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What is an Encrypted Messaging App?

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What is an Encrypted Messaging App?
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Healthcare data can be worth thousands of dollars on the dark web, according to Forbes. Rather than individual pieces of demographic information, healthcare records contain all manner of sensitive patient data, including Social Security numbers, insurance ID information, financial data, and medical records. That’s why data security has to remain a priority for healthcare professionals looking to protect their business. Putting the proper protections in place to safeguard patient data is essential to mitigating breaches and cyber-security incidents. One of those protections should include an encrypted messaging app to help safeguard your patient communications.

Encrypted messaging apps give your practice the ability to confidently communicate with patients regarding sensitive healthcare data. Finding a way to effectively communicate with patients can help mitigate growing risks to data security and give your staff peace of mind.

Encrypted Messaging Apps and Data Security

Encrypted messaging apps use end-to-end encryption to keep sensitive healthcare data safe.

End-to-end encryption is a type of encryption, which ensures that only the sender and intended recipient of a particular message can access it. That means that it can’t be intercepted by malicious third parties, hackers, or unauthorized individuals. End-to-end encryption is a HIPAA encryption requirement that is meant to protect any sensitive healthcare data shared over an electronic or digital medium.

The reason why end-to-end encryption is so important is because protected health information (PHI) sent via unsecure SMS texts and emails can be accessed by unauthorized third parties. PHI is defined in HIPAA regulation as any demographic information that can be used to identify a patient. Common examples of PHI include a patient’s name, address, date of birth, email address, phone number, insurance ID number, Social Security number, financial information, full facial photo, and any part of a patient’s medical record.

When any patient information or PHI is sent by unencrypted text or email, that data is stored on a third-party server. Phone service and email service providers store texts and emails on one of their servers during the transmission process. If the data is unencrypted, that means it can potentially be accessed on those servers. That’s a violation of HIPAA security standards. Whenever PHI is exposed to unauthorized access it’s considered a HIPAA violation. Whenever there’s a violation of a patient’s privacy or security, that can result in civil enforcement or fines levied against the practice.

With an encrypted messaging app, your practice can safely communicate with patients, and mitigate the risk of data breaches and fines.

Encrypted Messaging Made Simple

Klara is an encrypted messaging app that simplifies patient communications.

With Klara, you can send secure messages to your patients, without worrying about cyber-security concerns. Klara is HIPAA compliant, with documentation of all messages sent and received from patients automatically maintained for seven years.

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Frank Sivilli

Former Content Marketing Manager at Klara. He specializes in reporting on trends in healthcare technology, regulatory compliance, data privacy and security, and more.

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