HIPAA Myth #1: Our company’s “no texting” rule keeps us compliant

There are lots of myths about HIPAA compliance and texting what the best practices are – we field questions about it every day.

Close up of thumb typing on a smart phoneWe are your partners in communications and compliance. We are here to help you understand, interpret, and follow the rules. In this blog series on common HIPAA myths, we tackle common misconceptions about compliance. Today we take on one of the most common gray areas – texting PHI (private health information) in long-term care.

One of the most common misconceptions we hear is that a “no texting” rule ensures that your company is communicating compliantly.

If you think your employees aren’t texting because you have a “no texting” rule, you should take a closer look, because it’s incredibly difficult to enforce and isn’t HIPAA-compliant.  If you think your no texting rule is protecting you, think again.

Under HIPAA, you are liable for what your employees text, even if it’s on their own device, and even if your company has a no-texting rule.

Further, if any of your managers are aware of non-compliant texting by employees but do not document disciplinary action for the violation (turn a blind eye, or let them slide “just this one time”), HIPAA considers that willful neglect (defined as conscious or intentional failure to perform a duty due to negligence) that subjects you to the highest fines.

Instead of taking a reactionary approach, or worrying every time you see a phone in an employee’s hand, we suggest embracing the technology that’s at everyone’s fingertips, and leading by example by providing staff with an easy to use, appealing alternative – Mediprocity’s Secure Messaging.

Mediprocity is by far the best company I have worked with as far as customer service and willingness to try new things.
We need more of you out there to help the medical tech community to come together which will ultimately save this country money through coordination of care.
I really appreciate what you do.
Ryan Schulte – Director of Operations, Metropolitan Neuro Behavioral Institute

Mediprocity’s Secure Messaging works in much the same way as regular text (SMS) or instant messages (IM) do. Use our app to send and receive encrypted text messages, share images, and conduct group discussions. Our app works across all kinds of devices and operating systems and has saved our customers up to 100,000 calls per month.

In addition to peace of mind about compliance, our secure messaging, orders, and forms for long-term care can ensure critically needed medication reaches facility residents quickly, clarify questions, and reduce reliance on slow and outdated voicemail and faxing.

Here at Mediprocity, we know long-term care. Our founders come from family backgrounds in long-term care, and have been focused on the LTC industry, listening to our customers’ unique needs and regulatory requirements, and providing industry-leading customer service for more than a decade. Our Mediprocity team is here when you need us.

More reading: HIPAA Journal https://www.hipaajournal.com/hipaa-regulations-for-sms/