In a recent release, Maven Wave, an Atos company, announced that it has deployed telehealth services that support HIPAA compliance through integration between the Google Meet video chat platform and the Epic electronic medical records software.
Due to the soaring demand for secure telehealth services amid COVID-19, Maven Wave reportedly designed this secure integration for Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), a regional health system based in Massachusetts. With Maven Wave’s support, the health system accelerated this project to launch within a few weeks instead of a few months or longer.
Previously, Google Meet has not been deemed secure enough for most medical telehealth applications under HIPAA rules, and it isn’t known how Maven has accomplished it at this time. If all is as they stated int he release, however, this could be a huge boon to patients that often struggle with purpose-built telehealth solutions, and for providers that are looking to ease the way.
CHA is a Harvard-affiliated system with two acute care hospitals, 13 community care centers, and 125,000 primary care patients using Epic software for its electronic health records. CHA had been in the planning process for telehealth for the past two years, but once the pandemic hit, it sped up the process.
“Although the federal government granted a temporary waiver to use non-compliant HIPAA platforms during the coronavirus emergency period, this places patients and healthcare systems at risk long-term,” said Patrick Crotty, Managing Director, Healthcare, Maven Wave. “Since not all video platforms are equipped with security measures to protect personal health information, patient connections could compromise medical records and conversations, depending on the platform used. By developing this cloud-based integration between Google Meet and Epic, healthcare organizations can securely perform telehealth services throughout the pandemic and moving forward. We are proud to create this seamless, secure integration that makes HIPAA-compliant telehealth simple for patients and providers alike.”
Maven Wave designed its platform to allow only those who are authenticated into the tool on to launch Meet visits. Because Google Meet is part of G Suite, users will encounter no additional fees and the framework allows for multiple languages, and organizations can customize their virtual waiting rooms.
“Google Meet’s functionality, flexibility and security were critical in supporting our rapid and inspiring conversion to a completely different model of care during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brian Herrick, MD, CIO, Cambridge Health Alliance. “Our patients have appreciated the ability to easily connect with their care teams virtually and experience a genuine alternative to an in-person visit, while the integration to our electronic medical record saves our providers time and ensures continuity of care.”