Are Text Messages HIPAA Compliant?

As more and more people are using mobile and wireless devices, a new buzzword has emerged: mHealth. According to a National Institute of Health consensus group, mHealth is "the use of mobile and wireless devices to improve health outcomes, healthcare services and health research." Historically, the biggest gaps and HIPAA violations have been linked to either the loss of or improper use of these types of devices, so healthcare providers need to pay close attention to their policies and procedures regarding these devices.

When mobile and wireless devices are used, additional precautions must be taken to ensure that all HIPAA protocols are met. Two areas that are coming under increasing scrutiny are appointment reminders and text messaging because they tend to more easily lend themselves to HIPAA violations. To more thoroughly address this problem, watch for detailed information in an upcoming ChiroCode Hot Topics Newsletter.

For additional information regarding HIPAA, please refer to the publication Complete & Easy HIPAA Compliance which includes the more detailed information that healthcare providers need to understand HIPAA.