If your medical answering service can answer your calls, do you really care if they run a secure call center? You should. But what does secure mean? A secure answering service takes steps to protect all aspects of their processes to ensure they properly handle your account and your information.
There are many facets to this. Here are some things to consider when it comes to the security provided by your medical answering service.
Among other things, operational security looks at providing continuous availability to serve you the best way possible. This includes having backup power in the form of UPSs and generators to provide the power needed to operate their facility should they lose utility power. Similarly, they have multiple phone and internet providers so that if one goes down, the others take over. And you'll never know the difference.
Operational security also means having a disaster recovery plan. Though your medical answering service hopes to never have to use their disaster recovery plan, it's there to make sure they can always serve you.
Next, consider HIPAA. Among other things, HIPAA compliance requires that medical answering services keep protected health information (PHI) safe and secure during both transmission and storage. A key element of complying with HIPAA regulations is using secure messaging when communicating with clients and their on-call personnel.
Data Center Security
A final security consideration, and the most important of them all, is data center security. The best medical answering services use certified tier 5 data centers. A tier 5 data center is a more recent development. It builds on all the requirements of tier 4, which was once the gold standard for data center security. Certified tier 5 data center security surpasses tier 4, taking security to an even higher level.
The first thing you'll notice about leading data centers is armed security! Yes, they're serious about limiting access to their facility. They make sure only authorized personnel can gain entry. In addition to armed guards, they also have several other levels of security. Altogether, these steps prevent the tampering of equipment and computer systems.
Many of the other characteristics of a certified tier 5 data center are quite technical. Though not to make something complex appear too simple, these advanced techniques fall into three general categories:
- Enhanced power system capabilities: servers and systems require stable, continuous power to operate.
- Rigorous facility cooling provisions: computers don't function well if they get hot.
- Robust carrier precautions: this includes redundancy, backups, and dual access pathways, along with denial of service mitigation.
The outcome of using a certified tier 5 data center is a highly reliable system that boasts an unprecedented uptime (run time) expectation.
Too many medical answering services don't take the security of their operations, information, and data center seriously enough. And much of the time, this doesn't matter—until it does. And when it does matter, you want to make sure you're using a medical answering service that takes it seriously. The status of your practice or clinic—both now and for the future—depends on it.
Learn how medical answering service from MedConnectUSA can help your practice, clinic, or facility. Then get a free quote to discover how affordable their healthcare communication services are. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer and call center authority.