provide information for employees who are having difficulties understanding the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Though most employees likely have gone through a HIPAA compliance training, some situations may arise that the training did not cover. Or perhaps an employee is confused because of the complexity of HIPAA and the present situation.
In such circumstances, it is helpful to have an assigned authority, like a compliance officer, who would give immediate answers to questions concerning HIPAA. Because text messaging is quick, the person who needs guidance just need to send a text message asking his question and the compliance officer will give an appropriate response almost promptly.
When repurposing a text alert system as a HIPAA compliance helpline, making unsure decisions and arriving at wrong conclusions are avoided. Inadvertent disclosure of PHI to a third party and unintentional HIPAA breaches are avoided.
But a text alert system for business is not regarded as HIPAA compliant. Therefore, it cannot be used for communicating PHI. Requests for help regarding HIPAA-related uses, disclosures, and processes must not include personally identifiable information. Though compliance officers would most likely know who among the personnel using the system does or does not fully understand the HIPAA.
Moreover, some situations may arise that are particular to an area or healthcare service not covered by the general HIPAA rules. These situations may be integrated into future HIPAA compliance training to avoid confusions in the future. The recorded messages by the text alert system for business will serve as a guide in the creation of relevant employee training on HIPAA compliance based on real-life situations.
Though a text alert system for business is not HIPAA compliant, it is an effective tool for communication during an emergency and complies with the CMS´ Emergency Preparedness Rule. A text alert system is also useful to healthcare organizations when developing relevant training for employees. Another way use of this text alert system is as a HIPAA compliance helpline.