Email Encryption for Health Care

The use of technology to fuel advances in health care has been nothing short of amazing.  And as the costs of health care continue to increase, technology is also being used to increase productivity and cut costs, particularly in patient care. For example, doctors could soon be diagnosing patients over email. Patients can email their doctor with their symptoms when feeling ill and doctors would reply later that day with their recommendations. In addition, patients with long-term conditions that require regular monitoring, such as diabetes, could record their own blood pressure and glucose levels using telehealth technology, before emailing the data to their doctor. As cool as this may sound, this raises concerns about patient data security. Using email to communicate with customers, clients and patients can expose doctors and businesses to the potential of violating state or federal laws such a HIPPA.

With healthcare professionals increasingly using email to communicate with patients and colleagues, the risks of confidentiality breaches also increase. Doctors need to be aware of the pitfalls when sending patient data electronically and their responsibility to ensure that patient records remain secure. Doctors who fail to protect patient information risk incurring fines and facing professional difficulties as the law clearly states that personal patient information must be effectively protected at all times against improper disclosure.

There are a couple of problems with regular email. First, regular email is sent in plain text and can be read if intercepted. The second problem is that regular email routes through numerous ISP servers en-route to its intended recipient. In addition, copies of emails are generally stored on the sender’s computer and mail server, each of your recipients’ mail servers, and each of the recipients’ computers. That gives unauthorized users a lot of opportunities to access data. For the health care industry as well as other businesses, sending unencrypted email presents significant risks. Confidential patient information must be protected against unauthorized access. This is why the use of email encryption is highly encouraged to prevent sending insecure, identifiable data. Patient information that contains financial or medical information should be encrypted; especially where the information is being held on a laptop or other portable device and could be used to cause an individual damage or distress.

Traditional email encryption solutions can be complicated and require at least a moderate degree of computer expertise to implement. There is software to purchase, download, and install. There are encryption keys to generate, publish, and maintain. For email encryption to be an effective solution for protecting confidential data, encryption must be easy to use to gain widespread adoption. The good news is that are easy, low cost email encryption solutions available that can meet the needs of the health care industry as well as any business that has a need to protect confidential customer data.

Businesses that have a need send secure email messages with confidential information or large files such as medical imaging files can be easily encrypted and sent with encryption solutions from Sendinc. Sendinc uses security practices that meet and in many cases exceed encryption requirements and helps organizations meet and maintain compliance with corporate and government regulations such as HIPAA. Sendinc makes it easy for anyone can send and receive military-grade encrypted email in minutes and requires no special technical expertise. There is no required software to purchase, download, or install. There are no keys to generate, publish, or maintain. You can try out their free email encryption service to transmit and receive secure messages.

About tnguyen

Than Nguyen is an Internet Consultant specializing in Internet Technology and helping businesses implement strategies and tools to increase productivity and profitability.
This entry was posted in Email Compliance, Email Encryption, Email Security, HIPPA and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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