Most medical and healthcare facilities have to provide various types of services for their patients including medical answering services, under a strictly regulated environment set by HIPAA. Sometimes it becomes challenging to find vendors for providing medical answering services at multiple practice medical and healthcare office or the office of a doctor strictly as per the rules of HIPAA.
What is HIPAA and why it is important?
HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act include a set of laws designed to protect the privacy of the personal information of patients. These laws are applicable to providers of healthcare services as well as the business organisations assisting them while providing medical answering services.
Working of the medical answering services
The companies providing medical answering services to the healthcare facilities and medical offices as per the norms of HIPAA usually work as business associate as they have to seriously comply with HIPAA.
They usually engage HIPAA certified professionals to provide medical answering services to their clients as they are committed to protect the personal and medical information of the patients while exchanging with their clients as well as storing them safely as per the laws of HIPAA.
As soon as your phone cal is received by the HIPAA compliant medical answering services at a medical or healthcare facility the professional appointed for this purpose creates the message and sends it through one of the most commonly used ways like SMS or text message, live chat, email and fax etc. that are considered safe as per HIPAA guidelines.
They activate one of the safe messaging systems to send a notification to their client through email or text message to inform them about the new safe message waiting for their attention.
The doctor’s office or healthcare facility logs on the web portal of the medical answering service providers to view the message through his/her mobile device or desktop computer.
Some of the medical answering services, in compliance with HIPAA, have developed their proprietary software to help their clients in receiving such messages safely and easily on their mobile devices just with one click while complying fully with HIPAA laws.
In this manner medical answering services use these web-based applications to transmit encrypted data between their clients and the operators of their answering services. These type of answering services are proving to be quite effective these days and gaining popularity round the world.
Services provided by medical answering facilities
- Relay responses to urgent messages along with attending code blue’ and emergencies
- Exact routing of routine calls to their specific destination
- Setting appointments with and patching calls of their clients
- Consultation calls between doctors and doctors
- Dispatching prescriptions
- Etiquette of dealing with lab results
In this way, by understanding the HIPAA and its importance for the healthcare providers or doctors, most HIPAA compliant medical answering services work as a business associate to do the best practises to protect the personal and medical information of the patients of their clients. They follow the security standards set by HIPAA compliant medical answering services about the patients of their clients.