Establishing & Maintaining a Secure Private Practice
One of the final steps to getting your modern practice up and running is securing your processes, procedures, and technologies. Although there are many options and solutions out there for private practice professionals, we recommend three independent technologies that help you practice with confidence and efficiency. Check out these technologies below and feel free to reach out to the skilled team at GetTherapy.com if you need more support. We offer a variety of services to help private practitioners improve their security and maintain thriving practices.
Email has become an indispensable tool for the working professional and despite concerns about HIPAA compliance, security, and privacy, it remains essential for the private practice clinician. There are many solutions out there to help you feel confident that emails are secure, including email services like Hushmail, which encrypts your emails and offers HIPAA compliance. The problem with these encrypted HIPAA compliant email systems is that the reader of your emails has to have a password to unlock your email and see the content.
For those who wish to have encrypted and compliant emails 24/7, GetTherapy.com, through its partnership with PracticeSuite, offers a product called HIPAA Office that connects to your Gmail (or whatever email services you use) and encrypts your messages. This product is really a gold standard in email encryption and security, but it’s not always the best option for brand new practices.
What we recommend for new practices is Google’s products for businesses, called G Suite. G Suite allows professionals to send and store encrypted information without the user needing a password. They can be HIPAA compliant, although, it requires the user to use certain settings and to sign and download Google‘s business associate agreement, which in total takes about five minutes. G Suite’s email service center sends compliant, encrypted messages back-and-forth to other G Suite users. It doesn’t include all email users, so you have to be aware of whether or not you’re sending HIPAA protected health information to those who don’t use encrypted email services such as Yahoo or Hotmail. One of the main reasons we like this option is that it allows for HIPAA compliant cloud storage through Google Drive, as well as a HIPAA compliant calendar through the G Suite calendar. In Google Drive, slides and spreadsheets can also be saved and secured. Having this suite of products is a great service for solo providers or growing group practices, and in fact, it’s used by companies of all sizes all around the world because of its convenience and usability.
When it comes to sending and receiving faxes, a modern practice no longer needs to include a traditional fax machine. If you think about it, a fax machine takes up space, requires service, and eats tons of printer ink, all of which costs a private practitioner extra cash. The development of digital faxing has literally saved private practices tons of money, and it offers a lot more convenience.
So how does it work? We recommend SRFax.com because it’s HIPAA compliant. There are a lot of other companies that offer similar products, but this is the one that we have the most experience with. We use it ourselves, and it’s always worked great. SRFax.com and other faxing companies work with your email system, so instead of printing documents, laying them on the fax machine, and faxing them to a number hoping it gets there and doesn’t land in a stack of paper, you use your email.
The user opens an email, types in the phone number or fax number, types a message in the content box, and attaches the file they would like to fax. You don’t need to send the email, wait for a confirmation email, and return for the message that the fax was received by the fax machine or digital faxing service on the recipient’s side. It’s really as simple as sending an email with an attachment. Another great thing about digital faxing is that your faxes come to you in your email, so you’re less likely to lose them in a stack of papers. Again, we recommend SRFax.com although there are many such services out there. Just be sure you’re getting a fax service that is HIPAA compliant and encrypted.
Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Systems
All modern practices should use an EMR. They offer enormous conveniences like paperless storage and the ability to communicate and collaborate with other professionals. EMRs help maintain an organized, efficient private practice, and they give you the security of knowing that your records are not vulnerable to things like flash fire, the destruction of your office work bag, or whatever means of storage used for the paper charts and documents.
Clinicians working with GetTherapy.com use a variety of systems. Some of the more popular ones include TherapyNotes and Simple Practice. These EMRs are designed for solo mental health practices, but not necessarily groups, larger clinics, hospitals, and networks. There’s a lot of writing on choosing the right EMR for your practice, and there are so many EMRs out there that it is a daunting task to whittle down the list. Studying every EMR to decide which might be the perfect fit isn’t an option either. The truth is, the competition is high. Most of the EMRs have minor differences in the services they offer, but they only function in slightly different ways.
Practices who do billing through the GetTherapy Network utilize a system called, PracticeSuite, which is particularly helpful if you have any desire to grow your practice into a group, outsource your billing, or to add a prescriber in the future. To help you really understand the financial underpinnings of your practice, PracticeSuite offers a great financial reporting tool that is very customizable. As well as reports and notes templates and user-friendly calendar and scheduling systems. For practices launching with us at GetTherapy.com, we will walk you through the process of setting up your account and putting the system to work for your practice.
Get Your Practice Going with GetTherapy.com
Modern private practices should function online with efficiency and security. We hope this discussion will prove beneficial to you in the launching of your practice. If you need any support or want to schedule a consultation when making the decisions above or you just want to talk through the process, feel free to contact us at GetTherapy.com. Our team of skilled professionals not only offers assistance and products to improve private practice; we are also private practice clinicians ourselves. You don’t have to go it alone or reinvent the wheel. When you work with our team, we can share the lessons learned from our years of experience to make your private practice a little less stressful.