What Are the Benefits of HIPAA-Compliant Cloud Fax Services?
There are many advantages to incorporating a HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based fax service into your healthcare operations. Aside from the daily ease of more straightforward business processes, these faxing systems help bring peace of mind that your fax communications and activities are on-par with the healthcare industry’s strict governance.
Healthcare administrators and practitioners have enough on their plates without the headache of a complex fax system. When you must continually spend time checking and double checking fax information, shoring up its security, updating internal policies and training on the latest software with the newest compliance features, you are directly inhibiting one of the most perfunctory aspects of healthcare administration.
1. Enhanced Compliance & Patient Confidentiality
Adhering to HIPAA’s stringent industry rules is a leading concern for healthcare institutions and their partners. However, ensuring your practices are HIPAA compliant takes time, money and continual resources, both on the human and technical side.
With a secure, cloud-based fax delivery system, you directly streamline nearly all aspects of medical document communications that are still critically used today. This not only means quicker and more efficient services within your office, but the risk of in-compliance is off your shoulders — unlike when you have manual faxing or on-site fax servers.
The following items bolster this enhanced compliance:
- Business Associate Agreements (BAA): BAAs serve as chains of trust for all levels of healthcare providers, vendors and subcontractors. According to HIPAA, anyone with access or potential access to PHI must sign and adhere to these contracts. ReplixFax has built-in user logs, notifications and authorized access controls that complement BAAs and PHI-handling best practices, ultimately meeting HIPAA compliance.
- HIPAA-Audited Data Center: Your faxing service platform is managed and hosted at an SSAE-16 audited data center. This means you have a top-of-the-line facility, computer systems and data-management team regularly scrutinized under HIPAA’s evolving requirements, year to year.
- Compliance Management Partners: The cloud-based nature of the system means you have a 24/7 resource to support your critical fax data. This partner is just as responsible for its management and must be as well-versed in HIPAA regulations as you are, reinforcing your holistic risk-management practices.
2. Heightened Data Security
Some of HIPAA’s strongest regulations center on the safeguards and protection of PHI. Considering healthcare is one of the most-hacked industries today, its vast swaths of stored medical history and sensitive data mean healthcare service organizations cannot rest on their laurels. Institutions must continually be vigilant, monitoring their networks, setting up cyber-security defenses and partnering with vendors to help mitigate today’s and tomorrow’s risks.
It’s no easy task, but a comprehensive HIPAA-compliant fax service system can help you accomplish this with the following features:
- Designated Sign-In: Anyone sending a fax or working with system data must first sign into their individual, password-protected account.
- Fax Encryption: While at rest within the cloud-storage system, all faxes, files and their inputted protected health information (PHI) sit encrypted through a AES 256-bit encryption method, one of the most advanced in the industry.
- Fax Data Recovery: The loss of patient data will not only interrupt a healthcare organization’s or vendor’s operations — it puts real people at risk. Your reputation sits at stake without a routine data-backup system in place to recover PHI and faxes in the event of an emergency or cyber threat.
- Automatic Notifications: You can set up notifications to alert both senders and receivers when a fax has been initiated. This means sharper, real-time communication and better fax management, with fewer instances of sensitive data sitting in a queue.
- Authorized Access: You can set up your cloud-based fax API with authorized-only access, which gives system log-ins only to a select few individuals. This directly reduces the chance of unauthorized data access, viewing, transferring and overall in-compliant handling.
3. Streamlined Auditing
Another aspect of HIPAA compliance concerns the thorough and secure documentation of information, transactions and procedures. HIPAA-compliant faxing is no different, and agencies that do not have proper audit trails in place risk severe fines and repercussions if they are found to be incompliant.
The sheer amount of faxes and fax-related communications procured in the healthcare industry necessitates a complete, streamlined auditing system that logs and accounts for every piece of correspondence. With a cloud-based fax API system, you get the following:
- Complete Data Log: The fax API system maintains a record of all file activities, including additions, deletions, retrievals, transfers and data search queries. This is square one in a straightforward audit trail protocol for yourself or your medical clients.
- User Activity Log: The system registers all user activity, which you can then search and catalog using current administrative tools or other integrated web services APIs.
- Fax Trails: The system logs every incoming and outgoing fax, meaning you have one central repository for fax audit trails. Any audit request or compliance check has a straightforward accountability system in place.
- Annual SOC2 Reports: This is a complete report on the data center hosting your PHI, detailing its service environment, practices, updates and procedures, so you can rest assured your data management remains HIPAA-compliant.
- HIPAA-Compliant Fax Deletion: The system allows for industry-standard electronic file deletion, simplifying another compliance headache for many healthcare institutions or hosting vendors.
4. Simpler Software Integration
You can harmonize your’s or your client’s current computer programs and applications through tailored Web Service APIs. This software integration minimizes disruptions to your business operations, reduces employee training and allows operations to remain active. Plus, with more streamlined software suites, you can take care of tasks like converting HIPAA-compliant fax to emails or HIPAA-compliant link sharing in a few simple clicks.
Some other features of this integration include:
- Safe Fax Delivery: Send faxes using safer, security-enhanced delivery channels, either via email-over-TLS or Web-over-secure links.The sheer amount of faxes and fax-related communications procured in the healthcare industry necessitates a complete, streamlined auditing system that logs and accounts for every piece of correspondence. With a cloud-based fax API system, you get the following
- Safe Communications Portal: All communications enacted through the Web Service API come as encrypted links using premier Secure Sockets Layering (SSL) protocol.
- Fax Data Corrections: Reduce the likelihood of human error and improper data inputs. Replix Healthcare Fax can pull fax numbers and other simple data from your existing fax directories, including popular systems like LDAP, Microsoft Active Directory and IBM Domino Address Books.
- Complementary Administrative Tools: You can incorporate other administrative and fax-management tasks into Replix Healthcare Fax through Web Service API.
What Can Your Healthcare Organization Accomplish With HIPAA-Compliant Fax Services and Support?
It’s not just about saving time and money. A complete, HIPAA-compliant fax solution for your medical or healthcare organization alleviates the oversight and energy it takes to remain in compliance, which is square one for those in the industry.
These cloud-based faxing programs also put people first — from your office administrators to your patients themselves. As concerns over data privacy and usage only grow more pressing, you can rest assured your organization is taking every possible measure to secure medical information and meet the public’s heightened demands.
A Replix® HIPAA-compliant fax solution from Softlinx is your partner in doing so. Schedule a free live software demo today at 1-800-899-7724, email our support specialists, request a quote online or fill out our contact form.