HIPAA compliant email is easier to achieve than some healthcare professionals think. Yet there are still many providers that haven't updated their communications to a modern standard. There are numerous ways to communicate with your patients, including social media, email, phone, or even fax . But not all communication methods are the same, especially in terms of HIPAA compliance and getting a high engagement rate from patients.
What is the preferred communication method for patients?
Out of all the communication methods available, patients prefer email by an overwhelmingly large majority. One report claims that 93% of patients want to email their doctor. It's easy to see why patients prefer email. They are most likely already using email to communicate, and email can make it simpler to access digital files. Email is also better for patient engagement. One study reported that nearly one-third of patients said emailing their healthcare provider improved their overall health. Since most patients prefer to use email, healthcare providers could significantly improve the health of their patients by using their preferred communication method.
Read more: Patient engagement and HIPAA compliance: What you need to know
Why do healthcare providers not use email?
Telehealth is only becoming more popular with patients. Data shows the COVID-19 pandemic has increased telehealth usage from 11% of patients in 2019 to 46% in 2020. But this upwards trend isn't exclusive to the pandemic. The same data claims that 76% of patients were likely to use telehealth in the future. As patients look forward to more technology-focused healthcare, there are still some doctors using fax machines.
Read more: Kill the fax
Change is hard in healthcare, especially since technology is always rapidly evolving. But healthcare providers need to recognize that modern communication is key for patient engagement and involvement in their care. It's worth the effort to upgrade communication methods and ensure HIPAA compliance.
Stop using fax and easily transition to HIPAA compliant email
Fax isn't the best option to keep in touch with patients or other healthcare providers. Fax machines aren't exactly easy to use, especially for younger generations that didn't even know fax machines are still used. Fax is also not the most secure method, so you have an increased risk of getting data stolen in a HIPAA breach. It's easy to upgrade your communication and start using Paubox Email Suite for HIPAA compliant email. Paubox automatically encrypts every sent email and delivers it directly to your patients' inboxes. There's no need for patient portals or forgotten passwords to communicate with your patients. It's also easy for your employees to use since it seamlessly integrates with popular email providers such as Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.