14 Jun

HIPAA Compliant Email Services Explained

HIPAA Compliant Email Services Explained

HIPAAcompliantEmailServicesLike any other industry with modern marketing needs, healthcare companies have real email needs. Because of HIPAA compliance, they also face real email challenges. If you think emailing prospects and customers while getting great ROI can’t be done while still handling delicate patient information, think again. There are HIPAA compliant email services and tools out there and we’ll explain everything here and show you how to email market while maintaining HIPAA compliance.

What is HIPAA Compliance?

As you may already know, HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA basically serves to protect delicate information such as Personal Health Information (PHI) and other sensitive data like Social Security Numbers (SSN).

How does HIPAA Compliant emailing work?

Basically, HIPAA prohibits the use of individuals’ PHI without its signed authorization and once they have authorized it should be always easy for them to opt-out.

If these rules are broken the company can be heavily fined. It won’t matter if it was a marketing automation mistake or an employee mistake; the rules are clear. Even though your company already works with HIPAA compliance services or products, you can still be out of compliance with the actual usage of the tools out there.

Benefits and Downsides

We all know by now the benefits of email marketing; it’s relatively cheap to do, it creates huge exposure and gives you direct contact with the patient. Many healthcare companies are emailing clients regarding HIPAA-compliant portals for their patients and partners to access secure data. Email is also easy to do, allowing you to create a personalized engagement with the customer.

One slight mistake can turn into a huge fine. This is unavoidably the biggest downside of HIPAA Compliance for companies (obviously, a breach of data is a whole separate potential issue for the patient). Potential ‘leaks’ include PHI, address, test results and more. This is why simply using an email tool that is HIPAA compliant is not enough, the employees should be trained on it to avoid these situations.

How do HIPAA compliant email tools work?

HIPAA compliant email services encrypt the email that’s going to be send to the patient and also make sure to delivery it safe. This is a more complicated task than it seems, as the email service cannot discriminate against recipients who may be using an email provider that does not have the same amount of security; you must create the security with end-to-end encryption.

Many of these HIPAA compliant email tools also detect sensitive content that will be encrypted and send a warning about it, avoiding the mistake of sending information by accident.

Closing notes on maintaining HIPAA Compliance

Keep the PHI away from your customers’ mailboxes and never expose segmentation data (i.e. Smoker vs. Non-smoker, Cancer patient vs. Non-cancer patient)

This blog post is to give you an idea around how to work with HIPAA, we’re not the foremost authority on HIPAA Compliance, although we do sell and implement HIPAA compliant software (like Net-Results) for healthcare companies. Feel free to contact tCognition at info@tcognition.com for more information about getting a HIPAA compliant email service to work for you.

15 Apr

MS Dynamics CRM Marketing Automation Integration

MS Dynamics CRM Marketing Automation Integration

We often get questions about how to develop the best Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration. Dynamics is a product that is here to stay, so it is important to identify all the potential marketing automation solutions out there over time as they mature.

In short, and unlike Salesforce (with Pardot) or Oracle (with Eloqua), Microsoft doesn’t really have a go-to marketing automation / email platform to connect with their own CRM product in Dynamics.
microsoft dynamics CRM integration


So, what are the “native” marketing automation integration options for MS Dynamics CRM?

A “native” marketing automation integration is defined as needing no third-party software to connect any marketing platform to a given CRM (such as Bedrock or Scribesoft).

These following marketing automation platforms do not require a third-party for Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration

  1. Net-Results –
    Net-Results is the only marketing automation tool we’ve found that that covers all of the integration bases for Dynamics CRM. It is a nearly real-time integration (occurring every 5 minutes or less) that is completely free to setup and maintain. In addition to being real time and free, you can see critical details like webpage viewing history and email history directly from a Dynamics contact record using the Net-Results integration.
  2. Pardot – 
    Pardot is owned by Salesforce, so we didn’t expect the world from the integration Pardot held with Dynamics CRM. It appears that much of the attention that was made in creating this integration was done before Pardot was owned by Salesforce (now, there’s a shocker). Still, Pardot is a serviceable integration for Dynamics, but we don’t see it as maintaining this position in the long term.
  3. Act-On –
    Act-On is a nearly real-time Dynamics CRM integration. That being said, it is void of a few features we think are critical to using the CRM as a marketing mind. The biggest feature missing is the Act-On Activity History view-able within contact records. It is much more difficult to get a holistic view of webpage and email history this way.  We give it the edge over Salesfusion simply for ease of use, but we can’t say it is a better integration than Net-Results.
  4. ClickDimensions –
    ClickDimensions is perhaps the least-powerful tool capable of being connected to Dynamics. That being said, it is a fully “native” (and free) integration to the platform. At tCognition, we consider ClickDimensions more of an email-only tool instead of full on marketing automation engine. That being said, ClickDimensions is the most affordable tool of any platform on this list.
  5. Salesfusion –
    Salesfusion touts itself as having the only native marketing automation integration to Dynamics CRM, but we’ve seen this has obviously changed (just look at the other four listings here). What we can say is that Salesfusion is not the best looking tool aesthetically, but it is the only tool as having a fully-real time integration to Dynamics CRM.

Follow the image below to download our white paper on the best Microsoft Dynamics CRM Integration options:

Dynamics CRM Integration