Communication Strategies and HIPPA
Valerie St Fort Colin
St Thomas University
NUR 422 AP2
Instructor Lisbet Henriquez
What electronic communication strategies are used at your organization to communicate with patients? Based on your organization’s HIPAA policy, how is patient privacy and confidentiality protected?
Presently, at my place of employment, we do not have an electronic communication system. All appointments and communications
are handled in house and face to face. For this assignment, I will discuss experience in regard to the usage of electronic use of electronic
communications. The widespread adoption of digital technology is a significant benefit for both health care providers and patients. We
have used different method of electronic communications; however, the most successful and useful one was the use of patient portals. It
is viewed as an asset for both patients and healthcare professionals. When patients have access to a personalized portal, they can access
critical clinical information about their health and treatment plans instead of waiting for a call back which can take a while as nurses are
not always able to get back to patients on a timely manner during clinic hours. In addition, portals can house invoices, support electronic
payments, and allow patients to schedule and cancel appointments. Some portals store a patient’s electronic health record or test results
so that the patient can access these critical data with ease. Patients can request medication refills, ask questions, schedule appointments
and message their physician directly.
According to Ronald Dendere (2019), Engaging patients in the delivery of health care has the potential to improve health
outcomes and patient satisfaction. Patient portals may enhance patient engagement by enabling patients to access their electronic
medical records (EMRs) and facilitating secure patient-provider communication. Promoting patient involvement in health care delivery
may lead to improved quality and safety of care by enabling patients to spot and report errors in EMRs, for example. Some patients
recognize the role of patient portals in their health care, reporting satisfaction with the ability to communicate with their health care
teams and perform tasks such as requesting prescription refills conveniently. Portal use may reduce in-person visits, visits to emergency
departments, and patient-provider telephone conversations. Another key portal feature is secure messaging that empowers patients to
communicate with or ask questions of physicians or medical team members. Often, patients have minor needs that you can address
through a few short one-to-one messages via patient portals. With this means of communication, you can reduce inbound calls and
time-consuming callbacks, while giving patients the insights they need to make positive health and lifestyle choices. Without question,
messaging through secure patient portals is one of the most effective ways for patients and physicians to connect and an essential tool
for any practice that wants to meet high quality of care standards.
With this system comes the risk of HIPPA violation and phishing if not used carefully. Laurinda B. Harman (2020) stated that
patient information should be released to others only with the patient’s permission or as allowed by law. This is not, however, to say that
physicians cannot gain access to patient information. Information can be released for treatment, payment, or administrative purposes
without a patient’s authorization. The patient, too, has federal, state, and legal rights to view, obtain a copy of, and amend information in
his or her health record. The key to preserving confidentiality is making sure that only authorized individuals have access to information.
The process of controlling access—limiting who can see what—begins with authorizing users.
Ronald Dendere (2019). Patient Portals Facilitating Engagement with Inpatient Electronic
Medical Records: A Systematic Review. From:
Laurinda B. Harman (2020). Health Information Systems: Past and Present. From:
St Thomas University
July 28, 2022
Communication Strategies & HIPAA
Communication is an essential aspect of healthcare as it plays a critical role in improving the health status of patients. Effective and efficient communication models are necessary for creating a conducive environment for patients to recover. Different modes of communication are implemented in healthcare to ensure patients’ effective and responsive treatment. HIPAA policy in patient communication describes protecting health information to promote high-quality healthcare. This paper describes electronic communication strategies concerning HIPAA policy used in our healthcare organization to communicate with patients.
Email is a standard healthcare electronic communication strategy that promotes privacy and confidentiality. An email is a helpful tool in healthcare that facilitate communication between patient and healthcare practitioner (Fagherazzi et al.,2020). Our organization implements emails as a secure strategy to communicate and hold ethical responsibility to the patient as they encounter clinical encounters. Patient-sensitive information is shared securely without fear of unauthorized people accessing confidential information about a patient. Healthcare records and medical examination results are transmitted to patients without breaching patients’ privacy and confidentiality.
A patient portal is a crucial electronic communication strategy in our healthcare organization. The patient portal provides a secure online website that gives patients access to personal health information anywhere, provided they are connected to the internet. The patient portal helps patients receive information such as laboratory results, radiology, and ultrasound reports. Implementing a patient portal has crucial benefits as it helps to help to provide meaningful patient requirements, reduces expenses in healthcare workflow, and increases patient loyalty. The patients’ portal also plays a vital role in efficient and cost-effective patient billing collection. It also leads to better patient outcomes.
Messaging in healthcare involves sending and processing messages such as SMS. Our organization implements the use of messaging where healthcare practitioners send messages to the patient concerning health issues. The statement provides a secure and quick information delivery to patients providing efficient and effective communication towards improving the welfare of patients.
Patient confidentiality is crucial in healthcare to provide a conducive environment for patient care. It is essential to ensure patient information is protected from unauthorized people (Yaraghi & Gopal, 2018). The HIPAA policy helps safeguard patient integrity and confidentiality through protective mechanisms that reduce potential attacks and make data access much more difficult.
Security awareness and anti-phishing strategies help to safeguard patient information. Our organization ensures security awareness to prevent critical information about patients from unauthorized people. The anti-phishing techniques prevent other people outside healthcare organizations from accessing patient data.
Physical control to prevent data and equipment loss offers data protection and confidentiality. Ensuring that there is no loss of information helps to improve the confidentiality and privacy of data towards protecting patient information. Data encryption is crucial to protect patient privacy and confidentiality by deterring malicious parties from accessing sensitive data. In this data security method, the information is encoded and can only be accessed or decrypted by a user with the correct encryption key.
In conclusion, communication is crucial in healthcare as it provides a model for exchanging critical information for patient treatment. Healthcare organizations assess the best communication model that is efficient and effective between patients. Some standard electronic healthcare communication modes include emails, patient portals, and messages. Electronic communication models ensure information is protected and utmost privacy and confidentiality are given priority. HIPAA policy advocates for patient information protection and privacy. Patient privacy and confidentiality are protected through security awareness and anti-phishing, physical control to prevent data and equipment loss, and data encryption.
Fagherazzi, G., Goetzinger, C., Rashid, M. A., Aguayo, G. A., & Huiart, L. (2020). Digital health strategies to fight COVID-19 worldwide: challenges, recommendations, and a call for papers. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(6), e19284.
Yaraghi, N., & Gopal, R. D. (2018). The role of HIPAA omnibus rules in reducing the frequency of medical data breaches: Insights from an empirical study. The Milbank Quarterly, 96(1), 144-166.