Creating a positive and engaging patient experience is more important than ever – and providing patients with easy yet secure access to their data through encrypted file sharing is a fundamental part of that experience.
As revealed in Deloitte’s 2020 Global Health Care Outlook report, patients are no longer passive participants in their health care – they demand transparency, convenience, access and personalized products and services.
As such, the patient experience is a growing priority for healthcare organizations.
According to a report last year from Sage Growth Partners, commissioned by Docent Health, 69% of healthcare leaders say that improving the healthcare consumer experience is their organization’s first or second top strategic priority and are using an array of technologies to help them achieve this goal.
"Across the industry, provider organizations are seeing that in order to remain competitive, they need to deliver more patient-centered experiences to their consumers," said Paul Roscoe, former CEO at Docent Health.
However, despite its strategic importance, when SAP asked healthcare executives what the top challenges were to their organizations, patient experience (53%) was one of the top two answers, followed by maintaining and upgrading IT (48%) and cybersecurity (46%).
(Image source: porterresearch.com)
Improved Data Access Leads to Improved Healthcare Experiences
Overcoming these challenges is critical to giving patients what they want – better access to their health data.
Philips 2019 Future Health Index – a survey based on input from 15,000 patients and more than 3,000 healthcare professionals – highlights patient demand for new and wider access to their medical data.
In fact, of patients who are unable to reach their health records, nearly two-thirds (63%) said they want access.
On the other side of the coin, patients that do have access to their health data report higher levels of satisfaction with their healthcare than those that do not have access.
Among survey respondents with access to their digital health record, 82% said their personal experience of care was either good, very good or excellent, versus 66% among patients without access to their records.
Similarly, 80% of patients with health record access said the quality of care available to them was good, very good or excellent, versus 64% of patients without access.
(Image source: philips.com)
HIPAA Right of Access
The results are clear – you can add value to your services, improve the patient experience and gain competitive advantage for your business by providing patients with better, easier and more secure access to their data.
It’s also a matter of regulatory compliance.
Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, all patients have the explicit right to access their electronic health records as and when they want them.
“Individuals have a right to access a broad array of health information about themselves, whether maintained by a covered entity or by a business associate on the covered entity’s behalf,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“The Privacy Rule requires a covered entity to provide the individual with access to the PHI in the form and format requested, if readily producible in that form and format, or if not, in a readable hard copy form or other form and format as agreed to by the covered entity and individual.”
Yet, despite the Rule, Ciitizen’s August 2019 Patient Record Scorecard (a survey designed to assess the state of Right of Access compliance among healthcare providers) found that the majority of providers failed to comply with it – and by November 2019, 51% were still failing to comply or “required significant intervention to comply.”
However, healthcare organizations have since made significant improvements in HIPAA Right of Access compliance.
In April 2020, Ciitizen released the third version of its Patient Record Scorecard. It found that the number of noncompliant providers or providers who needed significant help to become compliant had dropped to 27%.
It also found that the percentage of providers who received five stars for “going above and beyond HIPAA” increased from 20% to 28% and those receiving four stars from 40% to 67% – suggesting that healthcare providers are now leveraging compliance requirements to gain competitive advantage in the market.
Ensure Your Patients Can Exercise Their Right of Access with Encrypted File Sharing
Despite the rise in compliance levels, Ciitizen is sure to highlight that there remains significant room for improvement in the Right of Access.
“Still over a quarter of providers are either noncompliant or struggle to be compliant.
Failure to send records in the form and format requested by the patient (as long as that form/format is readily producible) is still the biggest reason for noncompliance,” says Ciitizen.
One way to provide patients with easy access to their healthcare data while maintaining HIPAA compliance and data security is by utilizing encrypted file sharing solutions from a HIPAA compliant data storage services provider.
Encrypted file sharing is a means of secure communication, where healthcare organizations can easily share ePHI with authorized users – including patients.
It’s important that you seek a HIPAA compliant cloud storage provider for such a service as many popular file sharing services like Dropbox are not HIPAA compliant by default – or even, as is the case with WeTransfer, not HIPAA compliant at all.
Central Data Storage’s Encrypted Sharing service provides beyond military grade encrypted file sharing and secure messaging for your business.
As part of our suite of data storage solutions for business, our Encrypted Sharing service makes communicating and sharing files with your patients secure, easy and 100% compliant with HIPAA requirements.
Central Data Storage exists to help businesses navigate the regulatory environment with ease while providing convenient and secure solutions for communicating with internal teams, business partners and patients.
Our HIPAA compliant cloud backup and recovery solutions, HIPAA cloud storage and Encrypted Sharing solutions ensure your business provides the greatest protection and experience for your patients.
Start your Encrypted Sharing Free Trial today.
Our HIPAA compliant data backup recovery, encrypted file sharing and round-the-clock data storage support services are specifically designed for HIPAA covered entities. Call 1-888-907-1227 or email email@example.com to speak to an expert and learn more about our encrypted file sharing and HIPAA compliant backup solutions.