5 Tips On How To Send Text Message Appointment Reminders And Remain HIPAA Compliant
Now that physicians can send text message appointment reminders to their patients, HIPAA compliance is something that needs to be discussed more openly. While having the ability to provide text message appointment reminders to patients is great, ensuring HIPAA compliance is even better.
Physicians who are looking to remain in touch with their patients and remain HIPAA compliant would do well to read on and learn more. Let's take a closer look at the following tips so that text message appointment reminders can be sent without running afoul of HIPAA laws in the process.
Update The Notice of Privacy Practices
This is a crucial step that is often ignored in these instances. We need to make sure that this notice remains fully up to date before text messages are sent. Certain pieces of vital information must be included as well. In order to stay fully up to date on these matters, we must include information about successfully opting in for said appointments. The patient will need to be provided with options to do so with their e-mail account or through SMS text messaging.
Notice of Privacy Practices Clarity
The Notice of Privacy Practices needs to be written in a clear and concise manner that can be easily understood. If it is not explicitly clear and easy for the patient to understand? We could potentially run afoul of HIPAA laws once the information is shared. The message that is sent should state the purpose clearly and provide the recipient with a call to action that can be acted upon with relative ease.
Regular Verification of Contact Information
Patients are not always going to remain in the same location or have the same contact information. That's why we must take the time and effort to find out as much as possible about their current status. The best way to do so is by asking for regular verification of their contact information. This keeps us from potentially making major mistakes as far as sending out personal information that is allowed to fall into the wrong hands by mistake.
Create an Additional Opt In
People's attention spans can be short and this is especially true when we are reading text messages. Creating an additional opt in will keep issues that are related to speedy reading from having a chance to take place. Since so many people are not going to take the time to read the full Notice of Privacy Practices, it is crucial that we provide these patients with a second opt in so that mistakes are not being made.
Offer The Chance To Select a Preferred Method of Contact
The patient should always be given a chance to select their own preferred method of contact when these types of text messages are being sent. They should also be provided with the ability to select an outreach method outside of text messaging and/or e-mailing if that is their personal desire. This is a simple way to avoid all of the concerns that are typically associated with HIPAA compliance.
Text Message Appointment Reminders Hipaa