CloudApper has been helping many prestigious companies in the healthcare industry with HIPAA compliance through a robust compliance management system, HIPAA Ready. The good news is that healthcare companies can now also use COVAX, a modern COVID-19 vaccine scheduling software offered by CloudApper, without worrying about HIPAA fines. 

The use of COVID-19 vaccine scheduling software has been a popular topic of discussion regarding health information privacy and security. Mainly, the use and share of patients’ healthcare-related data during the pandemic has been a much-debated topic. Many people were concerned and confused about whether the same privacy policies should apply in public health emergency times. Finally, OCR made an announcement in mid-2020 about relaxing HIPAA rules with regards to sharing of health information. This was done mainly to support telehealthcare providers by uplifting penalties for non-compliance to provide better quality healthcare through remote communication technologies.

Latest Announcement

Lately, many healthcare providers have been worried about whether it would be appropriate to use vaccine scheduling software for vaccine appointments. The OCR, however, made another announcement recently regarding the use of COVID-19 vaccine scheduling software. 

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The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced in February that they wouldn’t impose penalties against providers when using apps and digitals that are not entirely HIPAA compliant. This means that organizations won’t receive any penalties for HIPAA violations when they use scheduling software in good faith for COVID-19 vaccine appointments. 

The enforcement discretion applies to healthcare covered entities and their business associates, including suppliers of online or web-based scheduling applications (WBSAs). However, the healthcare providers must seek support from the vendor in good faith and only for the limited purpose of scheduling individual appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations during the nationwide public health emergency. 

Similarly, CloudApper also provides one of the most comprehensive COVID-19 vaccine scheduling software available used by several African government agencies. CloudApper’s COVAX is a cloud-based mobile and web application that enables scheduling individual appointments for services tied to large-scale COVID-19 vaccine administration. Along with an app called HIPAA Ready, healthcare providers can simultaneously schedule appointments and comply with HIPAA effortlessly.

During the public health emergency, covered entities should be able to schedule a large number of individuals for appointments of COVID-19 vaccinations. Covered entities may now digital vaccination scheduling tools to do so. 

However, that does not mean that healthcare providers should just ignore patient data confidentiality. It is essential to use reasonable safeguards to protect the privacy and security of individuals’ protected health information (PHI). For example, disclosing or using the minimum necessary information, using encryption technologies, and enabling all available privacy features. 

HIPAA Ready – Simplifying Compliance For Better Healthcare Delivery

As a provider of HIPAA compliance solutions itself, CloudApper understands that protecting patients’ information to critical to delivering quality healthcare services. CloudApper’s vaccine scheduling application can be designed to support the HIPAA rules and regulations. 

What’s more, CloudApper applications are entirely customizable. That means healthcare providers and business associates can ask for additional privacy protections within the application. 

To learn more about HIPAA Ready and how you can streamline your compliance efforts, leave a comment below.