How a physician’s request violated HIPAA Compliance
Earlier this week we received an interesting request from one of our customers. The customer is a physician who faced the following issue in the OR:
I am a physician who finds it inconvenient to constantly have to give the room circulator my pin number to see a page. Is there some workaround to this?
We immediately realized that while this might be a pain point for this physician and many other doctors, we could not comply with the request as it would be a HIPAA violation. Hospitals and clinics comply with HIPAA by having all communication tools with patient information automatically lock after 15 minutes of inactivity. This requires users to log back in. It is understandable that logging back into the doctor’s smartphone after a period of inactivity can be an annoyance and even slow down workflow. However, requiring physicians to do so is the best way to ensure sensitive information isn’t on display.
OnPage Pager Off Mode to the Rescue
While we are currently working with this customer to come up with a more customized solution, we suggested that during the times when the physician is in the OR all pages be sent to a member of the staff or another physician. With OnPage’s scheduler this can easily be managed. Notifications will automatically be escalated to the next physician on-call. If the alerted physician is busy and has OnPage in Pager Off mode, the alert will go to the next doctor.
OnPage features promote HIPAA compliance
OnPage features are designed to ensure HIPAA compliance. The app achieves this through:
- Requiring app and web console to both come with a sign-on process.
- Ensuring messaging through the app is completely secure. This even includes image and voice attachments sent along with the messages.
- A sophisticated and user-friendly web console audit trail that informs you when an alert or message is Sent, Delivered and Read. This ensures complete accountability and delivery. Read receipts allows for easy trackability when incidents occur.
- Enabling date and time stamps which are a part of every piece of communication that goes through OnPage.
- Customized messaging retention time frames. All contact lists are secure as well.
OnPage provides all these features right on your smartphone in a fashion that’s easy to set-up and use. We understand that the primary goal of a healthcare professional is to save lives and we want to aid in that process by making communication easy and secure