The healthcare landscape has changed since the passage of HIPAA in 1996. One of the biggest events has been the wide adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). With the rise of EHRs has come the need for a way to sign electronic documents that adhere to HIPAA rules.
Many electronic signature solutions are on the market, but not all are HIPAA-compliant. Systems that collect, store, and send patient data must meet rules to qualify as compliant.
So, read on if you want to know the HIPAA regulations. We will discuss why electronic signatures are necessary and how to choose a HIPAA-compliant device.
What Are HIPAA Regulations?
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a set of US federal rules protecting the privacy of patient data. It became a law in 1996, and HIPAA regulations started in 2003.
HIPAA consists of two parts: the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule. The Privacy Rule sets rules for the use and disclosure of patient health information. The Security Rule creates protections to prevent access to or use of patient data.
If you want to collect patient signatures, the system must be HIPAA compliant. So what is an electronic signature system?
What Is an Electronic Signature System?
An e-signature system is a method of verifying electronic documents using digital signatures. The confirmation of the signer’s identity and the documented safety are all possible with this system.
They're often used for high-value or sensitive documents, such as legal agreements. It can also provide a higher level of security than old paper-based signature systems.
Electronic Signatures Systems That Are HIPAA Compliant
There are a few different electronic signature solutions that are HIPAA compliant. They make the online signing of healthcare documents possible. It also includes the protection of the data according to HIPAA regulations.
As someone that will incorporate e-signatures in the healthcare system, you should know and understand the HIPAA regulations fully. This should be treated as a prerequisite before incorporating electronic signatures into the healthcare system.
Two of the most popular solutions include;
DocuSign is a popular electronic signature service that is often used in healthcare. It is software that allows you to create and manage electronic signatures easily. Besides, DocuSign is simple to use; you can access it from any device with an internet connection.
The company recently updated its terms of service to follow the HIPAA privacy law. As a result, DocuSign can now sign HIPAA-compliant documents. This is good news for healthcare providers who use DocuSign, as it ensures the safety of patient data.
The HIPAA privacy law is a federal law that protects the privacy of patient health data. Health firms who use DocuSign can now be sure that the law protects their patient data.
Adobe Sign is a software that allows patients to sign their consent forms. This means that patients' data is safe, and only those with access can open it. It is also in compliance with HIPAA.
HIPAA is a federal law that protects patients' health data privacy. This means that patient health information is safe and secure when using Adobe Sign.
Whichever tool you choose, ensure that it meets all the criteria in the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
How Does an Electronic Signature System Work?
An electronic signature system works by encrypting the document with a digital signature. A digital signature is a unique code generated using your data, such as your name or address. This signature is then attached to the document you are signing.
It will then create a signature record, which you can use as evidence in a dispute. This signature will be binding and valid as a handwritten signature.
The signature verifies that the document was not rigged with and came from the person who signed it. E-signatures are becoming popular as more firms are going online. They offer a convenient and secure way to sign documents and make transactions.
The Risk of Not Having a HIPAA Compliant Electronic Signature System
Many e-signature systems are on the market, but not all comply with HIPAA. This can have a severe effect on health firms that use these means to collect patient data. For example, if a system is not HIPAA compliant, it could put patient data at risk.
Encryption is one of the primary methods for achieving HIPAA compliance. This means that patient data is secure from cybercriminals.
Without encoding, patient data will be unsafe for anyone who can forcefully enter the system. It could lead to a data breach, which could risk the security of patient data.
Another risk of not using a HIPAA-compliant e-signature system is that it could lead to fines. The HIPAA Privacy Rule ensures the protection of patient data from illegal access.
Healthcare firms should always ensure that their electronic signature system is HIPAA compliant. Failure to do so could severely affect the business and the patients it serves.
How to Get a HIPAA Compliant Electronic Signature System
You need to consider a few things when looking for a HIPAA-compliant device.
- The system must be able to encrypt and decrypt PHI (protected health information).
- Next, the system must be able to track who has accessed the PHI.
- The system must be able to verify the identity of the signer.
- After signing the document, the system must be able to stop changes.
- The system must have an audit trail to show who has signed what and when.
- There are a few different companies that offer HIPAA-compliant e-signature systems. You'll want to compare features and pricing to find the right one for your needs.
- You can also check if the firm has certification from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
You can find the perfect HIPAA-compliant device for your business with some homework.
The Electronic Signature System and Your Business
Many vital documents need signing, and running a firm can be time-consuming and complex. This is where electronic signature systems come in. With an electronic signature system, you can sign online docs, saving you a lot of time and hassle.
An e-signature system that adheres to HIPAA rules is a great way to ensure the safety of patient data. This system can help prevent unauthorized access to protected health information. It also ensures that only authorized individuals have access to it.
Many electronic signature systems adhere to HIPAA regulations. DocuSign and Adobe Sign are two of the most popular ones available. These systems' purpose is to safeguard patient health data's privacy.