How G Suite Facilitates HIPAA Compliance on Mobile Devices

SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

By SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

Mobile devices are changing how hospitals provide healthcare. Consider the following NCBI statistics:

  • 87% of doctors use smartphones in the workplace
  • 90% of care staff use devices in more than one professional setting
  • Physicians spend an average of three hours per week watching training courses on mobile products

More and more healthcare professionals are adopting a BYOD (bring your own device) approach for handling patient care and hospital info, so HIPAA compliance must be top-of-mind. Staff are faced with two choices when working off-site: use the hospital’s VPN, which is HIPAA-compliant but slow, or use a separate network which might be faster but ignores the rules of HIPAA compliance? Since staff are increasingly wanting to use their own devices, perhaps the question that administrators should ask is this: Can working on mobile devices also be HIPAA-compliant?

The answer is yes, but it has to be with the right solutions provider. See how G Suite’s HIPAA-approved mobile apps foster a safer, more secure approach to healthcare.

1. Communicate with Confidence

Gmail is G Suite’s email application, and with over a billion downloads, is one of the world’s most ubiquitous apps. Hospital staff can discuss patient or organizational issues and attach EHR or EMR files (which can also be saved locally or directly onto Drive). Perhaps one of the most helpful features to on-the-go care staff is that they can access emails and create drafts, even if they’re not connected to the internet.

Google Hangout features messaging windows where you can type conversations, similar to text messaging. It also boosts collaboration and eliminates geographic barriers through its video conferencing application. Care staff can leverage this tool to connect with patients who may not be able to travel easily. Additional video conferencing features include the ability to share files on screen and record calls for training or reference purposes.

2. Store Files Securely

Google Drive is G Suite’s cloud-based storage tool, and it’s ideal for housing the large files often used in healthcare. In fact, the maximum size of an individual file is 5 TB, more than enough for even the most high-res x-rays or CT scans. Also, files on Drive are automatically saved, so you’ll always be working with the most current version of any document. For added security, admins can also share and manage permission settings to ensure only qualified personnel can access sensitive material.

When files are completed, they can be stored in Vault, which lets you archive and export any type of document. Vault is also searchable, so staff can easily reference old files when trying to solve patient or hospital issues. Administrators can also use Vault’s archiving capabilities for onboarding new employees or training current staff. Like with Drive, users can manage permission settings.

3. Collaborate like Champions with HIPAA Compliance in Mind

Google Docs enable staff with cloud-based word processing, Sheets recreate the familiar visage of cells and spreadsheets, and Slides allow staff to create presentation decks. These applications enable workers to leave comment, markup, and edit content. There is no endlessly sending files back and forth, workers can control sharing capabilities, and care workers can add notes to the digital forms that patients fill out. Encryption technologies add another layer of security to patient and network data.

G Suite Spotlight: Hunterdon Healthcare

Hunterdon Healthcare is a New Jersey-based network of 60 different care locations and a 190-bed hospital. For over 20 years, each department in the care network bought its own software and IT tools as-needed. To achieve their goal of increased collaboration through modernization, they knew they needed to update their email system while addressing security and usability challenges. Once its 3,000 employees were migrated, G Suite earned an 84.6% rating. Daniel Morreale, VP & CIO of Hunterdon, said the organization is on pace to save nearly $1.3 million annually. Read the full case study here!

G Suite is HIPAA-compliant and its applications enable staff to provide better patient care. No matter where a care provider accesses files, or on what device, they can be assured that they’re always working on the latest version of document, and doing so safely.

Contact SADA Systems to see how G Suite can work for your organization. 


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