Important: HIPAApropriateness reviews, including their summaries, are for informational purposes only. They are neither consultation nor legal advice. Be aware that while we do our best to be thorough and complete, information may be missing or possibly even inaccurate. Products also change quickly, and the review may become out of date. By continuing to read, you agree to use the information in HIPAApropriateness reviews and their summaries at your own risk.

Vital Stats

HIPAA compliance with this product appears possible?: Yes.
Recommend for your HIPAA risk management needs?: Yes. Make sure you mind the caveats and notes.
# of Caveats: 1 view caveats→
# of Usage Notes: 2 view notes→

Relevant Product Characteristics

  • This product is designed specifically with the healthcare industry in mind.

What Is This Product?

intakeq logoIntakeQ is a nice little service that does a thing that many people want: set up secure, online intake forms.

In addition to intake forms, they offer appointment reminders and FAXing services.

Several practice management systems include these features. For those who need these features supplied piecemeal, or for whom their practice management system doesn’t do these features the way they want, IntakeQ could be a good piece of their practice management and risk management plan.

This product offers a free service tier or a free trial account:

We encourage all clinicians interested in this product to try out the free trial or experiment with the free tier to see if it suits your needs.

If you discover anything of concern that isn’t addressed in this review yet, please tell Liath about it at info@personcenteredtech.com.

Caveats

Caveats are criticsms of the company or product that we feel are relevant to your risk management or other important considerations.

1) Promotes Nonsecure Communication in a Mildly Risky Way

IntakeQ’s intro video and marketing materials indicate that the service will send ordinary emails to clients, on your behalf, inviting them to come fill out intake forms. It also depicts checking a box that allows clients to opt in to receiving appointment reminders.

These practices might be perfectly fine under HIPAA. However, your professional ethics may not allow such unsecured communication at all or without performing a deeper risk analysis together with the client.

Notes

Notes cover points where the product can’t ensure compliance or ethical action for you. These help you know what your part of the compliance puzzle looks like when using this product. A high note count usually correlates with a feature-rich product, and not necessarily with a product that has problems.

1) Avoid sending unsecured appointment reminders without proper collaborative risk analysis

IntakeQ offers appointment reminders by email, SMS text message, and automatic voice call.

IntakeQ wisely gives you the ability to have clients opt-in before sending them email or SMS text reminders. However, remember that simple opt-in may not be sufficient for your ethical standards around unsecured communication, and unsecured communications may not be ethically permitted for you at all (depending on your applicable codes and state laws.) Read our article on unsecured communications here for some guidance to help you decide what you need to do to around appointment reminders to stay legal and ethical in your practice.

If it turns out that unsecured email or text communications are legally-ethically workable for you, IntakeQ executes a Business Associate Agreement with you, which makes it legal for them to send those emails or texts on your behalf.

2) Be mindful of sending unsecured emails to new clients

IntakeQ allows you to send forms to your new clients by email.

This certainly improves efficiency, but has potential for dangerous confidentiality risks with clients who have particular risk situations. The emails that IntakeQ sends indicate that the recipient is going in to get mental health services. For some clients, all their emails are accessible to certain parties in their lives, e.g. abusers in the home or employers who can read the emails received at work email accounts. It may be unwise to send forms to such clients using the email service that IntakeQ provides. You’ll want to do that mini risk analysis with the client before sending the forms to them by email (you could even do it on the phone!)

Once again, see our articles on email and texting for more info. It would likely work best to start with this one.

This is a risk that impacts some and not all clients, and that is posed by the features of many services — it’s not unique to IntakeQ.

Make Sure You Get Paid (Ethically!)

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Teletherapy and Remote Payment Methods,
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If you have questions about remote payment methods in the
context of online therapy, this is one event you’ll want to catch.

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