This is what happens to patient engagement under HIPAA

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According to a recent New England Journal of Medicine Report, patient engagement is a key way to improve patient and population health overall.

However, due to HIPAA, providers often struggle with properly engaging patients.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Attract More Patients to Your Practice

What is patient engagement?

Patient engagement is the concept of interacting with patients through various methods (such as social media, portal systems, mobile apps) to get the patient active in their own care. The goal of increasing patient engagement is to improve the patients’ own health outcomes.

Patient portals, bluetooth enabled devices, and smartphone applications are all great ways to engage patients. However, Covered Entities and Business Associates are afraid of sharing sensitive protected health information (PHI) through these means. Sharing PHI over unprotected networks leaves Covered Entities and Business Associates ripe for HIPAA violations.

This is a shame because patient engagement does work when implemented properly. However, lack of proper communication is why patient engagement fails to improves. A recent West survey found 75% of patients with chronic conditions want their doctor to contact them regularly to keep tabs on their health.

Additionally, patients feel that they don’t have proper access to their records. A CDW Healthcare survey found that 89% of patients say they want easier access to their health records.

READ MORE: 7 Things You Should Know to Improve Your Medical Practice

How to improve patient engagement under HIPAA

One of the most common ways healthcare entities tried to improve patient engagement is through using patient portals.

Unfortunately, patient portals tend to be cumbersome to use. Brian Eastwood, consumer engagement and consumer-directed healthcare analyst at Chilmark Research, recently told Healthcare Dive that the adoption of patient portal technology is only at between 25% and 35%.

In addition to HIPAA barriers, portals are typically not mobile-friendly, which makes it harder for patients to access them.

Luckily, there is an alternative to patient portals that can keep your practice HIPAA compliant.

The solution: seamless HIPAA compliant email encryption.

Email is still one of the most effective and common ways people communicate with one another. However, any email communication involving PHI must be secure to be HIPAA compliant.

Sometimes, this increased security means giving up emails’ usability design. Although, you can salvage it if you utilize the right email encryption solution.

Email encryption’s challenge has been making sure the emails are secure and the encryption is easy to use. Most solutions can’t resolve this challenge. Paubox does.

With Paubox Email Suite, all outbound emails are automatically encrypted, and recipients will receive your emails like any other ordinary email.

This seamless nature ensures that patients and physicians can continue to communicate easily with one another without the fear of the information being exploited. We make HIPAA compliant email easy!

Try Paubox Email Suite for FREE today.
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About the author

Phuong Tran

Phuong Tran is a Carnegie Mellon University-Heinz College graduate with a degree in healthcare policy and management. In his spare time he enjoys discovering new restaurants and playing basketball.

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