How to Have a HIPAA-Compliant Call Center
If your call center collects health information, it’s important to make sure you’re running a HIPAA-compliant call center. HIPAA violations in call centers can be a huge setback for your business, damaging your reputation and costing time and money to resolve.
But understanding HIPAA requirements can be overwhelming, especially in an age where technology is changing at the speed of light. And if you’re working with outside vendors, you need to make sure they’re HIPAA-compliant, too.
So how do you ensure that you have HIPAA-compliant phone calls? And what are HIPAA call center requirements?
What Does It Mean to Be HIPAA-Compliant?
HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a law passed by the federal government in 1996. This law sets guidelines for all companies and organizations that collect protected health information (PHI).
Most of the guidelines fall into one of two categories: privacy and security. These guidelines dictate how PHI should be recorded within the call center, as well as how it should be shared with providers or other vendors. These requirements are designed to help avoid data breaches and protect the privacy of customers, patients, and consumers.
Call centers that are HIPAA-compliant have implemented all HIPAA compliance requirements, such as:
- Encrypting data
- Protecting passwords
- Securely storing data
All staff members are familiar with HIPAA requirements and know how to properly handle and transfer PHI.
Benefits of Being HIPAA-Compliant
So why should you care about having call center HIPAA verification?
Above all else, HIPAA call centers are more trustworthy, reputable, and secure. Other vendors will be more likely to work with you if you’re HIPAA-compliant, and patients will be more comfortable offering sensitive information.
And although security is the biggest perk of HIPAA compliance, following these requirements offers other noteworthy benefits, too. Call centers that are HIPAA-compliant can also improve response times, increase efficiency, and increase customer or patient satisfaction. HIPAA compliance allows call centers to more easily send patient information to physicians, and boosts accountability among agents.
HIPAA Compliance Requirements
Whether you’re looking for HIPAA-compliant call center software or hiring a HIPAA-compliant answering service, it’s important to know about the requirements that provide proper security for the storing and gathering of health records.
Data encryption, secure messaging, and HIPAA training are all essential parts of HIPAA compliance.
1. Data Encryption
Most servers do not offer the level of security required by HIPAA. In order to be compliant, your email server must encrypt all data, making it indecipherable to would-be hackers.
2. Appointment-Setting Protection
Even if your company doesn’t store medical records, patients may offer a lot of sensitive information regarding their health during a phone call. For this reason, all appointment-setting processes should be highly confidential.
3. Secure Text Messaging
Does your call center communicate with physicians and other providers via text message? If so, those texts need to be stored in a secure, cloud-based system, rather than on an individual’s mobile device. HIPAA regulations also dictate that those messages should be sent and received in real-time.
4. HIPAA Training for Agents
Every member of your call center should know the ins and outs of HIPAA requirements. If they’re in the dark about these standards, your call center will be more likely to have a data breach. Make sure agents are familiar with HIPAA protocol by offering ongoing training sessions.
Outsource to a HIPAA-Compliant Call Center
Overwhelmed at the thought of meeting all HIPAA requirements? If so, keep in mind that one of the best ways to ensure compliance is by choosing to outsource to a HIPAA-compliant call center.
ROI Solutions’ HIPAA HITRUST is compliant, and offers the highest quality call center services. We’ll act as an extension of your own company, treating every patient as if they were our own. Gain peace of mind, save money, and spend more time growing your business. ROI Call Center Solutions is here to take care of your call center needs.