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HIPAA-Compliant Online Forms: Legal & Flexibility Considerations

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

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

While online forms have proven themselves to be useful in a range of 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 that they need to ensure their forms and the surrounding processes are secure and HIPAA-compliant.

Healthcare can complex from a legal perspective as well. With this in mind, it’s important for companies to protect themselves as much as they can. Potential loopholes in their forms are one aspect that is often overlooked, however it can be addressed easily. 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 important 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 when it comes to user rights and other agreements.

They commonly leave these agreements at the mercy of simple checkboxes, or even systems with more questionable legal ramifications. Although checkbox agreements are often held up in courts as legitimate, they do 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 huge consequences at stake in the healthcare niche that come from HIPAA violations and data breaches, it’s best for businesses to be a little paranoid about how they protect themselves. Thankfully, there are other systems that are a little more thorough than checkboxes.

One of these involves ink signatures. These can be implemented to make customers digitally sign their names, add in some identity verification, and to timestamp agreements. Together, these processes help to show both the individual’s intent and identity more clearly than a simple checkbox system (where the checkboxes could even be pre-checked) does. 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. A drag-and-and drop 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 allow them to integrate existing forms with just a few extra lines of code, rather than a wholesale rebuild.

LuxSci’s SecureForm

LuxSci’s SecureForm combines each of these features into a secure, HIPAA-compliant and customizable package. We offer three separate plans to suit the needs of different businesses. These are our Shared, Dedicated and Custom Enterprise solutions. This means that there is a SecureForm 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 a lot of trouble. For instance, you might have to pay a hefty fine.

Now, many organizations make use of 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 also manage the clients themselves.  They automate workflows and reduce paperwork.  They save time.

But, when it comes to healthcare information, there are obvious risks that 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?

Well, the answer is to create forms that are compliant with HIPAA standards. In this blog, we are going to list out 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 basically a hybrid agreement, in that, it is both, contractual and regulatory in nature. Essentially, the agreement satisfies all regulations under HIPAA and also establishes expectations and liability between the parties.

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Online Form Design Best Practices

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

Most businesses and organizations today use online forms to collect customer information. The same applies to healthcare companies. But, healthcare companies need to abide by stringent regulations concerning PHI or Protected Health Information under HIPAA.

So, it is of the utmost importance for such organizations to follow certain best practices when designing these forms. Let’s take a look at a few of them.


First and foremost, the data that is filled into the form must be secured when being transmitted, processed and stored. One way to do that is via encryption. Encryption secures form data by making it unreadable to those who do not have the access. This typically includes the browser and server.

SSL is one of the encryption options you can consider. It stands for Secure Sockets Layer and it’s basically a type of security protocol that secures the connection between sender and receiver. So, when data is transmitted, only the sender and receiver will have access to it. No third party can intercept and retrieve the data.

So, SSL encryption allows you to secure the submitted data during transmission.

You can make the data even more secure by adding an authentication layer. What that means is that only people who are authorized to view the data will be able to do so. This can go a long way in preventing unauthorized access.

Protect Yourself from Bots

Bots are automated programs that go poking around the Internet, looking for information, looking for system vulnerabilities, and looking for ways to send spam, among other things.  It is extremely common for such bots to automatically fill out and submit online forms … often with garbage or with spam.

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Web Site Forms or PDF Forms: Pros and Cons

Monday, December 14th, 2009

LuxSci’s SecureForm service is designed for collecting data posted from web site or PDF forms. We are often asked about the pros and cons of each method.  Here are some considerations when deciding which kind of form is best for you.

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SecureForm: Web or PDF Forms to Secure Email Service

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Secure Forms

LuxSci has released its new “SecureForm” service. Quickly make your web site or PDF forms secure and HIPAA compliant. Receive the form data, including uploaded files, via secure email or download the data securely from LuxSci’s web interface.

What forms types are supported by SecureForm?

  • Web site forms hosted anywhere
    • File uploads up to 50MB and 25 files per post
  • PDF forms hosted anywhere

How can you receive the form data?

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