HIPAA violations are costly mistakes, which is why healthcare organizations need to take extra care when storing, handling and transmitting sensitive patient information.
The worst fax-related fines that healthcare companies can face run as high as $250,000, if there was criminal intent. Even an unintentional mistake made during a busy day can cost an organization anywhere from $100-$50,000. Unfortunately the excuse, “we were really busy and it was incidental” doesn’t prevent a fine from being levied.
The trick is to have a preventative plan in place to eliminate these errors rather than solely having a reactionary plan that cleans up after the fact. These are some of the most common fax mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Mistake: Faxes Sent to the Wrong Recipient
One of the most egregious HIPAA violations involves doctor’s offices who accidentally forward a patient’s test results to the wrong number. The example that is always used tells how a doctor accidentally sent his patient’s positive HIV results to his employer, rather than his new doctor. It’s a careless and simple, but damaging error.
New fax server software is far more efficient than manual, error-prone faxing. Using fax automation solutions like RightFax eliminates the need for printing, physically handling and then faxing sensitive documents.
This software allows you to set verified recipients and ensures that only they are allowed access to the documents, you will also receive verifications that the fax was received and opened.
Mistake: Storage and Compatibility Issues
Healthcare information systems (HIS) are the backbone of any organization. But unless they can be properly integrated with a fax software, they run the risks of security breaches and compatibility issues that can lead to a litany of HIPAA violations.
Make sure your fax server software is completely compatible with your HIS. Software like RightFax perfectly compliments systems like EPIC as well as various multi-function printers and EMR/EHR systems. Configuration is easy and will allow you to share and transmit sensitive information securely.
Mistake: Unauthorized Access
Although criminal hacking of patient information is rare, there are many instances of employees or other parties mishandling or accidentally accessing patient information that is being stored or sent.
Proper delegation of access is the best way to prevent employees, especially temporary contractors, from inadvertently accessing information they aren’t supposed to.
With the latest version of RightFax, you can delegate access to faxes and other information to specific users. You can also disable and reactivate user accounts at any time. The administrative roles you set for employees (read, service or user-only) allow you to manage data and protect it from falling into the wrong hands.
Don’t Make a Costly Mistake
The best way to avoid costly HIPAA violations is to ensure that there is as little chance of them occurring as possible. With fax server software like RightFax, you can do just that. Contact The Fax Guys today to learn more about how RightFax can help your organization.