Does Your Business Need HIPAA Compliant Video Conferencing?
Video conferencing is a communication staple for many businesses. Whether you’re looking to conduct virtual meetings, consult with clients and customers across the globe, or connect with your team on the go, video conferencing is a very valuable tool.
However, if you’re exchanging any sensitive health or personal identifying information during these calls, then you need to think about HIPAA compliance. Violating HIPAA rules and regulations can lead to steep fines and penalties. Fortunately, these all of these can be avoided by choosing a HIPAA compliant video conferencing provider. Learn the basics of HIPAA, how it applies to video conferencing, and how a secure provider can help you achieve and maintain compliance:
The Basics of HIPAA
If you’re reading this, then you’re hopefully with HIPAA and you’re actively taking steps to achieve compliance. HIPAA and its standards are ever evolving, trying to stay in alignment with changing technology trends and workplace practices.
By achieving HIPAA compliance your organization can avoid fines and penalties while showing that you care about the security of customer and patient data.
The main goals of HIPAA include:
- Reduce cases of healthcare information fraud
- Create and enforce standards for the protection of sensitive health and identification information
- Elevate the standards of confidentiality related to personal identifying information
If you’re currently using any video conferencing software, then you’ll need to ensure the software solution you choose is HIPAA compliant.
What is HIPAA Compliant Video Conferencing?
HIPAA compliant video conferencing can help your business in many ways. The first should be obvious in that you’ll avoid any fines and penalties associated with non-compliance. The second is that you’ll be able to retain customers, clients, and users for much longer, as you won’t violate their trust due to a data breach.
When you’re using video conferencing across your organization, you may be exchanging sensitive health information. This won’t always be the case. But, if it’s an integral part of your business communication protocols, then you’ll want to ensure compliance.
With a compliant software provider, there will be certain safeguards in place that will protect any data or information that’s been shared throughout the video call. For instance, there will be security protocols in place that will prevent any unauthorized third parties from accessing any call information and any storage will be strictly permission-based.
Beyond the provider you’re using, there also needs to be protocols in place for verifying members of the call, along with receiving and initiating calls.
Obtaining a HIPPA Business Associate Agreement (BAA)
You may need to sign a HIPPA business associate agreement (BAA) when any entity performs functions on behalf of you. According to HIPAA Journal, a HIPPA business associate agreement is, "a contract between a HIPAA-covered entity and a vendor used by that covered entity. A HIPAA-covered entity is typically a healthcare provider, health plan, or healthcare clearinghouse that conducts transactions electronically."
If a vendor you are working with handles protected health information (PHI) to perform duties for you, that vendor is a business associate under HIPAA law. That vendor must sign a HIPPA business associate agreement before doing business.
Be sure to read the official BAA information from the HHS, and find out if a BAA is needed for your HIPPA compliant video conferencing.
Benefits of Having a Secure HIPAA Compliant Video Conferencing Provider
Video conferencing can be a very useful tool for your business that allows you to connect and consult with clients and customers, or even employees when you’re not in the office. If your clientele spans the globe, or you have multiple office locations, then you know how valuable video conferencing can be.
But, using a non-compliant video conferencing solution can be damaging to your business.
Here are a few features to look for in a HIPAA compliant UCaaS provider:
1. Full Transmission Encryption
Data encryption will ensure that no third-parties can access any data or information while the call is taking place. Utilizing end-to-end encryption will add a layer of security that’s hard to beat. If something unfortunate does occur and the call is intercepted, any data will be impossible to read.
2. Uses a Secure Peer-to-Peer Connection
With a peer-to-peer connection, the video conference, along with any data transmitted, is connected from receiver to caller. There won’t be any information stored on any servers or any other location. This helps to greatly reduce the risk of any information being intercepted between the two points of the call.
3. No Vendor Access to Transmitted Information
Your video conferencing provider won’t have any access to the information exchanged during the call. Some providers don’t offer storage of any call data to ensure the security of any information exchanged. Other providers may offer storage of recorded calls, but this data will be highly secure and only available to authorized users.
Typically, any call information that’s classified as Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), will be stored locally on your computer. If you exchange any ePHI information during a video conference, then you'll need a HIPAA compliant conferencing solution. Otherwise, you'll run the risk of non-compliance. Use the feature list highlighted above to find the perfect provider for your needs.
Use 8x8 for Secure HIPPA Compliant Video Conferencing Today
When it comes to security, 8x8 provides reliable and compliant cloud solutions at a demanding level rarely seen by other cloud providers. Don't take your chances with a subpar cloud-based telecom system. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out our form online to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 Product Specialist.