How to Make e-Signatures HIPAA Compliant


HIPAA compliance regards to the transmission of any electronic medical records or documents. Whenever a business or facility sends EMRs or EHRs, they must provide a cover letter alerting the party of the confidentiality of the data.

While electronic signatures are not covered under HIPAA, they are explained in ESIGN (Federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce) and UETA (The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act). When any party claims to be HIPAA compliant in terms of e-signatures, they are referring to these federal laws.

User Authentication Processes

Whenever an electronic signature is needed, authentication is a must. A two-step verification process is recommended. The signer receives an email with the appropriate link to verify their email address and identity. Next, they link a separate link to go to the e-signature website, which is encrypted and appears on a page with secured socket layers to keep outsiders away from the document and the information.

The person signing must enter information about his or her identity such as their date of birth, Social Security number, and all contact information. Once they have entered the signature, the document saves and submits to the secured server for collection and storage. Businesses that need the service get started by visiting mSign now.

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Outline All Terms of the Contract

A legal contract defines conditions and clauses that all parties must fulfill. Before anyone can sign the document, the company must disclose all information about the terms and explain all aspects of the agreement.

The signee must understand what is expected of them if they sign the arrangement. A copy of the entire commitment is sent to them via email to allow them to store it on their device or print it out. The sender must advise the person of their right to seek legal counsel to review the document before they sign it.

Robust Security and Decoding Prevention

Digital tampering is a major dilemma for organizations. Before sending any contract to any party, they must use appropriate security measures to block vulnerabilities and outsider access. Their network must adhere to all IT standards and federal regulations. Any existing access points lead to identity theft and the loss of confidential data. The business must comply with all security regulations before sending any contracts or links to e-signature services.

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Preventing Repudiation of the Contract

The company must follow careful protocol to prevent the client or partner from reputing the validity of their signature on the contract. They must ensure the e-signature has time-stamped audit trail showing dates, times, locations, and chain of custody. The documentation shows that the contract and signature are valid and enforceable through the court.

Storage of the Contract

All copies must be saved in the same place to define ownership and contract. There shouldn’t be additional copies beyond the signed contract. The company must digitally destroy any further data unless the signer has a business associate agreement with the company that requested the signature. A copy is sent to all parties involved in the arrangement after all parties have signed and dated the document.

Two-part verification ensures the validity of an electronic signature and makes the contract enforceable by law. Businesses and organizations that need an ironclad solution for securing contracts and avoiding legalities and liabilities need a system that protects their interests, too. By reviewing laws and regulations for e-signatures, they avoid issues later.

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