Glossary of Compliance

Compliance Glossary

Our list of curated compliance glossary offers everything you to know about compliance in one place.

Glossary » HIPAA » HIPAA Compliant Fax

HIPAA Compliant Fax

HIPAA-compliant fax is a mandated-trusted method for securely transmitting patient data. To meet HIPAA’s stringent data protection requirements, healthcare professionals and companies use cloud-based fax services to safeguard the integrity of PHI. 

Is faxing HIPAA-compliant? 

Faxing, by its nature, is considered HIPAA-compliant due to its inherent security and point-to-point transmission. Fax lines and most IP fax infrastructure act as conduits that transmit PHI. However, HIPAA compliance mandates practicing protective measures before and after faxing.

Interestingly, HIPAA’s primary objective is for healthcare entities to establish comprehensive infrastructure and administrative, technical, and physical protocols to safeguard patient information and prevent unauthorized patient data access. 

Remember that while HIPAA doesn’t prohibit the use of fax machines for transmitting PHI, it imposes stringent regulations to preserve data privacy and security throughout the process, from sending to receiving. Here are a few best practices for HIPAA-Compliant Faxing:

  • Always keep an eye on your documents. Leaving physical patient records unattended can lead to HIPAA violations.
  • Include a HIPAA-compliant disclaimer with PHI faxes. This disclaimer warns against unauthorized access and is often part of the Business Associate Agreement.
  • Use secure online fax services. It improves interoperability and makes information access across networks easier
  • Create audit logs to track network activity. This is a requirement for HIPAA compliance applicable to healthcare providers and vendors.
  • Prevent data breaches by migrating files to secure cloud storage. This reduces the risk of PHI theft from portable devices.

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