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HIPAA requires encrypted email. How can we send encrypted email from ECLIPSE?

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HIPAA absolutely does NOT require that you use email encryption to communicate with or about your patients. Please review this DHHS FAQ link regarding encryption, this one regarding patient communication, this DHHS FAQ link regarding emailing providers, this DHHS FAQ link regarding email safety, and finally, this DHHS FAQ link regarding whether standard email is expressly allowed/disallowed.

Next, let’s examine the opinion of the American Bar Association (Formal Ethics Opinion 99-413):

  • Plaintext email provides a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ and is no less secure than telephone, fax, US & ‘commercial’ mail… thus the same expectation should be afforded email as other modes.
  • Plaintext email is acceptable for use in attorney communications which contain confidential client information.

 

Regardless, ECLIPSE does offer encrypted DIRECT email services as part of its government certified versions — also available with all ECLIPSE Client/Server versions as of January 2020. Please realize that you can’t simply send such email to anyone. Encrypted email requires that both the sender & receiver have DIRECT email addresses. You must also be using a Client/Server version of ECLIPSE for these services to be available.