When it comes to healthcare, the distance between the healthcare facility and patients plays an important role in achieving better results. HIPAA compliant video conferencing platforms have an important role to play during this situation.
Patients who had facilities located far from their living place had the worst outcomes on their health in comparison to others. This study on distance and health clearly shows that there is a need for telehealth services to improve the entire journey and outcomes of treatment.
To overcome this barrier of distance, Telehealth has been playing an important role in Healthcare IT. Telehealth is a non-clinical service defined by HRSA as Electronic information and telecommunications technologies used for the following things –
- Patient care in long distant location
- Health educations for professional and patients
- Administration of health services
Telehealth technology for rural and other areas is used for following services –
- live-interactive video conferencing,
- Remote monitoring,
- Store and forward imaging,
- Provider education
- Streaming media
Video Conferencing & HIPAA
For achieving this you need some HIPAA compliant video conferencing platforms. Before you choose any video conferencing platforms, you need to make sure that those platforms can protect the e-PHI (protected health information) likes videos in this case. Not doing so can lead to huge fines from the office of civil rights.
You can read about HIPAA fines. Most of these fines are caused by human error for the leaking of e-PHI data into the public domain.
What you should look for before choosing a video conferencing platform:
- HIPAA Compliant (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
- Willing to sign BAA (Business Associate Agreement)
I will not touch the above points but they are a vast topics in their own and if you require knowledge on them then let me know in the comment section and I will publish a guide.
HIPAA & BAA
HIPAA is in place to protect e-PHI data of the patient. It is a process by which business associates and covered entities safeguard patients’ information. Below is the information that comes under e-PHI data.
- Telephone Number
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Medical records
- Any other information which can be used to identify the person using e-PHI.
The HIPAA security guidelines explain how this e-PHI should be encrypted, transmitted and how and who should have access to this data. Also, it includes the guidelines to follow in case there is a breach of e-PHI data. The covered entities also should make sure that there is a BAA agreement signed for protecting and safeguarding the e-PHI data.
This BAA signed by the covered entities is a pact that ensures that risk is shared between them. They can also be held responsible if there is any breach in e-PHI from their end.
Features to look before choosing Video conferencing platform
- The first and foremost feature before choosing the right video conferencing platform is to know if they will sign the BAA with you.
- Does the platform comes with HIPAA guidelines for an end to end encryption for communication and media sharing
- If there is a solution available that is industry-specific and used by other same industry companies like yours.
- Audit control for the access log to e-PHI and any activity around that.
- Encryption in motion and at rest for the secure transmission of e-PHI
Best HIPAA compliant video conferencing
Here is the list of best HIPAA compliant video conference platforms
VSEEE is HIPAA compliant platform for video conferencing. It gives you military-grade security encryption ensuring the safety of e-PHI. It has all the features that you would require like text messages and document sharing facilities. Some of the more features are following
- 256-bit AES encryption for secure video chat with patients
- Works with 3G Cellular devices
- Easy creation and saving of health records like CT Scan and EHR records
- Send pictures in the text message
- Records videos locally
The cost starts from Free basic messenger to peripheral messenger at $299/account/mo.
Gotomeeting comes with all the standard features and a lot more. Talk about encryption and other security steps it is a full package. User identification and automatic logoff features are something that some other Softwares lag.
- Secure Screen Sharing
- Secure transmission of e-PHI over encrypted networks
- Person authentication when someone access the information
- Safely sharing of files and e-PHI data
- Administrative controls during online meeting
The plans start from $12//organizer /month to enterprise custom solutions which you can avail after discussing your requirement with them.
Chiron helps you get connected with your patients over secured and HIPAA compliant video conference calls. It comes automotive features where you can set up appointments and patients will get links and instruction to join the video calls. Some of the features are following –
- Secure HIPAA peer to peer connection
- Easy and secure payment module
- Automatic appointment booking for reminders facility for patients
- Smart work flows to implement and attain efficiency
The price starts from $150/ per provider and you can contact them for enterprise solution plans.
Lifesize comes with one of the best quality-wise Video conference platforms which is also HIPAA compliant. You can share documents and share your screen over secured and encrypted networks for the safety of e-PHI. Some of the features are following
- End to End encryption for secure transmission of data
- One on one or multiple party calls
- Monitoring in real time
- Available on desktop, mobile and tablets
- Ability to host up-to 300 live persons
Their plans start from $0 for 6 months to $12.95 host/month Minimum of 50 hosts
megameeting is HIPAA compliant two way HD conference service with 16 people with audio and video participant can join. You can use browsers like chrome, firefox or safari for getting connected. One too many participant connectivities is also available. Some of the features are the following:
- Peer-to-Peer transmission with end-to-end encryption
- The invitation can be sent to people to attend the meeting
- Reminder emails before the meeting start
- Screen sharing functionality
- Secure chat which is encrypted
pricing starts from $19 Per Host | Per Month to $79 Per Host | Per Month
TheraNest is a completely secured HIPAA compliant video conferencing tool. Your invitees don’t need to download any special software or log in. They can just join the session using special invite links. It comes features like note templates that remind you of your last visit to your patient. The video session is secure and encrypted. Some more features are the following:
- Screen sharing facilities
- Ability to join session from any available device like phone, tablet or desktop
- Scheduling follow up sessions
- Patients can join from any location they want
- Encrypted videos sessions for HIPAA compliance
The pricing is on the basis of clients $1.08 per active client
You can also check out HIPAA compliant email service provider for safe and secure communications between patients and healthcare.
Let us know in the comment section if you have any other software to add.