3 min read
Online appointment scheduling software needs to be HIPAA compliant since even something as simple as a name can be considered protected health information (PHI). A covered entity needs an appointment scheduling software that is willing to meet business associate standards. It's critical to ensure that any PHI that your online scheduling software collects will be protected using HIPAA security guidelines. Below we will offer some best practices as well as provide a rundown of popular HIPAA compliant software partners as well as some that healthcare providers should avoid.
Best practices for appointment scheduling software
Here are a few key features to consider when choosing an appointment scheduling software:
- The provider will sign a business associate agreement (BAA)
- Email or text notifications don't include PHI or they are encrypted
- Syncing with third-party calendars is disabled or is HIPAA compliant
- Access only for authorized users
- The ability to customize privacy and security settings to meet your healthcare organization's needs
With this in mind, let's review some appointment scheduling software companies to see if they can comply with HIPAA.
Acuity Scheduling is one of the most popular online scheduling softwares, and it can also be HIPAA compliant. The company is willing to sign a BAA and includes numerous security features to protect PHI. Keep in mind that you need to sign-up for the Powerhouse plan or a custom Enterprise plan to receive the HIPAA compliant features.
Appointlet makes it easy for people to book appointments online. However, it's not HIPAA compliant. Appointlet doesn't appear willing to participate in a BAA, which automatically excludes it from consideration for covered entities. Without a BAA, there's no guarantee that Appointlet will have the necessary safeguards to protect PHI.
awarenow focuses on coaches, but it's also appropriate for corporate wellness vendors and consulting firms. This scheduling software can be HIPAA compliant. It has a BAA available to sign and can be configured to meet HIPAA security requirements.
Calendly is another well-known appointment scheduling software used in various industries. It's not a great option for covered entities though. Calendly doesn't mention that it is willing to sign a BAA, and without one, Calendly isn't HIPAA compliant.
CareCloud is cloud-based software that includes appointment scheduling features. CareCloud includes a BAA in its terms and conditions and offers many security measures to configure the software for HIPAA compliance. CareCloud can be HIPAA compliant.
CentralReach is designed specifically for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy providers. It's not a surprise that CentralReach meets HIPAA security standards. The company has a BAA as part of its terms of service and offers several security features. CentralReach can be HIPAA compliant.
HoneyBook is a client management software that includes appointment scheduling features. However, HoneyBook isn't HIPAA compliant. The company doesn't mention any willingness to sign a BAA or protect PHI it receives.
NexHealth is an appointment scheduling software that is specifically designed for covered entities. A BAA is included during the registration process, which ensures that NexHealth is taking the necessary steps to safeguard PHI. NexHealth can be HIPAA compliant.
NueMD has many features that help a healthcare provider run its business, including appointment scheduling. Since it was created for covered entities, NueMD can be HIPAA compliant. NueMD offers a BAA and has the ability to protect PHI from unauthorized users.
Phreesia caters directly to healthcare providers as well, and it implies on its website that it will sign a BAA. On top of that, it also has many security features like encryption and 24/7 electronic surveillance. Phreesia is HITRUST CSF certified and is capable of being HIPAA compliant.
One of the features of PracticeSuite is online scheduling. PracticeSuite can be a HIPAA compliant vendor. A BAA is included in the standard terms of service and the company and offers many security and privacy features to protect PHI.
RXNT is healthcare software that includes an online appointment scheduler. While the company doesn't confirm that it will sign a BAA, it implies that it will in its user agreement. RXNT can be HIPAA compliant, but a covered entity will want to double-check the security settings to meet HIPAA security requirements.
As part of the OnceHub product suite, ScheduleOnce can be HIPAA compliant. However, a covered entity will only receive a BAA if it has at least 4 users on its account. ScheduleOnce will also require customization to make security settings up to par with HIPAA rules.
Setmore Health is a possible HIPAA compliant vendor. A BAA is included during the account set-up process, and covered entities can restrict some features for enhanced security for HIPAA compliance.
SimplyBook can be HIPAA compliant , but you will need to choose a Standard or Premium subscription to access HIPAA-related data protection features. SimplyBook does offer a BAA to ensure the protection of PHI.
Unlike some other appointment scheduling software, WebPT doesn't elaborate on its security features. However, since the company focuses on the rehab therapy industry, it's not a surprise that a BAA is included in its terms of service. WebPT does have the potential to be HIPAA compliant.
Zocdoc is another provider that specializes in the healthcare industry. While the company does offer a BAA, a covered entity will need to opt-out of the Zocdoc authorization first before receiving it. Zocdoc can be HIPAA compliant.
Which appointment scheduling software is HIPAA compliant?
There are numerous options for healthcare providers to choose from for an online appointment scheduler. Not all of them have been proven to be HIPAA compliant though.
Here is a list of possible appointment scheduling software for covered entities:
- Acuity Scheduling
Keep all of your online communication in compliance with HIPAA
While choosing the right online appointment scheduling software is important, you want to make sure that all your online communication is HIPAA compliant.
Paubox enables you to send HIPAA compliant email to your patients without the hassle of client portals. Paubox Email Suite is easy to integrate with your current email provider, including Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. Your employees will automatically send encrypted emails directly to the patient's inbox. Paubox Email Suite is HITRUST CSF certified, so you can rest assured that we are equipped with the latest security technology.
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