VoIP for Telerehabilitation: A Pilot Usability Study for HIPAA Compliance

  • Valerie R. Watzlaf Department of Health Information Management, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Briana Ondich Department of Health Information Management, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Abstract

Consumer-based, free Voice and video over the Internet Protocol (VoIP) software systems such as Skype and others are used by health care providers to deliver telerehabilitation and other health-related services to clients. Privacy and security applications as well as HIPAA compliance within these protocols have been questioned by practitioners, health information managers, and other healthcare entities. This pilot usability study examined whether four respondents who used the top three, free consumer-based, VoIP software systems perceived these VoIP technologies to be private, secure, and HIPAA compliant;  most did not.  While the pilot study limitations include the number of respondents and systems assessed, the protocol can be applied to future research and replicated for instructional purposes.  Recommendations are provided for VoIP companies, providers, and users.

 

  

Author Biographies

Valerie R. Watzlaf, Department of Health Information Management, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Valerie J. M. Watzlaf, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA is an associate professor within the Department of Health Information Management in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.  She also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Health Services Administration in the Graduate School of Public Health.  In those capacities, she teaches and performs research in the areas of health information management, epidemiology, quality improvement, and statistics.
Briana Ondich, Department of Health Information Management, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Briana Ondich is a student in the Department of Health Information Management, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

References

Blumenthal, D. (2012, May 11). Grand rounds: Bringing health information to life. Montefiore University Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Watzlaf, V., Moeini, S, Matusow, L, & Firouzan, P. (2011). VOIP for telerehabilitation: A risk analysis for privacy, security and HIPAA compliance: Part II. International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 3(1), 4-10. doi: 10.5195/ijt.2011.6070

Watzlaf, V., Moeini, S., & Firouzan, P. (2010). VoIP for telerehabilitation: A risk analysis for privacy, security, and HIPAA compliance. International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 2(2), 3-14. doi: 10.5195/ijt.2010.6056

Published
2012-06-06
How to Cite
Watzlaf, V. R., & Ondich, B. (2012). VoIP for Telerehabilitation: A Pilot Usability Study for HIPAA Compliance. International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 4(1), 33–36. https://doi.org/10.5195/ijt.2012.6096
Section
Privacy and Security