Must e-mail I receive from a patient be encrypted?

October 8, 2004

Am I permitted to use e-mail to communicate health information to one of my patients?

Q:Am I permitted to use e-mail to communicate health information to one of my patients?

A: Yes, with a few precautions. The use of e-mail to transmit health information to a patient is protected not only by the privacy rule but also by the new security rule, which applies to all medical information transmitted or maintained electronically. The rule requires that you have policies and procedures in place that do the following: restrict access on the sender side to transmitted information, guard against its unauthorized use, and protect its essential integrity.