The majority of industry vertical depends on email to communicate crucial data and meeting requests. And that same applies to the healthcare industry. The nurses, specialists, and doctors need to communicate with one another regarding patient care to fix their treatment. Hence, healthcare professionals must keep their private data secure.
The healthcare industry needs to ensure that their email system is HIPAA compliant. It is also essential to have compliant cloud storage and backup when discussing matters related to patient issues. Today, close to 281 billion emails get sent daily. Hence, the medical industry must stay HIPAA compliant. As Google’s free service, everyone has access to Gmail. The question is, can you use it for maintaining HIPAA compliance. You need to know about HIPAA compliance needs and whether Gmail can act as a new-age system to address medical correspondence. To learn more, you can refer to this Trustifi’s article.
Gmail, by itself, isn’t HIPAA compliant
You can create a Gmail account easily. And with an active user-base of one billion, Gmail happens to be the leading email service worldwide. The source of the problem lies here! Such a personal email isn’t compliant.
However, before deciding whether any email service is compliant with HIPAA laws or not, you need to know about the same.
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) aims to secure the patients’ sensitive personal information. HIPAA laws manage how healthcare and insurance providers can use and disclose their Protected Health Information (PHI).
Things that make an email HIPAA compliant
If an email provider wants to become HIPAA compliant, it needs to sign the BAA (Business Associate Agreement).
A BAA is a contract between anyone and a healthcare provider with whom they do business that provides them access to secure health data. An email service is the best example of a third party with the scope to get access to patient data.
Hence, any email provider willing to assist a healthcare provider should sign the BAA. When an email provider doesn’t sign the BAA, it means it’s not HIPAA compliant.
Third-Party encryption is essential for complete compliance
It is possible to encrypt the emails making use of GSuite! However, it doesn’t cater to the encryption needs to stay HIPAA compliant.
Goole makes use of TLS (Transport-Layer Security) to assist in encrypting emails in transit.
However, according to a statistic that Google published, about 10% of the emails received and sent stay unprotected. It is under any limit that gets accepted to comply with the HIPAA guidelines.
Users must know that Google for GSuite scans emails automatically for spam and various other important security prevention. Back in 2017, Google has stopped checking public-emails for any keyword research.
Hence, for Gmail to become HIPAA compliant, it is essential to resort to third-party encryption. That service will successfully encrypt the emails from one inbox to another inbox, enabling the healthcare providers to ensure that the emails are HIPAA compliant. It will keep all the patient information secured.