With the world becoming more digital, HIPAA compliance has become more important than ever. But the truth is that while HIPAA is both great and necessary for security, it can limit an advertiser’s ability to access and interpret data, as well as make it more challenging to create effective ad campaigns while maintaining complete patient confidentiality.

Because of the complex rules and consequences for breaking them – a potential fine of $50,000 per violation – it’s important to have a digital marketing team on your side that understands the complexities of HIPAA, and how to successfully navigate challenges while ensuring that all of your patients remain fully protected.

Reviews can be an important part of digital marketing, as potential clients are increasingly turning to reviews to get information on different businesses. One good way to show the business is engaged is through replying to reviews, either good or bad. This can be trickier for a medical practice who might have access to protected health information. When replying, it’s best to use generalities and not share any details at all about a patient appointment. It is also best not to share reviews on additional platforms.

Social media is another aspect of digital marketing that becomes more challenging when you are a business that must factor in HIPAA compliance, especially because there might be less oversight on social media than on other platforms. It’s important to make certain employees responsible for social media content, while being very clear with them what is allowed to be posted, and what is not allowed.

Generally speaking, there are 18 categories of identifiers where patient data needs to be removed in marketing. If there is any way a patient can be identified, initiatives must be very cautious when creating a campaign based around something such as a case study or real-life success, unless written authorization for its use is granted by the patient.

Paid search initiatives can often be a challenge for HIPAA compliance, given the reliance on data and personal information. Crafting ads that can be accepted can take patience if you are not familiar with all of the regulations. In particular, Google errs on the side of caution when it comes to approving ads from medical practices, so knowing the ins and outs of what is acceptable saves time and money.

If it sounds daunting to try and create a digital marketing strategy while still staying in compliance, the important thing is to find a team that understands these challenges while helping to navigate them. At AVX Digital, our entire team is HIPAA certified, helping our clients unlock customer insights within the guidelines of HIPAA. We understand that any breach in client trust can damage a client’s reputation, and we take that very seriously in every aspect of our work with our clients.

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