Posted: October 26, 2020
Most business decisions start with an online search. Having a website isn’t just important, it’s crucial to the continued success of any organization. While most healthcare providers don’t think this applies to them, nothing could be further from the truth. Moreover, having a HIPAA compliant website with secure access not only allows patients to get acquainted with the practice and maintain a steady stream of referrals, but also enables providers to have streamlined patient communication.
Even if a medical practice relies on referrals only, eventually the stream of patients can run dry. The healthcare industry is changing rapidly and reliance on a single channel simply doesn’t make sense. This is true even if the practice relies on multiple referral sources. As new practices open in the area, the chance of maintaining the same level of referrals can drop significantly. Competitive doctors are likely to have well-built, professionally designed websites, giving prospective new patients an opportunity to become familiar with the practice long before making their first appointment.
While having a secure website is crucial for any organization, it’s important that healthcare providers take additional precautions to ensure HIPAA compliance. Having necessary protections in place makes it possible for patients to submit forms online, puts lab information at the click of a button, and allows providers to share important information with patients. If healthcare providers attempt to complete these types of tasks without ensuring HIPAA compliance, it not only hurts their reputation, it can also lead to hefty fines.
Whenever patients or providers share protected health information (PHI) over the web, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requires certain policies and procedures to be in place to ensure the protection of data. Simply having secure cloud storage does not make a healthcare provider compliant. If others have the opportunity to share PHI, either on purpose or by accident, the practice may face a HIPAA violation.
In order to become HIPAA compliant a business must take certain steps to ensure their website has the necessary technical, physical, and administrative safeguards in place to fully protect PHI.
In order to determine whether a practice requires a HIPAA compliant website, it’s important to look at the goals and objectives of the website. Maybe a healthcare practice would like to offer a patient portal to simplify data sharing and increase the level of care they’re able to provide. Even if a provider doesn’t think they need patient or provider portals, it’s likely they still would like to take appointments on their website. Because this requires the patient to share personal information, the provider needs to ensure HIPAA compliance.
It can take a lot of time and effort for healthcare providers to learn all the rules to build a HIPAA-compliant website. Providers could benefit from speaking with an experienced HIPAA-compliant website designer.
Let’s Talk Interactive has years of experience developing user-friendly, HIPAA-compliant websites for healthcare providers. Our team of developers understands that providers have unique needs. We work directly with you to develop a telemedicine solution that allows you to remain competitive while increasing patient satisfaction and the chance of referrals. Please contact us for more information about our HIPAA-compliant web design services.