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San Francisco CA Answering Service

San Francisco Doctors Office Answering Service

 Virtual Receptionist

San Francisco Doctors Answering Service

Doctors answering service solutions at affordable prices. Serving medical professionals in San Francisco, California and beyond.

Medical Answering Service in San Francisco Zip Codes Served: 94102, 94103, 94104, 94105, 94107, 94108, 94109, 94110, 94111, 94112, 94114, 94115, 94116, 94117, 94118, 94121, 94122, 94123, 94124, 94127, 94129, 94130, 94131, 94132, 94133, 94134, 94158

What Type of Answering Services Do You Need?

Answering Service For DoctorsHIPAA Compliant Answering Service
Physician Answering Services Health Care Receptionist Solutions
Dentist Answering ServiceHospital Customer Support
Pediatrician Answering ServicesAfter Hours Medical Answering Service

San Francisco Answering Service For Doctors

Opening a new medical practice or doctors office in San Francisco? Below are a few links to resources which you may find useful and when the comes that you a looking for a quality virtual receptionist service we’ll be here to serve you.

Medical Supplies in San Francisco               San Francisco Health Department

Doctors Answering Service
San Francisco, CA 94112

HIPAA Compliance Checklist for Your Medical Answering Service

what do medical answering services doSo you’ve decided to hire an answering service for your San Francisco medical office, but how can you guarantee that they are HIPAA compliant? Consult this HIPAA compliance checklist to make sure yours is hitting those standards.

Running a medical office is a complicated and difficult task. But you’ve made the right decision to hire an answering service to handle phone calls during off hours.

An answering service can give you peace of mind that all medical related phone calls are being screened and that messages are being relayed in a timely manner. In addition, many answering services can provide callers with basic information, provide support, and schedule appointments.

Although the answering service you hire may be experienced, it’s still important to make sure that they’re HIPAA compliant. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the privacy of your patients is protected and that anyone under your employment is following HIPAA guidelines.

An easy way to remedy this is by following a HIPAA compliance checklist. Below is all the information you need to make sure all HIPAA standards are being followed.

HIPAA Regulations

HIPAA is an acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It is a set of standards for protecting patient information and privacy.

Any medical organization or business that in any way deals with medical information must make sure that they are compliant with every standard. All employees must take measure, such as following a HIPAA compliance checklist, to make sure that they are taking all necessary measures.

Employees include anyone who provides treatment, oversees billing, or helps with the operations of a medical facility. Subcontractors, such as a medical answering service, is included in this list.

HIPAA Privacy and Security

Included in HIPAA compliance are two rules: the HIPAA Privacy Rule, and the HIPAA Security Rule.

The HIPAA Privacy Rules covers accessing, saving and sharing medical and also personal information.

The HIPAA Security Rule covers national security standards that protect data collected, saved and electronically transmitted. This is also known as electronic protected health information.

The minute an answering service connects with an individual, they must follow both of these rules. Information provided by the caller over the phone and collected electronically must have physical and technical safeguards.

San Francisco Answering Service For Doctors

Physical Safeguards

Physical safeguards mean that the San Francisco facility that has access to medical information must have limited and authorized access.

This includes access to physical and electronic data. Items on your checklist should include:

  • All hardware, software and network information must be protected. Proper steps must be taken to remove information when equipment is disposed of.
  • All access to equipment that contains health information should be monitored and available only to authorized individuals
  • Workstations should be private and screens should not visible to the public.

Only employees who are trained to follow HIPAA compliance should have any access to patient information.

Technical Safeguards

hipaa compliance checklistTechnical safeguards mean that measures are in place to make sure that only authorized persons have access to electronic information and records. Some safeguards include unique user IDs, specialized encryption, protection from hackers, and an automatic log off.

  • Information systems must be protected with encryption
  • All networks should be closed
  • Data cannot be changed or erased without authorization
  • HIPAA compliance practices must be documented
  • Risk management steps must be documented

Also, there must be a procedure for accessing information in case of an emergency.

Administrative Safeguards

Steps must be taken to make sure that the facility is HIPAA compliant. These safeguards include:

  • HIPAA requirements must be posted and available to all employees
  • A privacy officer should be responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures.
  • The officer should establish an ongoing training program
  • The answering service should have an emergency plan in place to protect data.
  • The service should have a system for internal audits.

All staff should be trained in HIPAA compliance.

Agent Training – Medical Phone Answering Services

When hiring a San Francisco medical answering service, it’s a good idea to make sure that the agents are trained properly and follow a HIPAA compliant checklist.

Agents should be familiar with the medical industry. Also, managers should monitor agents to make sure that they answer calls in a manner that is responsive, accurate, friendly and compassionate.

Medical office managers should review the training protocols of the answering service and get a detailed list of procedures. Agents should go through an extensive training program that follows basic medical practice standards.

Secure Call Center Messaging

Supervisors should monitor agent calls and make sure that not only is information protected, but that health care providers are contacted in an appropriate way. In addition to your HIPAA compliance checklist, there should be a secure interactive messaging system.

This system is helpful for receiving patient information that doesn’t reveal protected medical information. It’s a message notification system where the doctor receives a text message or email that is a notice that a message is waiting.

This text or email includes an embedded link. The doctor must then enter a username and password to access the message through a secure server.

Why is a HIPAA Compliance Checklist is Important?

If a business associate, which includes outsourcing calls to an answering service, violates HIPAA standards, you are responsible. The government takes PHI violations seriously. Violations of any HIPAA regulations could result in heavy fines and prison.

These violations include disclosing patient information, transferring information without encryption or selling information to a third party for monetary gain. Most of the time, violations are unintentional. That’s why a checklist is important.

Creating a HIPAA Compliance Checklist

Having a checklist with the above information can help ensure that any business your medical office associates with is HIPAA compliant. A HIPAA compliance checklist not only protects your patients, but it protects you and your business.

These privacy measures might be stringent, but they’re necessary. You’ve made a good decision to hire an answering service so that your patients know that they’re being taken care of with 24-hour support and that their medical needs are being met. But these efforts are fruitless if standards aren’t up to par and policies fall through the cracks.

San Francisco Answering Service For Doctors

San Francisco CA Answering Service April 23, 2015