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Schedulers That Use 3rd Party Synchronization With Mobile Devices Violate The HIPAA Regulations

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Author: Jim Peterson

If you are a medical practitioner that has been in business for a while, then you probably know that oftentimes due to the influx of patients, your staff might overlook some important details. This may be canceling an appointment, scheduling a patient or even fixing your schedule so that you may still be able to attend to the patients who are on your list even if you practice not only at your medical office but at other clinics or hospitals as well.

Because of the severity of this situation, program developers have come up with virtual medical receptionist software. This software serves as your receptionist's able helper. Through this software, a patient's medical appointment is well taken care of. How? Well, all the patient needs to do is create an account with your medical office's website. Once registered, he can then schedule an appointment through the integrated medical online scheduler. This medical scheduler allows him to set the date and time of his appointment, the reason why he's scheduling the appointment and the information then gets transmitted to your medical office in real time.

However, as efficient as it is, this virtual medical receptionist is not without any issues. Since patient information is very valuable and private, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA was passed in the United States in 1996. The HIPAA establishes rules for access, authentications, storage and auditing, and transmittal of medical records procured from medical online schedulers.

Now if the medical scheduler integrated in the virtual medical receptionist software you use in your medical office is on a 3rd party synchronization with some mobile devices, then there is a possibility that some provisions of the HIPAA are being breached. For example, under the HIPAA, it is stated that it is the patient's right to request that uses and disclosure of protected information be restricted. But this particular provision might be violated, not by your medical scheduler, but by the 3rd party service that performs the synchronization.

So if you do decide to use a virtual medical receptionist for your medical office, always make sure that everything integrated within the software, most especially the medical online scheduler, is in compliance with the rules of HIPAA to ensure smooth and free-flowing transactions between your clinic and your patients.

About the author: Are you looking for a medical receptionist service that supports secure schedule synchronization with your mobile phone? Try the AssistMedic virtual medical receptionist.

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