As technology continues to transcend and redefine healthcare, healthcare providers are able to utilize telehealth technologies to advance both client health outcomes and business operations.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more healthcare providers are embracing the utilization of telehealth technology and implementing innovative processes to:
- Make care more accessible and engaging for patients
- Create a resilient healthcare system that can function effectively both online and offline
Amongst concerns for the safety and security of telehealth, is ensuring that the telehealth technology you choose follows HIPAA telehealth requirements for wellness services.
To help you narrow down the search, here’s Healthie’s list of the best HIPAA compliant video conferencing software options for wellness professionals. While platforms are tailored for healthcare providers, others are standard video conferencing tools with the option for HIPAA-compliance.
1. Zoom for Healthcare
More than ever, clients are seeking flexibility and convenience from their healthcare providers. Telehealth allows nutrition professionals to connect with clients for virtual one-on-one or group sessions. Zoom is a telehealth platform that enables group video conferences, allows wellness providers to host webinars, and record sessions for future use.
Aside from Zoom’s free video-conferencing offerings, they also feature a HIPAA and HITECH compliant plan for healthcare providers and organizations. This plan makes it easy to offer the same quality of healthcare while using telehealth: make use of the platform’s integrations with EHRs, such as Epic, and medical devices, and offer holistic examinations with far-reaching camera control. Additionally, Zoom for Healthcare allows you to collaborate with other providers on your team by annotating on the shared screen during meetings and appointments.
With high-quality video (even in poor service areas) wellness professionals find that Zoom consistently provides a professional telehealth call. If you host webinars or group calls in your practice, you’ll find that Zoom also has added features for an engaging group experience — share your screen, launch a poll, read questions from participants, and more.
Looking for a more comprehensive telehealth solution?
Designed for nutrition and wellness professionals, Healthie is a HIPAA-compliant practice management and telehealth platform. Healthie’s mission is to empower health professionals with the specific tools needed to work with clients and improve health outcomes — with telehealth being a core feature, along with scheduling, EHR, billing, and client engagement capabilities.
Conveniently accessed for both providers and clients, Healthie is cloud-based with login from the web browser or mobile app, compatible with Android and iOS devices.
Healthie’s HIPAA-compliant video call solution for telehealth enables private practices, clinics, and organizations to conduct both one-on-one and group virtual sessions. With a built-in Video Call feature, healthcare providers can host individual telemedicine sessions with clients — no plugins or additional downloads required.
Healthie’s integration with Zoom enables providers to conduct HIPAA-compliant group video chats, host webinars, and record sessions to subsequently share these with clients or add to an online Program within Healthie. This integration eliminates the need to pay Zoom’s subscription fees or have a separate Zoom login/account, streamlining everything you need for telehealth services into one program.
Get Started with Healthie Telehealth for free to manage all your wellness business’s needs.
Doxy.me is another simple and easy-to-use tool for telehealth services. With no download required, it is easily accessible for both you and your clients. It is also HIPAA, GDPR, PHIPA/PIPEDA, & HITECH compliant, so your clients can rest assured their information is safe.
Doxy.me is great for providers with high volumes of clients, as each client can “check-in” on the platform prior to their appointment so you know they have arrived, and then wait in the patient queue for their appointment. This can help you streamline your appointment flows, and save time transitioning between clients. There is also a live chat feature within the platform, allowing you to communicate with clients prior to and during the appointment in order to give updates and share resources. You can access their BAA on their website for complete HIPAA-compliance.
4. Webex for Healthcare
Webex for Healthcare is another option for offering telehealth services to your clients and patients. Accessible from your computer or mobile device, Webex allows you to easily connect with your clients while ensuring HIPAA-compliance.
You can share your screen to show clients resources or important information, or host group sessions and webinars for extra income. Webex is also ideal for group practices or organizations because you can use it to send documents to other providers, host team meetings, or training sessions, while still keeping client and organization information secure.
GoToMeeting was designed as a general telecommunication software but still meets HIPAA-requirements, making it a plausible option for healthcare providers looking for secure telehealth solutions. Like many of the other telehealth platforms, GoToMeeting allows for screen sharing so that you can share resources with your clients, recording capabilities to save appointments for future use, and both video and conference calling to allow clients to join however they are most comfortable.
GoToMeeting is accessible from your mobile device or computer and allows you to expand your telework capabilities beyond just seeing patients. Host conferences, webinars, or training sessions for other providers and employees. You can bundle the platform’s different services to find a package that fills the needs of you and your organization.
How do you know if your software is HIPAA-compliant?
HIPAA-compliance ensures that the method you use to communicate with clients, share personal information, and hold appointments will store the data safely, and protect both you and your clients from any breach in security.
Unfortunately, many free and commonly used methods of communication. In order for your telehealth software to be compliant, they must first and foremost sign a Business Associate’s Agreement, or BAA. According to HHS, a business associate is “a person or entity, other than a member of the workforce of a covered entity, who performs functions or activities on behalf of, or provides certain services to a covered entity that involve access by the business associate to protected health information.”
A business associate may be:
- Your EHR platform, like Healthie
- Video conferencing software
- A clearinghouse that files insurance claims
Under HIPAA laws, covered entities (i.e. your wellness business) must have a BAA with the third-party (business associate). The contract will describe how the third party protects and secures the PHI to which they have access, and outline the “uses and disclosures of the protected health information by the business associate.”
In addition to a BAA, there are additional safeguards the third-party must have in place to ensure total protection of your clients’ information. These include administrative safeguards, such as login monitoring and password management, physical safeguards, like data backup and storage, and access control safeguards, like automatic logoff. When examining a telehealth software, you should be able to see which of these safeguards the third-party has put in place and how they are used to protect PHI.
The Importance of Telehealth Care
As technology continues to advance, we are able to expand our scope of practice well beyond the clients and patients we see in person. Especially given our current global situation, telehealth is extremely important for providing care to those with a need for increased flexibility and accessibility.
Telehealth allows for decreased cancellations due to work, child care, or travel issues, since appointments can be held remotely. It also creates more opportunities for client engagement and rapport-building between you and your client.
At times, as during the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth capabilities become crucial for ensuring the safety of both you and your client while you provide the necessary services. Ensuring that your business has telehealth capabilities in place, allows you to easily transition between in-person and virtual services as circumstances require — adding a layer of resilience to your business operations.
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