Many healthcare professionals experience anxiety at the idea of meeting HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations while emailing Protected Health Information, or PHI for short. However, email is becoming a more frequently employed distribution option for sharing PHI with other caregivers and patients. However, to remain compliant with HIPAA, all healthcare organisations must develop effective procedures and policies for sending PHI, using email as a communication channel.
In this blog, we’ll look at how email encryption can help those in the healthcare sector keep data safe and adhere to HIPAA.
WHAT IS HIPAA?
HIPAA is a federal law enacted by the United States Congress in 1996. The law provides regulations for protecting the privacy and security of individuals’ health information, as well as ensuring the portability of health insurance coverage.
Under HIPAA, covered entities such as healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses must implement administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information (PHI). It also gives individuals certain rights with regard to their PHI, including the right to access, inspect, and receive a copy of their health information, and the right to request corrections to their health information.
You can find the official government page for HIPAA here.
IS ENCRYPTION A REGULATORY REQUIREMENT OF HIPAA?
While HIPAA does not state that email encryption is an essential requirement, the strict measures it demands regarding PHI can be met by this state-of-the-art security tool. The law insists that PHI always remains secure, no matter if it is at rest or is actually being transferred or transmitted. For instance, this means that PHI must be protected when it is stored on servers and workstations with unique credentials. However, if the data is sent to another healthcare organisation, professional or the patient themselves via email, it must also be safeguarded.
The best option to perform this obligation is to protect the information using end-to-end encryption. Unlike other forms of encryption, this solution can ensure that no unauthorised individual can ever access any PHI sent via email and renders the message and any attachment only readable by the intended recipient.
DEALING WITH PATIENT REQUESTS FOR UNENCRYPTED EMAILS
It is understood that patients’ rights to access their personal data easily allows them to request that their personal data is sent to them unencrypted. As a result, sending PHI without encryption does not violate HIPAA, although data handlers must make reasonable efforts to ensure that patients understand and acknowledge the risks involved in unsecured transmissions.
Essentially, if a patient requests their personal records be sent via unencrypted email, the healthcare organisation must comply with their request but can only do so with assurance from the patient that they comprehend the risk they are taking. Data handlers can request that patients complete and sign a “duty to warn” document for their records as proof of HIPAA compliance.
BENEFITS OF GALAXKEY SECURE EMAILS FOR HIPAA COMPLIANCE
Easy Email Security and Compliance
Galaxkey Secure Emails provides a comprehensive solution for healthcare professionals seeking to protect PHI and comply with HIPAA regulations. With our unique “federated” implementation approach, you have complete control over your data and encryption keys, ensuring the utmost security for sensitive information. Our seamless integration with Microsoft Outlook means no additional software or changes to your workflow. You can encrypt and decrypt messages with just one click, using the familiar interface you already use every day. Additionally, Galaxkey Secure Emails offers a user-friendly interface for iOS, Android, macOS, and a Web portal, enabling you to access your secure messages from any device or location.
Galaxkey Secure Emails offers perimeter-based implementation that can be installed at the corporate level, providing maximum protection for your entire organization. You can define policies that automatically secure emails based on content, recipient, sender, or other criteria, ensuring compliance, preventing data leakage, and protecting intellectual property. Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, Galaxkey Secure Emails is scalable to your specific needs, allowing you to grow and expand your security measures accordingly.
Advanced Encryption Technology
Galaxkey Secure Emails ensures the highest level of security for your messages and data. Our advanced encryption technology utilizes a unique three-layer protection system, including identity-based encryption and FIPS 140-2 compliant encryption algorithms. This guarantees that your data is safeguarded from interception, tampering, or theft. With Galaxkey Secure Emails, you remain in control of your encryption keys, allowing you to manage your own security and prevent third-party access to your data.
Meeting Compliance Requirements
Maintaining compliance with regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, MiFID II, and others is crucial for healthcare organizations. Galaxkey Secure Emails helps you meet these legislative and industry compliance requirements. By securing your business emails and attachments with advanced encryption technology, you ensure that sensitive information remains protected.
Quick Deployment and Easy Operation
Deploying email encryption in your corporate environment is effortless with Galaxkey. Simply install the application on your client machines, and within minutes, you’re ready to go. Galaxkey works seamlessly in the background, taking care of key management complexities, ensuring a hassle-free experience for your organization and users.
Galaxkey’s Impact on Sensitive Industries
Galaxkey Secure Emails is the ideal solution for secure email communication across various industries, including healthcare, legal, finance, and defense. With our advanced encryption technology, you can send and receive emails with ease while complying with regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA. Our federated options provide you with complete control over your encryption keys and policy enforcement, guaranteeing the highest level of security for your sensitive information.
Protecting Sensitive Patient Data
In the healthcare industry, Galaxkey Secure Emails is an essential tool for protecting sensitive patient data. Our end-to-end encryption ensures that medical records, lab reports, and other confidential information requiring email transmission remain secure throughout the entire journey, including storage and sharing. With customizable access controls and compliance with industry regulations like HIPAA, healthcare professionals can rest assured that their patients’ data is protected from unauthorized access or breaches. With Galaxkey Secure Emails, healthcare professionals can focus on providing high-quality care to their patients without worrying about the security of their sensitive data.
Take the Next Step Towards Secure Email Communication
Ready to experience the benefits of Galaxkey Secure Emails for yourself? Sign up now for a free two-week trial of our solution. With quick deployment, easy operation, and the highest level of security, Galaxkey Secure Emails empowers your organization to communicate securely while ensuring compliance with HIPAA and other data regulations. Start your free trial today and discover how Galaxkey can transform your email security and compliance practices.