With increasingly regulations and protection for patient privacy, medical professionals in the United States have to be more vigilant than ever about HIPPA compliance. This means not only in their own practices but also in third-party service providers, including in their choice of a medical call center.
Under current HIPPA requirements, it is the medical professionals duty to ensure that any third-party service provider (business associate) they use is fully HIPPA compliant. This can be very challenging with the large call centers that may have hundreds of staff, not all who may be up to date on the latest in HIPPA policy changes.
There are many medical call center facilities that are fully HIPPA compliant, but this means that those call centers have to hire very specific types of employees. In general, the HIPPA compliant facility will:
- Complete rigorous screening for all new employees, and continually check current employees for any potential issues that may pose security risks.
- Provide HIPPA compliance training and refresher courses as part of the ongoing employee training and support.
- Use only secure data and telecommunication lines into and out of the call center, with clearly written and concisely followed guidelines that all employees follow at all times.
- Provide routine audits and assessments on the practices of their call center employees as related to HIPPA requirements.
- Utilize correct disposal methods for any notes, information or patient identifiers that may be noted by the employees at the medical call center.
This added level of employee screening, ongoing training and security in the internal systems means that these call centers are typically costly to run. Some call centers may cut corners, train only supervisory staff or not implement the latest in security to help to reduce costs and keep their prices low.
The issue with HIPPA compliance training and enforcement can be eliminated as an ongoing cost by choosing an automated answering system that is both HIPPA compliant and also specialized for medical offices and facilities.
These systems allow multiple doctors to have their own unique message for their patients, to allow the processing of both emergency and non-emergency messages, and to provide full and complete security for patient information.
To make these systems even more appealing is the flat low monthly rate. Phone calls are answered on the first ring, information is left in the patient’s own words, and doctors can listen to the information and return emergency calls through the systems, ensuring full security throughout the entire communication.
Finally, and something that is very important to consider, HIPPA compliance changes can be easily addressed through the automated system provider. There will never be an untrained operator on the other end of the line, and patients will also have top quality messages that are personalized for their physician, clinic or healthcare service.
With No More Phone Tag, you will have a fully automated, HIPPA compliant answering system that is customized to your needs. Unlike a traditional live medical call center, we can offer full security through our systems.
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