HIPAA, Social Media &Texting Compliance

HIPAA, Social Media &Texting Compliance

HIPAA, Social Media &Texting Compliance

HIPAA, Social Media and Texting Compliance

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The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was established in 1996. In addition to other measures, HIPAA specifies patient privacy standards, defines protected health information (PHI), and specifies how PHI can and cannot be shared. HIPAA is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). All covered entities and their employees are subject to HIPAA, and penalties can be severe, with up to $1.5 million fines for multiple violations. Social media has important uses in the healthcare realm, and healthcare professionals are increasingly using text messaging to deliver better healthcare. However, these technologies carry several risks, including the risk of inappropriate sharing of PHI. This course provides definitions and information on HIPAA, the privacy rule, PHI, how PHI must be secured and how risks must be mitigated. It also provides examples of violations and how social media and text messaging can be used compliantly.


Ilana Goldowitz-Ji30 minValid for 12 monthsCreated 2018-07-19Updated 2020-11-13

Course Objectives

  • Summarize HIPAA’s patient privacy rule and define protected health information
  • Understand the place of social media and texting in the healthcare field and how they can and cannot be used under HIPAA
  • Describe the security challenges inherent to social media and text messaging, how PHI must be secured, and how risks can be mitigated

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