Is text messaging your about a patient a HIPPA violation?

I work at a nonprofit organization encouraging mentally impaired people with autism spectrums, syndrome, choreas, and the like.
My boss can be very micro managing. She sometimes wants to call her for a question. Sometimes text is ok and it used to be ok if we sent initials for there names. But now she is saying using their initials is a HIPPA violation. I am not sure if that is true.
Do you know if that is true?


Most Helpful Guy

  • Well I take hipaa training courses every year. It doesn't mention text messaging that I'm aware of. If you're considered a health care provider you can only talk about a patient if it's relevant to their care or safety and if it's with another relevant health care provider that would need to know for the patients care. So no there is nothing I've never seen anything by hipaa that says you can't use a text message. I'd look on their website though. I know you can't leave messages on patients answering machines that talk about their situation because other people might hear it so that might related to an extent. The other thing is all e data patient info has to be encrypted so I'm not sure if a text would be similar enough to call it e data. Your supervisor probably doesn't know. I bet she's trying to be safe.

    • Thanks man! Tht was very helpful :)

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  • I don't know where you are from or what HIPAA is. But I highly recommend you doing some research into this. Maybe start with Google.
    My personal opinion is that it IS illegal for a healthcare provider to text healthcare information. It is possible to hack cellphone messages. Definitely not easy, but it can be done. A receiver of this information could be in trouble to, if they don't report a violation. Of course this may only apply if it is illegal.

    • Regarding cavmanier's response. It may not stipulate text messages specifically. But these things are usually covered by a term something like "electronic transmission"

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