As a person with a disability, I love how the Internet makes life easier for me. But when it comes to interacting with my primary care doctor, making the appointment is where convenience ends. You see, my doctor’s clinic doesn’t use Paubox for HIPAA compliant communication.
Last year I became physically unable to drive my vehicle due to progression of a neurological condition. However, some amazing technology exists that makes it possible to drive using just a joystick – a video game-style joystick! It was an exciting thing to discover and I wanted to make it happen.
But it’s a long road going from seeing something on YouTube to making it a reality – especially when the DMV is involved. The first part of my long road involved getting a new learner’s permit for modified-vehicle driving. To do this I had to have my primary care physician fill out a DMV form that said I would be medically ok to drive so I emailed my doctor the blank form to fill out.
Unfortunately, she could not simply email the completed form back because her clinic could not guarantee that the communication would be HIPAA compliant. Instead I had three options:
- Come and pick it up.
- Have it snail-mailed to me.
- Have it faxed to me.
Imagine my frustration, being told the fastest way to get the form was to get in my car when I can’t even drive myself without getting the form in the first place!
The second option wasn’t optimal because that meant delaying my return to driving by a week.
And the third option – in the 2020s – is to BUY A FAX MACHINE and then install a landline just so I can use it???
It sounds ridiculous but had I known then what I know now, I actually would have scoured Craigslist for a $10 fax machine since I ended up needing over a dozen forms filled out by my doctor last year.
I understand the law and I understand its importance. What I don’t understand is why medical organizations large and small don’t realize that regular email CAN be HIPAA compliant.
Hospitals, clinics, and doctors just need Paubox to secure patient email communication and be HIPAA compliant.
Had my doctor’s clinic been using Paubox, she could have sent me the scanned form back the day she filled it out. I wouldn’t have had to coordinate multiple rides to her office, wasting time and gas. The clinic wouldn’t have had to print out a label, put it on an envelope, and stuff the envelope with my form then have someone find it when I got there. It’s a win for everyone.
Making lives easier for patients like me is one of the reasons I work at Paubox.