Selecting an email service can be one giant headache that keeps many healthcare providers from venturing into email marketing.
A question that usually comes up is:
“What’s a good HIPAA compliant email marketing service to use?”
There are hundreds of email service providers (ESP) to choose from and not one that’s perfect for every situation.
Some email services are designed specifically for healthcare, there are applications for business use that can be modified to be HIPAA capable and there are ones not HIPAA compliant that should never be used.
Listed below are several free email services that are NOT HIPAA compliant:
- Gmail- Probably the most commonly used email program in the world is not HIPAA compliant. Google’s G Suite can be set up to be HIPAA capable.
- Microsoft Outlook- Microsoft’s free email and calendar tools are not HIPAA compliant. The business version in Office 365 can be made HIPAA capable.
- Yahoo Mail- Known for its ability to integrate email, social networking and instant messaging is not compliant.
- Apple Mail- Users of Apple devices are probably familiar with Apple’s email program. It is another free email program not suitable for healthcare communications.
Before we jump into my suggestions on selecting an email marketing service, I need to clearly state a disclaimer.
I’m not a HIPAA expert. I am not a lawyer nor do I have any HIPAA certifications. I recommend that you discuss any decision you make that includes protected health information (PHI) with an attorney that specializes in HIPPA compliance or is a certified compliance expert like Rick Gawenda from Gawenda Seminars.
In previous articles, I covered the best practices for getting started with email marketing and the do’s and don’ts of email marketing in a therapy practice. Read those articles to get an understanding the important issues to address with email marketing as a healthcare business. I put together a quick start guide for selecting a HIPAA compliant email marketing service that narrows down your choices. Get your HOW-TO Guide on Choosing an HIPAA Email Service