DIY online survey firm SurveyMonkey is introducing features that will enable US healthcare providers who use its software to collect sensitive patient feedback to comply with the HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act).
The features address new Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) rules, which include financial penalties for organizations that do not meet the requirements of HIPAA. Healthcare organizations can now HIPAA-enable their online surveys in time to meet the September 23 compliance deadline for the new rules.
Organizations will be required to enter a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with SurveyMonkey - a prerequisite for vendors or subcontractors who work with information protected by HIPAA. Those who sign up for the BAA will receive alert messages to remind them of their HIPAA obligations and warnings when they are working with protected health data. In addition, they will receive logs of account activity, and their sessions will 'timeout' after 30 minutes for added security.
Organizations can use SurveyMonkey in a variety of HIPAA-compliant ways, including collecting patient feedback data, registration information, and Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys.
Will Aldrich (pictured), VP of Product, comments: 'Healthcare professionals are some of our most prolific subscribers, and when they requested a way to HIPAA-enable their online surveys, we took action. With the assistance of security consultants and health information privacy experts, we are ensuring SurveyMonkey safeguards are up to speed with HIPAA's specialized and stringent requirements, so healthcare customers can rest assured knowing they can operate in full compliance.'
Web site: www.surveymonkey.com .
All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.