LCHM Summer 2018 - 8

FEATURE

Know Your Risk
The Use of Smartphones in Patient Care

BY SUZETTE BENEDICK, MBA, CHC, CMM
CAO Valley Kidney Specialists, PC 2018 President Lehigh Valley PAHCOM Chapter

A

t this stage of the HIPAA and Privacy
Rule we should be well versed in the
use of mobile devices in healthcare.
Our compliance programs should
include policies and standards regarding auditing,
protection, authorized use, and destruction of data
stored on mobile devices as part of our arsenal to
protect ourselves and the organization. However,
even with policies and standards in place, one
of the biggest challenges to our physicians and
medical practices today are protecting patient
data on mobile devices. The U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office
of Civil Rights (OCR)ยน, is investigating covered
entities (physicians, physician practices, hospitals,
pharmacies, etc.) to make sure their mobile device
policies are sufficient to protect patient rights and
8 Lehigh County Health & Medicine | SUMMER 2018

also to make sure these policies are enforced by
the organization.
Along with the OCR, the patient has a
vested interest in protecting his/her Protected
Health Information (PHI). Our patients are
educated about the Privacy Rule and the HIPAA
law that protects their rights. Patients receive
Privacy Rule updates from us; they also receive
information from their health insurance carriers
and the government regarding their rights. Your
customers, patients and their families have a
level of expectation that you will follow those
rules and protect their PHI. With all of these
regulations, how do we protect or lower your
risk when using a smartphone to care for and
communicate with your patient?

Texting with a colleague or the patient is one
method of communication that falls under
the Privacy Rule. The smartphone must have
security access; this can be a password and/or
bio-metric scan to open or access the device and
its application software (app). The smartphone
should also have time-out settings that closes
access to the smartphone and apps when not
in use. Texting patient PHI should only occur
within an app that uses encryption software to
send/receive PHI. Most text encrypted apps have
the ability to "invite" the recipient of the text to
open the message in an encrypted format that
protects and stores the data. However, before
sending that PHI loaded text you should make
sure the text encryption you are using protects
you in sending/receiving transmissions and when



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of LCHM Summer 2018

LCHM Summer 2018 - 1
LCHM Summer 2018 - 2
LCHM Summer 2018 - 3
LCHM Summer 2018 - 4
LCHM Summer 2018 - 5
LCHM Summer 2018 - 6
LCHM Summer 2018 - 7
LCHM Summer 2018 - 8
LCHM Summer 2018 - 9
LCHM Summer 2018 - 10
LCHM Summer 2018 - 11
LCHM Summer 2018 - 12
LCHM Summer 2018 - 13
LCHM Summer 2018 - 14
LCHM Summer 2018 - 15
LCHM Summer 2018 - 16
LCHM Summer 2018 - 17
LCHM Summer 2018 - 18
LCHM Summer 2018 - 19
LCHM Summer 2018 - 20
LCHM Summer 2018 - 21
LCHM Summer 2018 - 22
LCHM Summer 2018 - 23
LCHM Summer 2018 - 24
LCHM Summer 2018 - 25
LCHM Summer 2018 - 26
LCHM Summer 2018 - 27
LCHM Summer 2018 - 28
LCHM Summer 2018 - 29
LCHM Summer 2018 - 30
LCHM Summer 2018 - 31
LCHM Summer 2018 - 32
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Fall19
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Summer19
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Spring19
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Winter18
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Fall18
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMSummer18
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMSpring18
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMWinter2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMWinter18
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/Fall2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMSummer2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMSpring2017
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com