Healthcare organizations know just how important it to comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule in order to protect sensitive and unstructured data such as patient records, scripts, discharge summaries, medical forms, authorizations, prescriptions, and insurance claims. However, in the event of an emergency, HIPAA compliance is usually the last thing on people’s minds. As a result, hospitals are often granted a HIPAA waiver of up to 72 hours from the time they first implement their disaster protocol. Unfortunately, without a HIPAA waiver, hospitals may face substantial liabilities and penalties for non-compliance.
Even worse, if a hospital’s network is affected by a natural disaster, cyber attack, or system outage, doctors may not be able to access medical records and patients may not receive the proper care. With any type of downtime, some sort of disruption within a hospital is expected to occur. In some cases, these disruptions could be deadly. In a previous blog post, we discussed how data breaches directly affect mortality rates. After a breach occurs, doctors are often so preoccupied with remediation activities that patients no longer receive quality care.
For reasons like this, it’s so important for healthcare organizations to have a disaster recovery solution in place that maintains HIPAA compliance, network security, and 24/7 support. Leveraging the cloud, proprietary technology and world-class data centers located in North America, Europe and Asia – etherFAX Disaster Recovery (DR) works to ensure that organizations never experience downtime. With etherFAX DR, inbound and outbound fax communications remain secure and protected from technical failures due to catastrophic events and natural disasters.
In addition to disaster recovery, etherFAX DR is ideal for business continuity initiatives and managing high-volume, peak overflow fax operations. As an infrastructure-as-a-service platform with built-in redundancy, etherFAX DR can be easily configured to provide immediate failover of fax communications, ensuring uptime when existing telephony equipment fails, such as fax boards, PRI lines, servers and applications.
etherFAX DR supports the etherFAX Secure Exchange Network (SEN), the world’s largest ecosystem leveraging military-grade encryption and hybrid cloud technology to provide 100% secure communications. etherFAX SEN is fully HIPAA compliant and provides secure document transmissions even in the event of an emergency. With in-network routing, communications never traverse an external telephone network and, therefore, remain secure between the remote client site and the etherFAX network at all times.
Lastly, to securely transfer information between two endpoints, etherFAX SENx utilizes well-defined end-to-end encryption methods such as those defined in the Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES). The hybrid encryption scheme uses Elliptic Curve Cryptography to generate a shared secret between peers to seed the encryption process with unique keying material while signing and authentication mechanisms assure the validity of the data in transit.
Overall, healthcare providers must implement an emergency response plan before a disaster strikes. Here at etherFAX, we take pride in customer service and never leave our customers in the dark. Our support team strives to maintain control over any unforeseen complications such as internet outages or attacks. With etherFAX DR, SEN, and SENx in place, your organization can continue to operate securely and maintain HIPAA compliance without disruption.
Interested in learning more? Schedule a call with us today!