Officials state that small scale breaches of privacy often cause the most harm.  According to the ProPublica Report, violations that expose the health details of just a patient or two are “proliferating nationwide”.  For a full list of HIPAA breaches and fines, you can visit OCR’s Breach Portal.

Doctors, PAs, CNPs, and other providers who care for patients need to take patient privacy seriously.  The truth is, if you can’t make sure your patient’s information and records are secure, you aren’t likely to be in business very long.  Many providers may think, “It won’t happen to me,” but in today’s litigious environment, are you willing to take the risk?   If exposed, one single large infraction could ruin your reputation and close down your practice.

Those who are found to be insufficiently compliant with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) are subject to facing hefty fines – typically $10,000 per infraction.

free pilot

Today, doctors are on the go.  Many are leaving their outpatient practice to provide rounding at various locations.  Nursing homes, multiple hospitals, surgery centers, rehab centers, and even patient homes are some of the places doctors may go to see patients on a daily basis.

And, solutions to securing your practice need not be costly.  Below are 4 things you can do right now to significantly reduce your exposure to violating privacy laws:

1. Use a Secure Text Messaging Platform

If you are texting private patient information on your smart phone or tablet, this is a direct violation of HIPAA requirements.  Messaging provided via text is NOT HIPAA compliant and you must switch to a SECURE messaging platform.  Every single text sent would count as a violation, which could quickly add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

2. Use a Protected Emailing Service

All PHI (Personal Health Information) emailed must be sent using a protected email service.  Email must be encrypted electronically to meet the standards set to restrict access to, protect the integrity of, and guard against the unauthorized use of PHI.

3. Fax with Caution

HIPAA does not address faxing patient data specifically, but, like any type of health information, it is protected under the privacy rule. Healthcare professionals need to understand that faxed patient information can easily fall into the wrong hands, which would be a violation of privacy and subject to fines.

4. Ditch Paper

In my last blog, “Top 5 Reasons for Clinical Practices to GO PAPERLESS in 2019”, you can learn why it is time for you and your practice to get rid of paper.  Paper is probably one of the greatest exposure risks of the 4 listed in this blog, as it can easily be lost or misplaced.

Collaboration while providing rounding services for doctors who see patients outside of their outpatient practice is vital.  With the right resources in place, doctors can effectively communicate with the entire team effortlessly.  Utilizing a secure messaging tool that is “patient centric” enables the entire team to participate on the treatment plan for the patient.  Utilizing this technology enables the doctor to securely message and receive messages about an individual patient, enabling each team member to visibly see the correspondence.  The efficiencies and heightened communication are invaluable, and provide better care and outcomes for the patient.

Continuity of care requires effective team collaboration.  Great continuity of care = better outcomes for patients.  Better outcomes for patients = reduced healthcare costs to our industry.

You can collaborate safely and privately.  You can provide better care for your patients by collaborating more, improving processes and efficiencies and decreasing risk.  Act now and put effective processes in place and protect YOU and YOUR practice NOW.

Call us today to learn how HybridChart’s robust secure messaging and collaboration features can help you communicate effectively and securely.

Meet EVOLVE by HybridChart – Our fourth generation software platform.

Take control of your entire workflow through a user-friendly solution created by a physician. Medical software too often fails to address the specific needs of providers. Rounding at one or more hospitals presents a unique challenge. There is the need for effective team collaboration and easy charge capture. Census management means true collaboration among provider and staff. Rounding at multiple facilities just got way easier. Covering on-call now has the luxury of essential information for clean hand-offs. Charge capture takes less than five seconds. Diagnoses are easy to find and follow the patient. Customized charge menus make it easy to enter the correct charge. Don’t let billing for your work slow you down. Charge in real-time and focus on caring for the patient.

HybridChart has numerous levels of safeguards against missed charges. The Charge Checker feature will scan every day of an admission and assure there are charges. Using the Charge Matrix you have visibility of all charges from multiple providers per day for any given patient.

Most practices see a revenue increase of 8-10% after using HybridChart – attributed to capturing every charge for every patient. Charges are complex enough with just the diagnosis codes and charge codes. To make your charges accurate HybridChart allows you to easily adjust the Date of Service and assign Secondary Billers such as nurse-practitioners and physician assistants. Modifiers can be built into specific Billing Modules or choose from a customized list managed by your practice. Seamlessly navigate our Charge Capture workflow and save time without losing accuracy.

An automated charge capture system may be the most profitable investment that you can make in your practice today.

You can instantly boost your revenue by 10% using our modern, high-tech and easy-to-implement charge capture system.

Smarter Rounding and Workflow Software for Doctors

At HybridChart, we provide technology that connects your healthcare team, increases efficiencies, AND improves your bottom line. HybridChart’s cloud-based software adapts to your practice’s unique workflow and will improve your profitability and patient outcomes by utilizing our 5 features: census management, charge capture, secure messaging, discharge management, and data analytics.

NEVER miss another charge and get PAID for the work you do!

If you are interested in taking your medical practice to the next level and want to employ the best hospital charge capture practice available in the industry, come visit our website at, or call us at 1-877-684-0608 for a demo today!

VP of Clinical Operations and Client Success HybridChart, Inc.
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Stacey Schaefer is Vice President Clinical Operations for HybridChart. She has spent the last twenty-five years in Healthcare executive leadership, clinic/hospital administration and physician recruiting/relations/retention. She resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.