Your Mobile Device and Health Information Privacy and Security

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Physicians, health care providers and other health care professionals are using smartphones, laptops and tablets in their work. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has gathered these tips and information to help you protect and secure health information patients entrust to you when using mobile devices.

HHS listened to you. HHS conducted a Mobile Device Roundtable in March 2012 and held a 30-day public comment period to identify and gather the tips and information that would be most useful to health care providers and professionals using mobile devices in their work. You can watch the Mobile Device Roundtable for more information.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards for giving patients the right to access and request amendment of their protected health information (PHI) as well as requesting restrictions on the use or disclosure of such information. The HIPAA Security Rule establishes a national set of security standards for the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information. The HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules apply to covered entities. Covered entities include health care providers and professionals such as doctors, nurses, psychologists, dentists, and chiropractors. Individuals and organizations that meet the definition of a covered entity and who transmit health information in electronic form in connection with certain transactions must comply with the Rules' requirements to protect the privacy and security of health information, even when using mobile devices.

NOTE: The content on the Mobile Device Privacy and Security subsection of is provided for informational purposes only and does not guarantee compliance with Federal or state laws. Please note that the information and tips presented may not be applicable or appropriate for all health care providers and professionals. We encourage providers, professionals, and organizations to seek expert advice when evaluating these tips. The Mobile Device Privacy and Security subsection of is not intended to be an exhaustive or definitive source on safeguarding health information from privacy and security risks. It is also not intended to serve as legal advice or offer recommendations based on a provider’s or professional’s specific circumstances. For more information about the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, please visit the HHS Office for Civil Rights Health Information Privacy website.