Why does your organization need HIPAA-compliant email marketing? It’s simple. Businesses in the healthcare field (and those that process their data) have many of the same needs as other companies. They need to be able to get their messages out, so that they can help more people and drum up more business.
Whether it’s HIPAA-compliant bulk email or emails that are specific to the individual, the messages need to be sent in a way that abides by the regulations, both to protect the privacy of patients, and to avoid legal penalties.
When Should You Send HIPAA-compliant Email Marketing?
HIPAA-compliant email marketing is critical whenever your organization could potentially be sending electronic protected health information (ePHI). This is information that is both individually identifiable and relates to someone’s healthcare.
Individually identifiable means information that can be connected with the person. This includes identifiers like their name, address, birth date, email address, social security number and much more. Not only does the definition of ePHI cover people’s past, present and future health condition, but it also includes treatment provisions and billing details.
While anonymous health details or individual identifiers sent by themselves are not covered by the law, when the two are brought together you need to be careful and abide by HIPAA regulations. You will need a HIPAA-compliant email marketing service whenever you send ePHI, and it’s best to err on the safe side even if you think an email may not contain ePHI.
A good example of a borderline case would be a newsletter sent around to all of a clinic’s cancer patients. While the email may contain helpful information, it could also end up breaching the patients’ privacy and HIPAA regulations.
This is because the emails are sent to an address, which is a personal identifier. If the message was only sent out to cancer patients rather than to many different people, then the email could be considered ePHI, since being a recipient of the message would effectively declare that the recipient was a cancer patient.
While this may sound like a stretch, it’s also important to consider that normal email isn’t secure. If a politician or a CEO’s email was intercepted and this information released, it could cause damage to their careers and take some agency away from their lives.
This is just one example of why it’s crucial to err on the safe side and use HIPAA-compliant email marketing for any promotional materials whenever there is even the slightest possibility of sending ePHI.
On the other hand, if you have a HIPAA-compliant email marketing solution that allows for the sending of ePHI in email messages, then you can leverage ePHI to send much more effective messages. You have a much larger return on your effort.
HIPAA-compliant Bulk Email Solution
Finding an appropriate service for HIPAA-compliant bulk email marketing can be challenging. Most of the common vendors aren’t HIPAA compliant at all. Others claim compliance, but still require you to not send anything sensitive via email (because they do not actually secure the email messages). Finding one that can suit your business needs and can also protect the actual email messages is difficult.
Thankfully, LuxSci’s High Volume Secure Email has been designed to cater to both needs. Security and compliance are considered at every step of the way, while still delivering a top-quality product that fits right into your organization’s workflows.