HIPAA Compliant Document Conversion and Duplication

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is federal legislation that protects private patient health information according to national standards instead of leaving patient safety laws to the states. HIPAA establishes high level security standards that apply to every aspect of a patient’s medical records including duplication and conversion. So, what are the rules, and how can you stay in compliance? Keep reading to find out.

HIPAA Basics

A part of HIPAA called the Privacy Rule dictates how and why patient information is protected in the flow of health information to support the administration of healthcare. According to HIPAA and the Privacy Rule, healthcare providers, regardless of whether they work for a hospital or small practice must abide by the rules especially if they transfer medical records electronically.

Additionally, health plans and those who come in contact with them are also subject to HIPAA privacy regulations.

Now that most medical forms and files are electronic, practitioners and those who work closely with patient information must follow specific guidelines for sending, editing, and duplicating patient records. For example, all medical information must be secure and/or encrypted to safeguard against security threats or hackers. Most electronic medical record services have built-in encryption but it’s important to take extra steps to ensure patient safety like checking the integrity of all electronic files.

One of the most important things medical personnel can do is use their best ethical judgement when considering requests from other practices or from insurers. It’s crucial that everyone involved with patient safety do their best to protect patient privacy or they could face consequences.

Scanning and Conversion

Because HIPAA guidelines apply to medical documentation, there are specific rules that apply to copying, scanning, and printing patient information. Most people would assume that conversion only means print to digital format, but the term can also apply to converting a digital file to another format.

For hard copy to digital conversions, scanning the paper document into a digital file is the most common and traditional conversion method. For example, a paper file can be put into a printer and scanned. Once the printer completes the scan, the user can safe the file as a JPG, PDF, or other digital file format. However, it’s important to understand that HIPAA requires complete security and unless the physical document is kept in a secure location after scanning, it must be thoroughly disposed of.

For digital-to-digital conversion, keeping the integrity of the file and information secure is of utmost importance. Sometimes, data can be lost during conversion and in a healthcare context, this could mean that the provider receiving the document may miss important information regarding the patient’s healthcare plan.

Encryption is also extremely important when sending or converting documents. Most hospitals utilize electronic record services like Allscripts, Epic, and Meditech. These services allow physicians to send patient information securely to other providers in the network. However, if a physician needs to transfer patient documents to a specialist or treatment facility outside of the network, the data could be vulnerable to corruption.

HIPAA Compliant Printing and Scanning

At Acro Photo Print, Inc. we understand the importance of protecting patient privacy. That is why we offer cutting edge medical document scanning and storage services to help physicians streamline their documentation without jeopardizing patient safety.

Our technicians can help you digitize files and encrypt them while ensuring that the data stays intact. We can also assist with secure shredding so you can dispose of cumbersome documents and files safely. Even if you sell your practice or retire, NY law states that you must retain all patient records. Keep their information safe with Acro Photo Print, Inc.

Contact us today for more information about HIPAA compliant data storage solutions!