Personal Identifiable Information is data that can be linked to trace an individual. Correct data collection is subject to your company handling such information. HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is among the data privacy laws that aimed to protect personal information against a breach. As such, you need to understand the correct manner of patient data collection, processing, and storage.
How severe can neglecting medical records get? Here are some notable cases:
In 2018, Anthem Inc. paid $16 million in penalties to settle a HIPAA violation. In 2020, Premera Blue Cross agreed to pay a large financial penalty relating to possible violations of the HIPAA Rules of $6,850,000, and in 2021, a $5,000,000 settlement was agreed with Excellus Health Plan.
The proper means of collecting and storing PII (Personally Identifiable Information, PHI(Protected Health Information), ePHI(electronic PHI), and EHR(electronic health records) are the decisive practice to your success in any health-related business.
Why must data collection tools be HIPAA compliant?
HIPAA applies to everyone involved in PII and PHI, including tools or software used to share or control patient data. Based on HIPAA compliance, it is extremely important for businesses to protect patients’ private details, as a data breach can compromise their privacy.
Incorporating privacy and security protections into technology tools boosts its significance, thus ensuring confidence that user’s information will remain secure and be communicated only as authorized. In essence, do business with HIPAA compliant vendors. Only. Secure patient data collection and storage to a trustworthy service provider…err.. like form builder?
The Patient Data Collection Software
The collection of personal information is essential. For example, when making insurance claims, the PII that you hold can prove the claimant’s legitimacy. Also, having an EHR close-by means you have the possibility of offering patients services based on their profile. Medical professionals can use it as a basis for all healthcare decisions.
In the new normal, when telemedicine is now widely implemented, health-related services are offered remotely (through technology). Some healthcare providers, insurance agents, clearinghouses resorted to utilizing the web to accommodate home patients or clients. With this practice, the most common tool used is online forms. Web forms for patient registration and appointments, insurance applications, authorization forms, or medical consent are a few of how the industry utilizes online forms.
To properly collect sensitive information using online forms, always apply ENCRYPTION. The foremost priority is to ensure that sensitive patient information. This guarantees privacy where, even if interrupted communication occurs, patient data is preserved. Once collected, you can stay paperless. Store your collected data in secure cloud storage.
Here is a good patient data collection form sample:
How to manage patient data a.k.a PHI?
Did you know that MD Anderson paid $4.3 million in civil penalties? The simple violation is that MD Anderson failed to encrypt its devices. That’s not pocket money businesses just have lying around.
- To avoid incidents like this, learn how to protect health records effectively. Some pointers to remember are as follows:
- Only allow encrypted forms to receive or send protected health information.
- Password sharing is forbidden.
- When using pc monitors, make sure you put screen covers on them so only the people right in front can see the screen.
- Regularly move computers so that people with ulterior motives cannot spot them more easily.
- Require operating system updates on employees to avoid unnecessary security risks. An uninstalled update could pose serious security threats.
- Employees must use strong passwords, and they should change their passwords frequently. Apply MFA (multi-factor authentication) if possible— a strong password and a unique code generated from authentication applications.
Also, when PHI documents or files are no longer necessary, please dispose of them accordingly. You can either shred or delete them.
On patient data collection and storage
Generally, any business (that is into personal information) and customers benefit from the secure and compliant collection. Patient data collection enhances communication- between doctors and patients for it improves the general quality of patient care by providing deeper insights into particular issues; between health insurance agents and clients for the information can cause approval or denial of requests; and the likes of the industry.
Understanding the critical role of collecting health-related data is both an obligation and responsibility of the medical business. It is your best practice to use third-party services like a form builder with HIPAA Compliance.
EmailMeForm offers a patient data collection form template for easy inspiration. The organization is HIPAA compliant and takes security as its utmost priority.