Why It Is Crucial to Use a HIPAA-compliant Platform for Virtual Care During COVID-19

Importance of HIPAA-Compliant Communications

HIPAA-compliant communications are more important than ever in order to safely and securely engage patients amid the coronavirus pandemic.  Despite personal use of ad hoc video suppliers, home health agencies should leverage a HIPAA-compliant virtual care / telehealth platform which ensures the end-to-end security of communications and also has measures in place to prevent the accidental or malicious compromising of PHI.

Drawbacks & Downfalls of Ad Hoc Video Suppliers

Home health agencies should not use ad hoc video suppliers – even though HIPAA-compliant requirements have been temporarily waived – because of limitations such as:

  • Lack of Data Protection & Encryption: Because ad hoc video suppliers are not HIPAA-compliant, PHI is not protected against threats / hazards to the confidentiality, integrity, and security of patients’ data.
  • Poor Video Quality and Unstable Platform: The video experience of ad hoc suppliers was not designed to be robust and suitable for healthcare communications as well as any level of cellular or WiFi connectivity. Also, the performance of the video platform may be highly dependent on the data transmission at the streaming server end.
  • Access to Personal Contact Info: With ad hoc video suppliers, an agency’s staff would have to share their personal phone # and contact info in order to communicate with patients.  As a result, controlling inbound/outbound access is lost.
  • Lack of Reporting: Ad hoc video suppliers do not provide any reporting features.  If there is an issue (e.g., malpractice), the call records do not exist and participants cannot be traced without obtaining carrier approval and subpoenaing records.

Strengths of Synzi’s HIPAA-Compliant Platform

The Synzi platform is HIPAA compliant and operates in a HITRUST certified environment, ensuring the security of our technology today while future-proofing our solution to meet growing customer needs.  Our focus on supporting post-acute care organizations, along with our commitment to meeting the industry’s stringent regulations, truly sets Synzi apart from other video conferencing solutions. Home health agencies use Synzi to conveniently access and share PHI with patients, colleagues, defined care teams and medical personnel at care facilities.  SNFs and ALFs use Synzi to enable external staff (home health clinicians) to safely provide care if the clinicians are no longer allowed on site.  Synzi maintains the highest standards for security at every level (app, platform, and facilities) to keep patient and provider data private and safe.  Post-acute care organizations trust Synzi’s video and messaging telehealth / virtual care platform and are confident that patient-provider and provider-provider communications remain private and secure.

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