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Keeping Appointment Reminders HIPAA Compliant

For a busy healthcare provider, hundreds of hours can be spent sending out reminders to patients – via phone calls, text messages, and e-mails. All of that adds up to thousands of dollars’ worth of payroll being spent exclusively on reminders. And that seems like a massive waste of money.

Fortunately, with Unlimited Reminders’ automated reminder systems, you can craft text message reminders that go out to patients, saving your budget in the process. And you can make those text message reminders 100% HIPAA compliant. You just need to keep a handful of things in mind…

HIPAA Compliance & Patient Communication

Every healthcare provider has heard at least one nightmare story connected to HIPAA. Sometimes it involves malpractice suits. Other times, it’s about a patient data breach. But whatever the cause, it always ends the same way: fear of doing anything that might open you up to HIPAA non-compliance.

HIPAA (or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) requires healthcare providers to secure all sensitive information about their patients. Failing to follow protocols can lead to major repercussions. And that’s probably why many doctors and medical professionals simply do things the old-fashioned way – with a phone call.

But text message reminders are completely HIPAA compliant if done correctly. And they can save thousands of dollars (and hours of time) over the long-haul. Plus, they’re more effective and more efficient. In other words, there’s simply no excuse not to use them.

But if you’re going to make the switch, you need to follow these steps…

Sending a HIPAA Compliant Appointment Reminder

As we’ve already noted, the Department of Health and Human Services has said that text messages and e-mails are legal methods of communication between patients and their healthcare providers. And this is great news since text message reminders work so much better than other forms of communication.

This is even more true for medical providers, where time is often limited and appointments need to be optimized as much as possible. Fortunately, with a series of text message reminders, you can keep patients in the loop with reminders that go out days, weeks, or even months in advance.

In order to keep your text messages HIPAA compliant, you need to be sure that you don’t give any sensitive information, such as diagnoses or treatment plans. Instead, keep things simple. A text message reminder that includes the date and time of the appointment, the provider name, and company and the location is completely compliant with HIPAA regulations.

Take a look at this HIPAA-compliant example to see what we mean…

Good morning John,

This is Susan from Dr. Jackson’s office reminding you that you have an appointment tomorrow at 3 PM. We’re located at 34 1st Street. You can park in any of the spaces directly in front of our office. If you need to cancel or reschedule, call 555-555-5555.

This is only one example of a HIPAA compliant text message reminder. You can customize your text message reminder until it says exactly what you need it to.

Unlimited Reminders: A HIPAA Compliant Service Provider

At Unlimited Reminders, we’ve gone through the process of becoming fully HIPAA compliant by complying with HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules, and by signing a Business Associates Agreement.

In addition, we store all of the data that you send us on an encrypted server that ensures 100% security. This means that you never have to wonder whether your patients’ data is safe. We’ll keep every byte of data locked down. And when it’s time to send a reminder, we’ll ensure it’s completely HIPAA compliant.

So, are you ready to free up your staff to do the job they need to be doing? If so, contact us today to discover how Unlimited Reminders can keep your practice running smoothly with HIPAA compliant text message reminders.

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