COVID case surge and ongoing social distancing efforts continue to drive telehealth adoption as providers seek solutions to virtually engage with patients at home and limit staff exposure to the virus in hospitals.
Relaxed policies around HIPAA compliance during the pandemic have enabled healthcare organizations to use commercial or consumer video conferencing applications in response efforts. Although regulatory flexibilities around telehealth enabled clinicians to quickly implement a broader array of solutions to support those efforts, news of security flaws and privacy violations quickly emerged.
Telehealth Security Risks
In the white paper Telehealth Video Application Security, Caregility Senior Infrastructure Architect Stuart Morris delves into these privacy and security concerns, including:
- Misleading encryption claims
- Third-party data sharing
- Unsecured video calls
As provider organizations weigh their telehealth options, due diligence should be applied to thoroughly vet the security of consumer and healthcare offerings alike. Healthcare-specific platforms like Caregility UHE are purpose-built to facilitate clinical collaboration and communication in a way that’s considerate of the many nuances of patient care. As such, these healthcare-designed solutions typically support a broader scope of use case scenarios that go beyond video conferencing.
Healthcare-specific telehealth platforms often offer additional functionality and workflows, including:
- Remote clinician control of audio and video components
- Continuous remote observation of multiple patients via a centralized console
- Integration with EHRs and ancillary systems like interpreter services
- Mobile device engagement for patients and clinicians on the go
Trustworthy Telehealth Solutions
Uncertainty around whether or not relaxed regulations around commercial telehealth platform use will roll back could pose additional challenges for providers who may have to pivot away from temporary commercial solutions.
Ultimately, while affordability and ease-of-use are important, when it comes to the use of video conferencing in a healthcare setting, security and privacy must come first. As you explore virtual care platform options, look for a partner who conducts routine security audits and can offer third-party verification of HIPAA compliance. Morris offers six additional questions to ask when evaluating telehealth vendors.
Free White Paper Download: Telehealth Video Application Security