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HIPAA compliant email templates: Personalizing patient communication

HIPAA compliant email templates: Personalizing patient communication

The nature of patient communications has shifted from a one dimensional transactional approach to something far more engaging. At least 71% of people expect at least some degree of personalization within communications. This concept can seem daunting to healthcare organizations with many daily concerns, and this is where dynamic email templates come in. Based on several factors patients have in common, tailored email templates allow for quick and targeted communication.


Why should patient communication be personalized?

According to an HHS Public Access Authors manuscript on the lifespan of patient provider communication: 

"General communication supports do not fully meet each patient’s needs, emphasizing the importance of tailoring communication supports."

Personalization considers the differences in patient needs and the potential for changes in their circumstances over the patient provider relationship. Content tailored to what the patient needs at the moment provides them with a stronger sense of connection to the information and improves the chances that patients will follow the advice provided. An example of the changing in patient needs is that a gynecologist/obstetrician might follow a woman's journey from sexual health through to pregnancy and menopausal treatment. Each stage requires variations in information and the types of content tailored towards a woman seeking assistance with pregnancy prevention would not be suitable for a woman going through menopause. 

See also: Reproductive health: Rules, rights and compliance


Dynamic email templates in personalization

Dynamic email templates adjust the content, such as health tips, appointment reminders, and follow-up instructions, based on data from the patient's health record. This information is relevant to their current healthcare needs as well as improving the likelihood that patients will want to interact with emails. 

Using resources like Paubox's API which offers dynamic email templates can elevate the personalization process by allowing secure and HIPAA compliant email. This means that protected health information (PHI) can be included in emails without putting patient’s data at risk. This streamlines the process of personalized health communications, making it more efficient to connect with patients on a more meaningful level. By using Paubox's secure email solution, healthcare providers can focus on crafting messages that resonate personally with each patient, confident in the knowledge that the information will remain private and secure. 


The steps toward HIPAA compliant dynamic email templates

  1. Choose a HIPAA compliant email service provider that supports dynamic email templates, like Paubox.
  2. Collect patient data and preferences in a way that patient consent is obtained for email communications.
  3. Design dynamic email templates, focusing on creating personalized content that can adapt to the specific information and needs of each patient.
  4. Integrate the healthcare management system with the email service provider's API to automate the process of including patient data into email templates.
  5. Test the dynamic content in emails to make sure personalization works correctly and that all patient information is displayed as intended.
  6. Train staff on how to use the dynamic email system.
  7. Keep updating and refining the email templates based on patient feedback and changing healthcare information needs.

See also: Top 7 HIPAA compliant email marketing services



What is personalization?

Personalization is the process of tailoring content and communication strategies to meet the individual preferences, behaviors, and needs of a recipient.


How do I get patients' consent for email communication in a way that complies with HIPAA?

To obtain patients' consent for email communication in a HIPAA compliant manner, use clear and straightforward consent forms that specify how their information will be used.


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