Are patient portals the best way to communicate with your patients?

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Are patient portals the best way to communicate with your patients? The fact is, most email security solutions are only as good as the people operating them. Senders may forget to enable email encryption, transmitting unprotected ePHI as a result. On the other hand, the majority of patients miss communications sent to them via a patient portal because they don’t want to bother with logging in or adopting new behaviors.

Find out in our blog how communicating through HIPAA compliant email can transform your practice and provide even more security than patient portals.

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Download: Whitepaper: Are Patient Portals Ruining Your Healthcare Business?

What is best way for healthcare to communicate securely to patients? 

Portals achieve security by using clunky, multistep, password-based solutions. Demanding patients learn and adopt new behavior to get into their portal drives open rates to subpar levels. Only 30% of patients with access to portals will use them more than once or twice.


Most email solutions that secure sent emails for HIPAA compliance require users to remember to take extra steps, such as putting a specific keyword in the subject line or choosing an encryption option on the email’s interface. It is another burden on already overworked healthcare staff to decide for each email sent. It just takes one employee sending one email without taking these precautions for a data breach or HIPAA violation to occur.


Given recent research on users’ security behavior and awareness, that risk is too significant. According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breaches Investigations Report, 82% of data breaches involve a human element. This includes incidents in which employees expose information directly or make a mistake that enables cyber criminals to access the organization’s systems.


However, Paubox Email Suite provides truly seamless HIPAA compliant encryption. Imagine never worrying about user error because every email sent from your healthcare location is secured.

How is such an easy-to-use solution secure email? 

New and patented HIPAA compliant email solutions solve these problems. Once it’s configured, the new tech does not require users to do anything at all to secure an email. Senders simply click “send,” and recipients simply click “open.” The program encrypts all emails by default using TLS 1.2 encryption or above, which is the newest and most secure version of the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. 

“Healthfinch uses Paubox Email Suite to make it easy for staff to send encrypted messages by eliminating extra steps and the possibility of human error.” 

Vicky Weber Business Operations Analyst, Healthfinch

When a recipient’s email address does not support TLS encryption, the software blocks the email from being delivered in plain text and instead moves the email to a secure web app, ensuring that your organization stays HIPAA compliant. 

Keep in mind that not all HIPAA compliant email technologies are created equal. Only Paubox provides a seamless experience for both sender and recipient and is HITRUST CSF® certified. This ensures key regulatory requirements are met and risk is appropriately managed. 

Secure your email with inbound cybersecurity tools

Bulletproof your healthcare organization with iron-clad inbound security provided by a premium HIPAA compliant email solution provider. End-to-end protection ensures that you are protected from HIPAA violations in outbound emails and cyberattacks from inbound emails. Healthcare is at significant risk for cyberattacks, and software to safeguard you against crippling data breaches is mission-critical. 

The power of HIPAA compliant email for healthcare 

  • Only one-third of patients regularly use patient portals 
  • 90% of U.S. adults use email 
  • 81% of patients reported an increase in care during studies focused on improving computer-mediated communications
  • 40% of patients sustain significant risks by misunderstanding, forgetting or ignoring healthcare advice 
  • Estimates of hospitalization costs due to medication non-adherence are as high as $13.35 billion annually in the U.S. alone and are connected to as many as 125,000 deaths per year 

Take advantage of healthcare email marketing 

  • Healthcare email marketing has an ROI of $42 to every $1 spent on average, making it the most profitable marketing effort available 
  • Decrease no-shows 
  • 10-30% of appointments are no-shows, which cost on average $100-500 million per year 

Collect bad healthcare debt 

  • Only 12% of what is owed by insured patients is collected at the time of service 
  • Use email reminders, payment plans and e-billing through email — not portals 
  • Poor communication causes of 30% of medical lawsuits 
  • Patient satisfaction has a significant impact on providers’ bonus payments 
  • 88% of data breaches are caused by employee error and cost healthcare millions annually 
  • Boost revenue 
  • Minimize risk of costly mistakes 

Conclusion

Are patient portals the best way to communicate with your patients? The answer is HIPAA compliant email that is easy to use and secure is your best option. Implementing a HIPAA compliant email system may seem like a daunting challenge. However, it’s a lot easier than you think. Paubox has a variety of products that can help you achieve security for your patients. 

Paubox Email Suite automatically encrypts all outbound emails and delivers them directly to your patient’s inbox without requiring a password or portal to read the information. It works with Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Exchange. 

With our Premium plan level, you also get the following features to protect your inboxes from malicious email threats: 

Overall, implementing HIPAA compliant email in your practice provides huge benefits for patients and practitioners alike—creating greater patient satisfaction and better outcomes.

Additional healthcare email resources

Download: Healthcare’s Guide to HIPAA Compliant Email Marketing

About the author

Anne-Marie Sullivan

Read more by Anne-Marie Sullivan

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