HIPAA violations, the bane of Healthcare IT specialists around the country, are a large problem for many doctors, nurses, and healthcare administrators. Physicians find it easy to communicate with texting, but the vulnerability of these platforms and the sensitive nature of the data they are communicating, make it a bad solution. Balancing security and the importance of physician-to-physician communication is no easy task and the consequences are very high. HIPAA violations have cost large hospitals, as well as small practices, large sums of money and made collaborating with their colleagues very difficult. ( As seen in this Infographic ) One major example of a large organization that has fallen victim to bad privacy policies in their operations is the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). They were forced to pay $1.7 million to settle the dispute. This kind of fine is expected when a hospital has a large breach. In actuality, a flash drive suspected of containing ePHI was stolen along with a vehicle. There was no concrete evidence that the USB even contained ePHI. As this example shows, even small infractions can be quite costly.HIPAA Violations on Small Healthcare PracticesSmall practices are also affected by HIPAA violations. In 2008, a nurse accidentally revealed patient information to her husband through text messaging and he later used them in a suit against the patient. This nurse was terminated and the private practice was fined $250,000 for HIPAA violations. Fines like these not only affect hospitals and medical practices financially but also affect reputation among peer groups. With the increased use of smart devices in the healthcare, the risk is only going to rise. qliqSOFT and several others have developed applications to help ease the implementation of HIPAA compliance. For example, qliqSOFT’s qliqConnect can be used by everyone within the medical field. It allows for texting, sending patient files, images, lab results and more in an encrypted and safe format.
As always implementing any new IT solution has hidden costs of training and support even if the such solution is free. However, QliqSOFT has made it as easy as setting up a linkedIn group and built the application to mimic familiar SMS on iphone & Android and instant messaging on desktop computers.
With encryption of data on the device, end-to- end encryption of messages between sender and receiver and advanced security features such as idle lockout, remote lock, and remote wipe of data in the event of lost or misplaced device, the risk of HIPAA violation is reduced significantly for texting.
With over two decades of technology entrepreneurship background, Krishna Kurapati started QliqSOFT with the strong desire to solve clinical collaboration and workflow challenges in US Healthcare. During the late 90s, Krishna co-founded IPCell to build the first Cable IP Telephony switch, eventually selling the company to Cisco Systems. In 2003, he started Sipera (acquired by Avaya Systems) to solve security issues for Unified Communications' and raised over $30MM in venture funding. Additionally, he has been actively involved in the early-stage financing of startups in both the US and India.
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Symptom checkers can increase patient access by providing guidance and visit qualification checks 24 hours a day. They break down barriers by providing patients with the information they need most during those times when it can be difficult to reach a provider. The tools are also helping prevent misdiagnoses in these situations.
It is critical that underserved populations receive the care they deserve, as the global community continues to wrestle with the pandemic. Here at QliqSOFT, we are aware of the communication gap that too often exists in hospitals and clinics, ultimately keeping individuals from preventative and life-saving care.