FaceTime is Apple's proprietary video and audio calling service exclusively available on Apple devices. It offers high-quality, end-to-end encrypted video and audio calls, ensuring private and secure communication between users. FaceTime's user-friendly interface, combined with its integration into the Apple ecosystem, makes it a popular choice for personal and professional communication. Furthermore, its ability to support group calls can facilitate collaborative discussions.
In a healthcare setting, FaceTime can be used for non-clinical communication that does not involve Protected Health Information (PHI). FaceTime could facilitate real-time communication among staff members for administrative or operational discussions. It might also be used for non-medical patient engagement, such as providing a virtual tour of the facility to prospective patients or coordinating community health events. Health professionals could even use FaceTime to conduct non-confidential trainings or staff meetings, fostering collaboration and team-building. The convenience and accessibility of FaceTime make it suitable for these non-sensitive interactions within a healthcare environment, but caution must be exercised to avoid any use that would require HIPAA compliance.
FaceTime employs end-to-end encryption, offering a high degree of security for calls. However, it's important to note that Apple does not advertise FaceTime as being HIPAA compliant and does not sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA), and is thus not HIPAA compliant. Even though the application uses strong encryption, without a BAA, it can't guarantee the necessary protections for PHI (Protected Health Information) required under HIPAA. Therefore, healthcare providers should exercise caution when using FaceTime, and should not use FaceTime in ways that require sharing PHI through the platform.
Take a look at our ultimate guide to HIPAA compliant software and services for help selecting compliant service providers. Though careful vendor evaluation and selection is only one piece of the puzzle for maintaining HIPAA compliance. At TeachMeHIPAA, we offer an affordable HIPAA training solution to ensure your staff are knowledgeable in how to comply, and to help you meet your legally mandated HIPAA training requirement with ease. Learn more about our tips and tricks for maintaining compliance with our HIPAA compliance blog.