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complying with hipaa 2015

Lync: Guidelines for Complying with HIPAA 2015

Guidelines for complying with HIPAA privacy and security rules when using Lync

  • HIPAA requirements
  • Guidelines for securely storing and sharing sensitive data
  • Use disk encryption
  • Use a secure messaging application
  • Don’t save Lync call logs
  • Disable missed call notifications and voice mail text previews

To learn more about encryption and complying with HIPAA 2015, check out our FAQs section for encryption.

HIPAA Requirements

HIPAA compliance requires protected information to be encrypted when it’s “at rest” (i.e., in storage) and “in transit” (during transmission over a communications network). For further definition of these concepts, see Data Encryption.
All data “in transit” via Lync (for instant messaging, or voice or video conversations) are encrypted during transmission.
Information stored on servers is also encrypted. This, plus the additional measures of housing the Lync and Outlook servers in the CAM Hosted Exchange Data Center, and restricting physical and administrative access to them, satisfies one end of the “at rest” requirement.
However, the other end of the “at rest” requirement must be met client-side (i.e., on your computer). It is important that you (or your companies IT Pro) take the following recommended precautions to ensure the devices (e.g., computers, laptops, and mobile devices) and applications (e.g., Lync/Skype for Business, and Outlook) you use are properly secured to protect any sensitive data they store or transmit.

Guidelines for Securely Storing and Sharing Sensitive Data

CAM recommends taking the following precautions if you store or communicate data that contain protected health information (PHI) or other sensitive data protected by HIPAA.

Use Disk Encryption

Use disk encryption on any desktop system, laptop, or portable device you use to access or store sensitive data. We prefer DESLock Enterprise because of its central management capabilities.

Use a Secure Messaging Application

Use a secure messaging application, such as the Echoworx, when you use Outlook to forward email and voice mail messages containing sensitive data. See our Encrypted Email FAQs

Don’t Save Lync Call Logs

Make sure Lync is not saving your call logs (this applies to Windows computers only).

To do so:

  • In Lync, in the upper right corner, click the Options (gear) icon.
  • From the menu on the left, select Personal.
  • Make sure the box next to “Save call logs in my email Conversation History folder” is unchecked.
  • Click OK.
Disable Missed Call Notifications and Voice Mail Text Previews

Disable missed call notifications and voice mail text previews of voice messages; you must use the Outlook Web App (OWA) to access these settings.

To do so:

  • Log into OWA , and in the upper right, click the Settings (gear) icon. Click Options.
  • In the left navigation bar, click phone.
  • To disable missed call notifications, at the top, if necessary, click voice mail. Under “notifications” (you may need to scroll down), uncheck the box next to “Send an email message to my Inbox when I miss a phone call”. Additionally, if you have text message notifications set up, select I don’t want to receive text messages about missed calls and voice messages.
  • To disable text preview of voice messages, on the voice mail tab, under “voice mail preview”, uncheck the boxes next to “Include preview text with voice messages I receive” and “Include preview text with voice messages I send through Outlook Voice Access”.
  • To save your changes, in the bottom left, click save.
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5 Best Practices for Mobile Device Security in Healthcare

The specter of HIPAA is at the back of every health care provider’s mind, every day, in every interaction. Providers must constantly question if the information they are sharing, and how they are sharing it, falls within the law’s privacy guidelines. If they aren’t following the rules, they know, they could face significant fines and other consequences.

Yet for many providers, the same care and consideration that they give to conversations, emails, and other interactions doesn’t always extend to their mobile device use. Often, it’s assumptions about the security of their devices, as in, they believe that they are more secure than they really are, that leads to potential HIPAA violations, not to mention, creating the risk of a data breach. For that reason, it’s important that health care providers, and facilities, make mobile device security a bigger priority, in order to protect patient information and confidentiality.

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The Exponential Future of Patient Engagement

FrankFortnerIn October of 2014, I attended the CHIME fall conference and had the privilege of listening to Dr. Peter Diamandis, CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, and author of books such as “Abundance” and “Bold.” He brings an optimistic message about the value created through the exponential growth of certain technologies — that starts after they become “digitized,” yielding exponential leaps forward rather than small, linear steps. Examples include artificial intelligence, 3D printing, digital photography, and more. In short, once digitized, and after moving through the subsequent phases of: deception, disruption, demonetization, and dematerialization, a technology reaches the final stage of democratization — essentially it’s small, it’s cheap, and it’s everywhere! Just think about the computing power of your smartphone, its digital camera, and its instant access to more data than U.S. presidents had just 20 years ago!

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HIPAA Compliance: One Size Does NOT Fit All

HIPAA  compliance and regulations have pulled the rug out from under healthcare organizations across the country, exposing some major cracks in the foundation of healthcare data security processes.

Protecting patient data in a world of electronic health records and mobile workers was never going to be a walk in the park. However, meeting the complex (and often vague) requirements of HIPAA can seem like an insurmountable challenge, with information flowing across numerous interrelated and interdependent healthcare institutions, service providers, insurers and patients. Every day data moves between doctors and nurses inside the hospital, outsourced diagnostic services, pharmacies, labs, billing services, insurers, business associates, community nurses, home healthcare providers, rehab centers, clinics … the list goes on. Electronic patient information is communicated via LAN, WAN and through all forms of wireless devices, from laptops to smartphones to specialized handheld medical information devices.

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HHS Releases HITECH Act Final Rules

The Department of Health and Human Services has released the HITECH Act final rules for the electronic health record incentive program. Those rules, which address privacy and security, among other issues, include a rule spelling out how providers can demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs to earn additional incentive payments in Stage 3 and a rule setting 2015 health IT software certification criteria. Providers participating in the incentive program must use certified software.

The two final rules simplify requirements and add new flexibilities for providers to make electronic health information available when and where it matters most, HHS said in a statement.

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