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HIPAA-Compliant Online Forms: Legal & Flexibility Considerations

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

Online forms are crucial for many companies’ data collection, processing, and communication. They can be used as a point of customer contact, for surveys, as part of legal agreements, and for gathering data. They can also be a critical element in an organization’s marketing process.

While online forms have proven helpful in various situations, they can also put healthcare organizations in a precarious position. Companies in this sector may use forms to collect or process ePHI, which means they need to ensure their forms and the surrounding processes are secure and HIPAA-compliant.

Healthcare can be complex from a legal perspective as well. With this in mind, companies need to protect themselves as much as possible. Potential loopholes in their forms are one aspect that is often overlooked. However, it can be addressed quickly. At the same time, organizations still need to have flexible tools that have all the features they need to complete their tasks effectively.

Ink Signatures

When it comes to the legal side of things, it’s essential to make sure that your organization is running a tight ship. Even the smallest errors or loopholes can have significant consequences. While many businesses are generally proactive in this arena, they often leave glaring holes in their forms regarding user rights and other agreements.

They commonly leave these agreements at the mercy of simple checkboxes or systems with more questionable legal ramifications. Although checkbox agreements are often held up in courts as legitimate, they have their problems.

It can be hard to prove the identity of who exactly checked a box, and technical forgeries are also possible. Due to the enormous consequences in the healthcare niche that come from HIPAA violations and data breaches, businesses should be a little paranoid about how they protect themselves. Thankfully, other systems are more thorough than checkboxes.

One of these involves ink signatures. These can be implemented to make customers digitally sign their names and add in some identity verification and timestamp agreements. Together, these processes help show both the individual’s intent and identity more clearly than a simple checkbox system (where the checkboxes could even be pre-checked). This can make agreements more difficult to renege on, giving companies more protection.

Since ink signatures can be completed with a mouse, stylus, or finger, they are far more user-friendly than digital signatures, which are complex and involve cryptography.

Online Form Flexibility

Organizations also need online forms that can be tailored to their specific needs. An HTML editor makes the process customizable yet simple, while an API can give them additional flexibility.

If a company already has an existing form but wants to secure it, it may not want to go to the effort of completely overhauling its setup. Thankfully, some options enable them to integrate existing forms with just a few extra lines of code rather than a wholesale rebuild.

LuxSci’s Secure Form

LuxSci’s Secure Form combines these features into a secure, HIPAA-compliant, and customizable package. We offer different plans to suit the needs of different businesses. This means that there is a Secure Form option to suit any company’s unique circumstances and meet its HIPAA compliance obligations.

What to Look for in a HIPAA-Compliant Online Form Builder

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

As a healthcare provider, or for that matter, any entity that works with healthcare clients, you are probably already aware of the fact that you cannot use traditional web forms to accept PHI (Protected Health Information). That would be a gross violation of the HIPAA regulations and can get you into trouble. For instance, you might have to pay a hefty fine.

Now, many organizations use online form builders to capture client or patient information. There is a reason for it – the forms make it much easier to collect patient information and manage the clients themselves. They automate workflows and reduce paperwork. They save time.

But, when it comes to healthcare information, obvious risks come into play. HIPAA regulations exist to minimize those risks by protecting patient data. But, how can organizations ensure that the data captured by such forms are protected?

The answer is to create forms that are compliant with HIPAA standards. This blog will list the key features that need to be included in a HIPAA-compliant online form.

Business Associate Agreement

First and foremost, a HIPAA-compliant form obtained through a third-party service must come with a BAA (Business Associate Agreement) from that third party. As you might know, a BAA is a hybrid agreement in that it is both contractual and regulatory. Essentially, the agreement satisfies all HIPAA regulations and establishes expectations and liability between the parties.

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Adding HIPAA Compliance to your Web Forms in 10 minutes

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Forms are pervasive on websites; the number of forms associated with medical websites is growing exponentially as everyone is scrambling toward digital transformation. The goal of a paperless office seeks to optimize time spent processing applications and managing patient data, speeding up the process of making appointments and getting referrals, meeting meaningful use, etc.

Web forms used in the medical industry generally have to be HIPAA-compliant, however, as they almost always involve the input and transfer of ePHI in one way or another. That presents a problem as the requirements for a HIPAA-compliant website are complex and take knowledgeable and experienced developers to implement and take extra time and money to get right — and you have to get things right where HIPAA is concerned.

So, this is where most people are:

  1. They have a website, which itself is likely not HIPAA-compliant yet
  2. They have some web forms already or maybe have some forms that they want to put up
  3. These forms will collect ePHI
  4. They need to set this up and have it be HIPAA-compliant and don’t want to spend a lot of money or time getting it going.

What they need is “HIPAA Form Processing.”

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