Things rarely seem to be as clear as most of us would like when we look at professional issues online. Googling a prospective collaborator or colleague may be ok, but what about Googling a client or patient?
Whoooa! TIME’s headline implies that SKYPE is secure for telemental health. Is TIME sure this is true? Dr. Drell says videoconferencing is LIKE texting or Skype. He doesn’t say he is using texting or Skype for contact with patients, as the headline suggests.
Licensed professionals are obligated to follow an accepted “standard of care” that included procedures to use for mandated reporting. First, that standard of care has not yet been expanded to include email, chat room or videoconferencing via public, unsecured VOIP-based platforms.
While I have every confidence their systems will eventually be far more than HIPAA compliant, I’m reluctant to encourage any of my patients or colleagues to currently risk confidentiality for the sake of convenience.