Why is it important for healthcare organizations to use a HIPAA-compliant fax app? For one thing, they must follow the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This federal law gives guidelines that ensure the safe electronic exchange of protected health information (PHI). PHI includes medical records and demographic information, both of which are often transmitted via fax.
Using a HIPAA-compliant fax app signifies that you give the utmost importance to data security. But how can you determine if it adheres to HIPAA rules? Look for these three must-haves: a seal of compliance, business associate agreements (BAA), and security features.
Table of Contents
- What Makes a Fax App HIPAA Compliant?
- HIPAA Compliance vs HIPAA Certification: What’s the Difference?
- Why Do You Need to Use a HIPAA-Compliant Fax App?
- Is iFax HIPAA Compliant?
What Makes a Fax App HIPAA Compliant?
There are many electronic fax apps on the market, but not all offer HIPAA compliance. To find the best one, look for these three things:
HIPAA seal of compliance
You can quickly check if the app complies with federal law by looking for a certification seal or badge on the website. This compliance seal should come from a well-known third party, such as the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) or the Healthcare Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST).
Note that not all apps provide HIPAA-compliant faxing services for free. Some only offer this feature if you subscribe to a high-tier plan such as an enterprise or corporate account.
Business associate agreement
HIPAA requires all covered entities and their business associates to sign a BAA, a contract that establishes the expectations and responsibilities of both parties. You will know whether a fax app is HIPAA compliant if the app provider is willing to execute this document.
By signing a BAA, the business associate agrees to:
- Abide by all the rules and regulations outlined in the HIPAA law
- Ensure that all the necessary security measures are in place
Many fax app providers announce that they can sign a BAA. Some even offer hassle-free BAA requests through email for existing subscribers. If the app provider doesn’t disclose this information on their website, it’s best to contact them directly.
Stringent security features
The best apps have the following security measures in place:
The level of encryption should be strong enough to protect PHI against possible data breaches and brute force attacks. It should follow the encryption standards recommended by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
User authentication measures should be in place to ensure that only authorized individuals can access and view PHI. The app should also have a mechanism to prevent accidental or unauthorized data transmissions.
Electronic fax platforms should be able to track user activity and provide logs so that you can monitor who’s accessing PHI and when. Audit control is vital in case of a data breach so that you can quickly identify the source.
HIPAA Compliance vs HIPAA Certification: What’s the Difference?
There is often confusion between HIPAA compliance and HIPAA certification. While they sound similar, these two terms are not interchangeable. Understanding the difference between the two is essential to ensure that you are meeting all the requirements for protecting PHI.
HIPAA compliance refers to the process of adhering to the policies of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Covered entities must continuously ensure that only authorized individuals can access PHI.
On the other hand, HIPAA certification involves obtaining an official document or designation attesting that a person or an organization has completed a course. While certification is not required by law, it demonstrates that an individual or organization has the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure HIPAA compliance.
Why Do You Need to Use a HIPAA-Compliant Fax App?
Aside from helping you avoid penalties, HIPAA-compliant faxing apps can:
Protect patient privacy
When using an app, there is a risk that unauthorized individuals will access PHI stored in the cloud. However, if the app is HIPAA compliant, you can be assured that it has the necessary security measures like encryption to prevent breaches.
A HIPAA-compliant fax app often has several layers of protection, including:
- Identity verification
- Audit logs to track user activity
- Two-factor authentication
- Role-based access controls
Comply with laws
You can be confident that the app meets all legal requirements and industry standards. It will help you avoid fines or other legal consequences like jail time. Compliance will also show that you value your patient’s privacy and inspire their trust.
Prevent data loss
This feature allows you to restore lost information when the worst happens: your computer crashes or your hardware or device gets stolen. You also have a digital backup in case of fire or natural calamities that may damage physical files. With this feature, you can be sure that patient records are safe and can be retrieved when needed.
Is iFax HIPAA Compliant?
iFax is a reliable internet fax service that lets you send and receive faxes securely and efficiently. We offer affordable rates with no long-term contracts necessary. Here are more features that make this app stand out from the crowd:
All your information is securely transmitted and stored with AES 256-bit encryption, which is the same level of security used by the US military. It is virtually impossible to hack, so you can be confident that your information is safe.
We offer a selection of cover page templates that you can use with just a few clicks. You can add your company logo, notes, and signature. These templates are easy to tailor to your needs, even for busy medical professionals.
Optimized for mobile use
Our app is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Whether at home or on the go, our app makes it easy to fax remotely. We provide a convenient way to access your documents on any mobile device, no matter where you are.
In-app notifications and email alerts make it easy to track your document. You will get a notification as soon as a fax is delivered or received so that you can stay on top of your business communications.
Experience hassle-free mobile faxing at affordable prices suitable for individuals and businesses.
Download the iFax app for free on Android and iOS.