How dermatology clinics can send HIPAA compliant email to patients

How dermatology clinics can send HIPAA compliant email to patients | Paubox

Dermatology clinics are in the business of treating and caring for the skin, hair, and nails of patients. As such, they handle sensitive patient information on a daily basis, including medical records, treatment plans, and diagnostic images.

In addition, dermatology clinics have a unique set of challenges when it comes to sending HIPAA compliant emails to patients. Not only do they need to ensure that patient information is kept secure, but they also need to ensure that the emails they send are easy to read and understand. Fortunately, there are a number of tools and strategies that can help clinics achieve both of these goals.

In this blog post, we will discuss how dermatology clinics can confidently send HIPAA compliant email to patients.

See related: ClearlyDerm implements Paubox as a user-friendly HIPAA compliant email solution that doesn’t require extra steps

HIPAA compliant email marketing service

One of the most important steps dermatology clinics can take is to invest in a HIPAA compliant email marketing service. This type of service will encrypt patient information and keep it safe from hackers and other malicious actors. Clinics should also make sure that the service they choose is compliant with HIPAA regulations, which require that patient information be kept confidential and secure.

Using plain language

Another important step that clinics can take is to use plain language when communicating with patients. This means avoiding medical jargon and using simple, easy-to-understand language.

Clinics should also make sure that emails are formatted in a way that is easy to read, with clear headings and bullet points. Additionally, they can use images and other visual elements to help patients better understand information being presented.

HIPAA compliance and email analytics

In addition to these steps, clinics can also use a number of other tools and strategies to ensure that their emails are both read and are HIPAA compliant.

For example, they can use email tracking and analytics to monitor who is opening and reading their emails, and to identify any issues that may need to be addressed. They can also use HIPAA compliant email marketing software to create and send targeted email campaigns, which can help to increase patient engagement and retention.

Comprehensive email policy

Finally, clinics should also have a clear and comprehensive email policy in place. This should outline the specific steps that the clinic will take to ensure that patient information is kept secure, and that emails are sent in a way that is easy to read and understand. It should also outline the procedures that the clinic will follow if a patient complaint is received.

Conclusion

In conclusion, dermatology clinics can confidently send HIPAA compliant email to patients by:

  • Investing in a HIPAA compliant email marketing service
  • Using plain language
  • Formatting emails in an easy-to-read manner
  • Using tracking and analytics
  • Creating targeted email campaigns
  • Having a comprehensive email policy in place.

By following these steps, clinics can ensure that patient information is kept secure and that their patients have a positive experience when receiving emails from their clinic.

Seven great healthcare marketing blogs you should follow

Graphic of marketing strategies drawn on whiteboard

In a world of infinite knowledge and ever-changing trends, it can be difficult to keep up. And in the world of healthcare marketing, it’s easy to get pulled in multiple directions. From patient communications to social media marketing to building brand recognition, it’s important to be able to seek help from reliable and professional resources.

Thankfully, there are many platforms and blogs to help ease the burden and to keep healthcare professionals sharp. Here are seven great healthcare marketing blogs that offer a wide variety of tips and tricks to make healthcare professionals’ jobs easier.

1. Franklin Street Insights

healthcare marketing

Franklin Street Insights covers everything from brand strategy to marketing to creative. They are a brand innovation firm helping health organizations strategize marketing campaigns that fit their needs. They have a series of articles called “Service Line Success” that outlines topics such as patient satisfaction, KPIs and strategies for various campaigns.

2. Becker’s Hospital Review

healthcare marketing

Becker’s Hospital Review is a must-read for decision-makers in the healthcare field. They offer print, digital and live event webinars that provide leaders the opportunity to interact with others in the industry. And while it doesn’t always focus on healthcare marketing, it offers a robust catalog of topics that include healthcare news coverage, commentary from leaders in the field and best practice guidance. 

Keeping healthcare professionals in the know on the latest topics enables them to make the best decisions possible when it comes to their own patients.

3. RxEconsult

healthcare marketing

RxEconsult gives healthcare professionals a platform to share and gain knowledge from others in and out of their network. Professionals and businesses share their own blogs on areas of their expertise. Businesses also use RxEconsult for social media marketing and networking. By publishing their own work, they’re able to engage audiences across multiple networks and contribute to healthcare knowledge.

4. Physician’s Practice

healthcare marketing

Physician’s Practice is organized in sections based on a topic which makes it easy to navigate a wide variety of subjects. The Patient Engagement and Communications section includes tips for the week and offers insight into patient communication and engagement. 

5. Health Care Social Media Monitor

healthcare marketing

Health Care Social Media Monitor is “monitoring the pulse of health care social media.” Today, social media is key to keeping and growing your audience. It’s where businesses connect with patients and share healthcare information. 

The platform has “Monday Morning Cool Tool” posts that share new apps and websites to make your social media more effective. They also offer social media training and brand building.

6. Officite

healthcare marketing

Officite’s blog offers great tips and tricks for keeping medical websites relevant and SEO-friendly. Although they don’t post often, when they do, it is worth the read. This is a great place to go for any professional or startup looking to start a website, build brand recognition or create a marketing plan.

7. SHSMD

healthcare marketing

The Society for Healthcare Strategy & Marketing (SHSMD) offers a blog called “Viewpoint: Strategies for Success.” The blog houses a wide variety of marketing tips, news and trends and tackles common challenges faced in healthcare marketing. 

Expand your healthcare marketing strategy with Paubox

Regardless of the marketing strategies and tactics you prioritize, one key historical blocker for healthcare marketers has been email marketing. Specifically being able to utilize email marketing best practices like segmentation of lists and personalization of emails due to strict interpretations of HIPAA compliance.

Paubox Marketing helps healthcare organizations get past that blocker by allowing personalization with PHI with HIPAA compliant email marketing.

Leveraging Paubox Email Suite’s patented approach to seamless HIPAA compliant email, Paubox Marketing delivers secure marketing emails straight to recipients.

Start for free.

How to fetch Paubox Marketing analytics via API

How to fetch Paubox Marketing analytics via API

The Paubox Marketing API is a growing collection of API endpoints we’ve exposed to allow customers greater flexibility to Paubox Marketing, our HIPAA compliant email marketing solution.

This post will discuss to how fetch Paubox Marketing analytics via its API.

See related: Start for free with Paubox Marketing

Paubox Marketing API

Paubox Marketing analytics can be fetched via API by making HTTPS requests to the Paubox Marketing API endpoint.

To do this, you can start for free by signing up for a Paubox Marketing account and obtaining an API key. You can then use that API key to authenticate your API requests and retrieve the analytics data you need.

See also: Atlas Counseling sends HIPAA compliant marketing emails with Paubox Marketing and sees an open rate of 77%

Fetch campaign analytics

Paubox Marketing campaign analytics can be fetched via JSON:

Paubox Marketing API -Fetch campaign analytics

Fetch campaign table

You can also fetch a campaign table, which will return json data information about campaigns sent:

Paubox Marketing API Fetch campaign table

Fetch tracking links by unique link

Next, you can fetch json data about interactions with tracking links:

Paubox Marketing API Fetch json data about interactions with tracking links

Fetch subscribers by tracking link

You can also fetch json data about subscribers for a specific tracking link:

Paubox Marketing API Fetch json data about subscribers for a specific tracking link

Fetch campaign deliveries table

Lastly, you can fetch json data about campaign deliveries sent:

Paubox Marketing API -Fetch json data about campaign deliveries sent

Paubox Marketing

Prior to its launch, healthcare providers were stuck with generic messaging because it was impossible to personalize email with patient information without violating HIPAA regulations.

Now you can send your patients personalized messages that include PHI using our HIPAA compliant email marketing service, Paubox Marketing.

  • Grow your business. Send targeted, personalized messages that resonate with your audience.
  • Increase patient engagement. Drive engagement by including PHI in your HIPAA compliant email campaigns to create personalized and relevant messaging.
  • Track results. Access real-time analytics to track marketing campaign performance.
  • Improve patient outcomes. Ensure that patients don’t miss vital treatment by sending email reminders and recommendations for additional services.

Paubox Marketing is HITRUST CSF certified and is free to use for up to 100 contacts.

The free plan also includes a business associate agreement.

Using email to personalize messaging during the patient journey

Using email to personalize messaging throughout the patient journey | Paubox

Email is a powerful tool for personalizing messaging throughout the patient journey. By leveraging the power of HIPAA compliant email, healthcare providers can create a more personalized and engaging experience for patients, which can lead to better health outcomes and increased satisfaction with the healthcare experience.

This post will expound on the benefits of using email to personalize messaging throughout the patient journey.

Patient journey

The patient journey refers to the overall experience a patient has with a healthcare provider, from initial engagement to post-treatment follow-up. It encompasses all aspects of a patient’s healthcare experience, which includes physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

The patient journey typically includes the following stages:

  1. Pre-appointment. This is the stage where a patient first becomes aware of their need for healthcare services and starts researching potential providers.
  2. Scheduling and appointment. This is the stage where a patient schedules an appointment with a healthcare provider and may receive pre-appointment instructions.
  3. Consultation. This is the stage where the patient meets with the healthcare provider to discuss their condition and treatment options.
  4. Diagnosis and treatment. This is the stage where the patient receives a diagnosis and begins treatment.
  5. Recovery and follow-up. This is the stage where the patient recovers from their condition or treatment and may have follow-up appointments or check-ins with their healthcare provider.
  6. Post-treatment. This is the stage where the patient completes their treatment and may continue to receive follow-up care or support.

The patient journey can be a complex process and it can vary greatly depending on the individual patient’s needs, the services they seek, and the healthcare system.

In a nutshell, the goal of the patient journey is to provide the patient with the best possible care, support, and outcome.

Benefits of using email to personalize messaging during patient journey

One way to use email to personalize messaging during the patient journey is by sending targeted and tailored messages to patients based on their specific needs and conditions.

For example, if a patient has been diagnosed with heart disease, the healthcare provider can send them emails with information and resources during the recovery, follow-up, and post-treatment stages. This can include information on healthy eating and exercise.

Reminders and notifications

Another way to use email to personalize messaging is by sending patients reminders and notifications about upcoming appointments, tests, and treatments. This can help to ensure that patients stay on track with their care and don’t miss important appointments or treatments.

Additionally, by sending patients reminders and notifications via email, healthcare providers can help to reduce no-shows and increase patient engagement in their own care.

Access to medical records and test results

Email can also be used to personalize messaging by providing patients with access to their medical records and test results. By giving patients access to their own medical records, they can better understand their own health and make more informed decisions about their care. This can also help to improve communication between patients and healthcare providers, as patients will be more informed and engaged in their own care.

Access to educational resources

Finally, email can be used to personalize messaging by providing patients with access to educational resources and tools. This can include videos, articles, and interactive tools that can help patients learn more about their conditions and treatment options.

By providing patients with access to these resources, healthcare providers can help to empower patients to take an active role in their own care and improve their overall health outcomes.

See related: What is population health?

Conclusion

In conclusion, email is a powerful tool for personalizing messaging throughout the patient journey. By leveraging the power of HIPAA compliant email, healthcare providers can create a more personalized and engaging experience for patients, which can lead to better health outcomes and increased satisfaction with the healthcare experience.

Whether it’s through targeted and tailored messages, reminders and notifications, access to medical records and test results, or educational resources and tools, email can help healthcare providers to improve communication and engagement with patients, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Personalized email marketing in U.S. healthcare

Personalized email marketing in U.S. healthcare | Paubox

Personalized email marketing can be a powerful tool for U.S. healthcare providers. By tailoring their messaging to individual patients, providers can create more engaging and effective communications, which can lead to improved patient satisfaction and outcomes.

This post will explain more benefits around the use of HIPAA compliant email for personalized medical marketing.

Benefits of personalized email marketing in healthcare

One of the main benefits of personalized email marketing is the ability to target specific patient populations. For example, a provider might send a message to all of their diabetic patients, reminding them to schedule their next appointment and providing them with information on how to manage their diabetes. This type of targeted messaging can help to increase patient engagement and adherence to treatment plans, which can lead to better health outcomes.

Relevant and timely information

Another benefit of personalized email marketing is the ability to provide patients with relevant and timely information. For example, a provider might send a message to a patient who has recently been diagnosed with a new condition, providing them with information on the condition and how to manage it. This type of information can be particularly useful for patients who may be feeling overwhelmed by their diagnosis and are looking for resources to help them understand and manage their condition.

Personalized experience

Personalized email marketing can also help providers to improve patient satisfaction by providing them with a more personalized experience. For example, a provider might send a message to a patient who is due for a follow-up visit, reminding them of the date and time of their appointment and providing them with directions to the office. This type of personalized communication can help to reduce patient anxiety and make them feel more comfortable with the healthcare experience.

Improved bottom line

In addition to these benefits, personalized email marketing can also help providers to improve their bottom line by reducing the cost of patient communications. By sending targeted and personalized messages, providers can reduce the need for expensive print materials and phone calls, which can save them money in the long run.

See related: What is TCPA?

Conclusion

Overall, personalized email marketing can be a powerful tool for healthcare providers. It provides them with the ability to target specific patient populations, provide relevant and timely information, improve patient satisfaction, and reduce costs.

By leveraging the power of personalized email marketing, healthcare providers can create more effective and engaging communications with their patients, which can lead to improved health outcomes and a more positive experience for everyone involved.

Is Salesforce Marketing Cloud HIPAA compliant? (2023 update)

Is Salesforce Marketing Cloud HIPAA Compliant? | Paubox

Last updated: 10 January 2023

Customers and prospects continue to ask us whether they’re able to use Salesforce Marketing Cloud in a HIPAA compliant manner.

We know the HIPAA industry is vast so we can empathize with just how many people need to use cloud services in this sector.

We first wrote this post in April 2019. Today we will revisit if Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers HIPAA compliant email for marketing or not.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) is a digital marketing automation platform offered by Salesforce. It provides a suite of tools for businesses to create and manage marketing campaigns across various channels, including email, social media, mobile, and the web.

The platform allows users to segment and target specific customer groups, automate personalized communication, and track the effectiveness of marketing efforts.

Prior to its acquisition by Salesforce in 2013, the company was founded in 2000 under the name ExactTarget. It was renamed to Salesforce Marketing Cloud in 2014.

2019 analysis: Salesforce Marketing Cloud and the business associate agreement

We’ve previously talked about how a business associate agreement (BAA) is a written contract between a covered entity and a business associate. It is required by law for HIPAA compliance.

When we first wrote this post in 2019, we learned via the Salesforce HIPAA Compliance page that Salesforce Marketing Cloud was covered by Salesforce in its BAA. When we read the fine print however, we saw that while Salesforce was willing to sign a BAA with customers for use with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, the scope of the BAA was limited to data stored at-rest in its system.

In other words, data uploaded to Salesforce Marketing Cloud was covered by the Salesforce BAA. However, when customers actually send email, its transmission over the internet from Salesforce Marketing Cloud was not covered by the Salesforce BAA. This was obviously quite a limited scope of coverage.

Updated for 2023: Salesforce Marketing Cloud and the business associate agreement

When we took a fresh look at the Salesforce HIPAA Compliance page, we were directed to the Business Associate Addendum Restrictions page for more information.

See screenshot below:

Can I use Salesforce Marketing Cloud and be HIPAA compliant? (2023 update)
Screenshot from https://compliance.salesforce.com/en/hipaa

When we visit the BAA Restrictions and HIPAA Covered Services page, Salesforce lays out a list of solutions that it refers to as, “HIPAA Covered Services.”

As we went down the list, we did not find any mention of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

We did however, find Marketing Cloud Personalization as being covered by the current Salesforce BAA:

Can I use Salesforce Marketing Cloud and be HIPAA compliant? (2023 update)

When we dug into Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization, we learned the following:

  • The technology was acquired in February 2020 when Salesforce bought Evergage. Shortly after, Salesforce rebranded the Evergage platform as Marketing Cloud Personalization.
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization is a component of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. It does not represent the entire platform.

In a nutshell, based on analyzing the latest versions of the Salesforce HIPAA Compliance and Business Associate Addendum Restrictions pages, we are left to conclude that Salesforce Marketing Cloud is no longer offered as a HIPAA Covered Service by Salesforce.

Is Salesforce Marketing Cloud HIPAA compliant?

The BAA is a key component to HIPAA compliance between a covered entity and a business associate.

In 2019, we saw that Salesforce did include Salesforce Marketing Cloud as being covered under its BAA. The scope of coverage was quite limited.

When we revisited the topic in 2023 however, we learned that Salesforce Marketing Cloud is no longer listed as a “HIPAA Covered Service” by Salesforce. 

We are therefore left to conclude that as of January 2023, Salesforce Marketing Cloud is not HIPAA Covered Service by Salesforce and is therefore not HIPAA compliant.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud vs. Paubox for HIPAA compliant email

Comparing Salesforce Marketing Cloud to Paubox for HIPAA compliant email

During a recent team meeting, it was our suggested our audience would love to learn more about the differences between Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which offers a digital marketing platform, and our own Paubox Marketing.

This post will compare and contrast Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Paubox as it relates to HIPAA compliant email.

About Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) is a digital marketing automation platform offered by Salesforce. It provides a suite of tools for businesses to create and manage marketing campaigns across various channels, including email, social media, mobile, and the web.

The platform allows users to segment and target specific customer groups, automate personalized communication, and track the effectiveness of marketing efforts.

Prior to its acquisition by Salesforce in 2013, the company was founded in 2000 under the name ExactTarget. It was renamed to Salesforce Marketing Cloud in 2014.

About Paubox Marketing

Paubox Marketing is an email marketing automation platform built specifically for U.S. healthcare organizations. It provides a set of API-based services for covered entities and business associates to create and manage email marketing campaigns.

Using a patented approach, the solution allows customers to personalize email campaigns with PHI (protected health information) and track results with realtime analytics. In addition, the Paubox Marketing API is available to customers to use.

Paubox launched in 2015 and currently has over four thousand customers in all 50 states.

Is Salesforce Marketing Cloud HIPAA compliant?

There are several things to consider when it comes to Salesforce Marketing Cloud and its ability to provide HIPAA compliant email.

First, let’s start with a quick recap of terms. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of individuals’ personal health information, otherwise known as PHI.

As we’ve previously discussed, HIPAA applies to covered entities, which includes healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses. It also applies to business associates of these covered entities. These are entities that perform certain functions or activities on behalf of the covered entity.

business associate agreement (BAA) is a written contract between a covered entity and a business associate. It is required by law for HIPAA compliance.

We’ve written in the past about Salesforce Marketing Cloud and its stance on HIPAA compliance.

In a nutshell, Salesforce was willing to sign a BAA for Marketing Cloud in 2019, although the scope of coverage was quite limited.

As of 2023 however, we were unable to find Salesforce Marketing Cloud as a HIPAA Covered Service in the Salesforce Business Associate Addendum Restrictions page. We are left to conclude Salesforce is no longer offering Marketing Cloud as a HIPAA compliant service.

See related: Is Salesforce Marketing Cloud HIPAA compliant? (2023 update)

Is Paubox HIPAA compliant?

Paubox was built around the Paubox Foundationsthree big ideas, and a mission to become the market leader for HIPAA compliant communication.

Paubox provides a BAA for all paid and freemium customers.

In addition, the following solutions are HITRUST CSF certified:

While an official HIPAA compliance certification does not exist, it’s widely acknowledged HITRUST CSF is the closest thing to it. In a nutshell, not only is Paubox HIPAA compliant, but its solutions are also HITRUST CSF certified.

Conclusion

Both Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Paubox offer an email marketing automation platform that alleviates the need for customers to fret about infrastructure and maintenance of in-house email marketing systems.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud however, is no longer listed as a HIPAA Covered Service by Salesforce. We are therefore left to conclude it is not a HIPAA compliant solution.

Paubox on the other hand, was built from the ground up to provide secure, easy-to-use, HIPAA compliant email. This is apparent from its technical design (four patents and counting), HITRUST CSF certification since 2019, and inclusion of a business associate agreement for all customers (paid and freemium).

Email your patients to keep them engaged

Email educational materials to your patients to keep them engaged | Paubox

It’s no secret that patients are increasingly wanting to use email to communicate with their healthcare providers.

When you utilize email to educate and communicate with your patients, it can be a great way to improve patient outcomes.

This post will cover why emailing your patients is important for your healthcare organization.

Why emailing patients is important

Emailing patients is an important way to offer modern and efficient care. HIPAA compliant email communication benefits both providers and patients by facilitating increased patient engagement and creating better patient outcomes.

With email communication, you can quickly communicate with your patients regarding test results, appointment changes, new treatments, medical advice, and other important medical decisions.

Furthermore, HIPAA compliant emails can improve the healthcare system as a whole. They prevent miscommunication through clear documentation of communications and decrease response time both before and after office visits.

Email communication is essential for any modern healthcare organization and helps providers ensure their patients receive prompt and effective care.

See more: How to write emails to patients that include PHI

What type of material should you email patients?

It is important to email materials that are relevant and meaningful to the patient journey. Your patients should receive information they can easily understand, in a voice that is both professional and caring.

This ensures your patients have access to the right amount of information needed to make thoughtful decisions on their healthcare journey. Providing intelligent and accurate care means not only providing relevant resources and advice but also helping patients feel supported along the way.

How often should you send patient emails?

When it comes to easily accessed communication, email is a great option that lets you stay in touch with patients and contacts. However, finding the right cadence that works for your organization can be tricky.

If you send emails too often, people can feel overwhelmed, and they are less likely to stay subscribed. On the other hand, if you wait too long between emails, your patients might forget about you.

Striking the balance between just often enough and not too much can be hard. A useful tip is to determine any relevant information you could share via email every couple of weeks—this way your messages will become easily accessible, and you’ll remain top-of-mind for your patients without becoming repetitive or spammy.

See more: How to make HIPAA compliant email stress-free for doctors

Tips for designing effective patient emails

No matter what kind of patient journey you are creating, email is a powerful tool for communication and patient engagement. To make sure that your emails are effective, it’s important to use a secure email platform, since patient data must be protected when sharing protected health information (PHI).

Additionally, personalized content can help keep patient communications interesting and engaging over the course of their entire patient journey. With these tips in mind, you can design highly impactful and secure emails for your healthcare communications.

See also: 4 steps to HIPAA compliant email

Successful patient email engagement

Email engagement improves patient outcomes because it creates communication between doctors and patients outside of the traditional in-office setting. It also allows patients to get helpful information on their own time.

Emailing patients is an important part of maintaining communication and providing excellent patient care. By sending timely, relevant, and well-designed emails, you can improve patient engagement and satisfaction while building a stronger relationship with your patients.

Paubox Marketing makes it easy to send personalized, HIPAA compliant email to your patients.

Start for free to see how easy and effective it is to stay connected with your patients through email.

Google’s Privacy Sandbox and HIPAA

Third party cookies on a phone and a cookie

Learn what Google’s Privacy Sandbox is, how it will impact your healthcare marketing and if the change in third-party data will impact HIPAA.

Google’s Privacy Sandbox is a set of proposals for improving privacy on the web by restricting access to user data. The proposals are aimed at reducing the reliance on third-party cookies, which are small pieces of data used by advertisers and other organizations to track users’ online activity and serve targeted ads. The Privacy Sandbox proposals include various technical solutions, such as the creation of “privacy-preserving APIs” that would allow advertisers to target ads without accessing users’ personal data.

What are third-party cookies?

Third-party cookies are small text files that are placed on a user’s device by a website other than the one the user is visiting. These cookies are used to track the user’s activities across different websites and to deliver targeted advertisements.

Third-party cookies and privacy

There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about the potential for third-party cookies to be phased out or replaced with more privacy-conscious alternatives. In January 2020, Google announced that it plans to phase out support for third-party cookies in its Chrome browser within the next two years. This move is part of a broader effort by Google to increase privacy for users and to provide more transparency about how user data is collected and used. Other browser vendors, such as Mozilla and Apple, have also taken steps to block or limit the use of third-party cookies.

See more: How do I know when my HIPAA privacy obligation for email encryption ends?

When are third-party cookies going away?

It is not yet clear exactly when third-party cookies will go away, but it seems likely that they will continue to be phased out over the next few years as more privacy-conscious alternatives are developed and adopted. It is a wise idea to plan for third-party free marketing efforts by 2024.

See more: Can cookies be used in a HIPAA compliant manner?

How does the Privacy Sandbox proposal relate to HIPAA?

The Privacy Sandbox proposals are not specifically related to HIPAA and do not have any direct impact on HIPAA compliance. However, the Privacy Sandbox proposals may have implications for how healthcare organizations use web-based technologies to collect and process ePHI (electronic protected health information), and HIPAA covered entities should consider these implications when using such technologies.

For example, if the Privacy Sandbox proposals are implemented and third-party cookies are restricted, HIPAA covered entities may need to find alternative ways to track and analyze ePHI in order to comply with HIPAA regulations. Additionally, HIPAA covered entities may need to ensure that any alternative technologies they use to track and analyze ePHI comply with HIPAA requirements for the protection of sensitive patient data.

See more: HIPAA compliant email: The definitive guide

Try Paubox for free

Paubox Email Suite

Ensure every email is HIPAA compliant—without the hassle of portals or passcodes.

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What is the CAN-SPAM Act and how does it impact healthcare email?

Can Spam musubi

In 2003, Congress enacted the CAN-SPAM Act or Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act. CAN-SPAM sets a national standard for the regulation of unsolicited and unwanted junk email. Something we know more commonly as spam though the act doesn’t just stop there.

LEARN MORE: How to get less spam in your email

How does the CAN-SPAM Act impact healthcare email and what should healthcare professionals know? First and foremost, when used correctly, healthcare email can help practitioners reach more patients and promote their healthcare brand.

The CAN-SPAM Act: key facts

Congress addressed the problem of unsolicited email with the CAN-SPAM Act, which establishes the rules for sending commercial messages. It gives recipients the right to have businesses stop emailing them with inappropriate, unsolicited, or otherwise unethical material. Moreover, it outlines the penalties incurred for those who violate the law. Each separate email is subject to penalties of up to $46,517.

CAN-SPAM doesn’t just apply to bulk email. It includes any electronic message whose purpose is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a product or service. There is no exception for business-to-business email. Furthermore, the law preempts state laws that regulate commercial email.

The six main features of CAN-SPAM

In essence, CAN-SPAM Act tells senders to:

  1. Provide the option to unsubscribe
  2. Honor opt-out requests promptly
  3. Include a physical address
  4. Keep headers and subject lines honest
  5. Identify the message as an advertisement if it is such
  6. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf

What does CAN-SPAM have to do with healthcare?

The CAN-SPAM Act covers any email whose purpose is the advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service. For healthcare, this means communicating to patients or other providers about something the organization offers. Examples of healthcare email that could be considered commercial:

  • Advertising a new service or facility (not part of treatment for a patient already)
  • Identifying a part of your subscribers as eligible for a service
  • Sending a healthcare email newsletter
  • Offering patients referral codes

Obviously, not all emails will be marketing emails under the CAN-SPAM or even HIPAA.

HIPAA and CAN-SPAM

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act secures patients protected health information (PHI). That means having email security that includes the physical, technological, and administrative safeguards discussed in the HIPAA Security Rule.

READ ABOUT: Understanding and implementing HIPAA rules

But what we are interested in is HIPAA’s role in marketing. The HIPAA Privacy Rule defines marketing as “a communication about a product or service that encourages recipients of the communication to purchase or use the product or service.”

SEE ALSO: Healthcare email marketing 101: Avoiding spam box

In essence, like CAN-SPAM, HIPAA requires organizations to pay attention to what and how they send messages. Compliance to both helps organizations stay clear of violations and possible fines.

Ensure both HIPAA and CAN-SPAM compliance with solid email security

CAN-SPAM and HIPAA were put in place to protect consumers. But by adhering to their policies, healthcare organizations also ensure better patient engagement and stronger businesses. The first step is to ensure end-to-end email encryption, data loss prevention, and outbound filters.

This means that only the sender and recipient can see an email. And that there won’t be a PHI breach.

Furthermore, it is also necessary to follow CAN-SPAM’s six steps:

  • Acquire explicit authorization and consent from everyone who receives an email
  • Honor all opt-out requests
  • Include a physical address in all sent emails
  • Stay honest with your message, subject, and headers,
  • If sending an advertisement, label it
  • If using a third-party email provider, understand their policies and securities

The law gives a lot of leeway in how to do the above. But once set, compliance stops violations and breaches from causing undue stress.

Paubox provides you with compliance and assurance

Paubox Marketing takes care of many CAN-SPAM and HIPAA requirements automatically. Any email you send through Paubox includes an automatic unsubscribe button as well as a section for an address footer. And since Paubox Marketing allows segmented and personalized messages, it is possible to send marketing-related emails and test results. All without violating CAN-SPAM or HIPAA but while improving patient outcomes.

Not only will Paubox sign a business associate agreement, but Paubox products run on HITRUST CSF certified solutions and enables HIPAA compliant email by default. Moreover, we register our customer’s website domains on our secure platform, which allows them to send HIPAA compliant email. No need to rely on portals or passwords.

The more authentic your email looks and the easier it is to opt out, the less likely emails are flagged as spam or junk. And the more likely your emails reach your patients.

Young woman wearing glasses sitting in front of laptop computer while smiling and typing.

Healthcare’s solution to personalized patient email marketing

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