Handling Privileged Communications Using Cloud-Based Solutions

If you work in a profession where confidentiality is key, you know that protecting privileged client information is of utmost importance for both the client and your company - especially if you want to avoid lawsuits. Companies must be aware of and abide by the privacy laws and statutes that protect certain privileged communications. Investing in some kind of data security is essential. But how do you know which communications are supposed to be protected?

Let's start by taking a look at what privileged communication actually is.

What is Privileged Communication?

Privileged communication is, according to Investopedia, an interaction between two parties in a private, protected relationship as recognized by the law.  Anything communicated between those two parties must remain confidential - even the law can't force them to disclose information contained in these exchanges without consent.

One example of privileged communications would be between a client and attorney (often called attorney-client privilege). In order to get information in a privileged exchange disclosed, consent must be obtained.

What Does Privileged Communication Apply to (And What Doesn't It)?

You may be wondering, "What does privileged communication apply to?" or "What doesn't it apply to?" Those are both valid questions.

Privileged communication applies to communications between attorney and client, therapist and patient, doctor and patient, accountant and client, priest and parishioner (and reporters and their sources in some states). Anyone receiving this information has to keep it private unless the person disclosing it waives their right to privacy or gives permission. If a professional like the ones mentioned above ever broke privilege and told someone the confidential information, they could lose their license to practice. In some states, privileged communication does not apply to minors or people in danger of harming themselves or others.

A few conditions must be met in order for the information to be considered privileged. The communication:

  • Must take place in a private setting (where there's a reasonable expectation of privacy - like a law office)
  • Has to be between at least two people (one of whom is in a legally recognized protected professional relationship with the other)
  • Can't be shared with a third party outside of the protected relationship

How to Handle Privileged Communication in Your Company

When it comes to protecting your clients' privacy, you need a comprehensive cloud-based solution that allows your attorneys to work remotely but still have access to all the features the system has to offer. Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), and VoIP solutions can all help you protect privileged client communications.

  • CCaaS. CCaaS is a cloud-based customer experience solution that allows companies to manage customer interactions and use software subscriptions to rent hardware assets from a provider instead of owning the assets themselves. CCaaS makes it easier for companies to scale and grow their business using a pay-as-you-go model. Companies benefit from the reduced costs and the ability to stay up-to-date with the latest technology upgrades. CCaaS can help you protect privileged information by keeping customer information safe and secure in the cloud.
  • UCaaS. UCaaS is a cloud-based delivery model that provides multiple types of communication methods with features like online meetings, enterprise messaging, video conferencing, presence technology, team collaborations, and telephony. UCasS offers the same flexibility to scale as CCaaS. Other features might include contact-center capabilities like call routing, interactive voice response, auto-attendant, and customer relationship management (CRM) integrations. UCaaS can help you protect privileged client information and communications by offering the same level of security you'd get with CCaaS, meeting FISMA, HIPPA, PCI, and FIPS requirements.
  • VoIP. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a service that allows companies to use the Internet to make phone calls, as opposed to a traditional circuit transmission of the PSTN. VoIP helps businesses avoid paying too much in surcharges and it can also help protect privileged client information by supporting your calls through a private secure Internet connection.

Make sure your staff understands how best to handle privileged information so that you can be sure they're abiding by the law. Also, they'll know what to do if they get a subpoena. Ensure you're keeping all emails confidential and doing your best to protect any private information contained in them.

Cloud-based solutions like the ones just discussed can help you provide reliable, secure communications for your attorneys as well as your clients. You'll have peace of mind knowing you have a variety of options to choose from that meet all of the legal requirements.

When it comes to ensuring legal communication, 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 an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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