Nurse wants to email

I had an interesting conversation today with a nurse who teaches nursing students. When her students send her clinical notes, they are very careful to not mention any identifying information about the patient. This is a very important part of nursing culture that is instilled early into all students.

But what if two nurses (or doctors) need to email each other about a patient? Surely there must be a way. And there is: Some email providers are HIPAA compliant. 

GSuite. This is Google's paid email service. It also comes with a HIPAA compliant calendar and file sharing system.

Office 365. This is Microsoft's online suite of email, calendar, file sharing, and communication. It also gives you a license to use Microsoft desktop Office products such as Word.  The Microsoft BAA applies to all commercial and educational versions.

There are also many lesser known companies that offer specifically HIPAA compliant email. These are generally based on Microsoft's Exchange server, with the provider taking care of maintaining security.