Using HIPAA as a Guide for Legal Transcription & Translation Services
Maintaining confidentially and document integrity is important to the clients of legal transcription and translation companies. These companies would do well by using HIPAA as a guideline (where appropriate) to ensure privacy for their clients.
HIPAA controls the flow of information very well among those entities that are involved in medical care, documentation and information, but there's a vast world of businesses out there that is in no way related to the medical field or health care system. HIPAA is effective and its structure is sound, but it doesn't cover those businesses outside of its umbrella of influence.
So how do clients, consumers and other businesses know their data is being handled with care if - for example - they work with a legal transcription and translation company that's handling sensitive material?
While the HIPAA regulations do not cover a legal transcription agency, they do set a certain standard for how a business can and should operate. While HIPAA was partially designed to help maintain confidentiality and secrecy for patients, the principles set forth by HIPAA are applicable to any business that uses them as a model for ethical operation, such as a legal transcription or translation agency.
Legal transcription and translation companies deal in sensitive information on a daily basis - information that relates to the identity of witnesses, sworn testimonies, attorney-client privilege information, confidential court documents, depositions & hearings and a great deal more information. Every piece of information, if corrupted or distributed inappropriately, could have a negative impact on a legal or civil trial including:
- Unwanted media exposure
- Loss of pertinent data and information
- Express danger to either defense or prosecuting cases
- Placing protected clients in danger
- Costly court delays
- Mistrials due to the poor management of information
A legal transcription or translation company handling sensitive material for any court case or document/audio-video recording for a legal issue can assure the security of that info by practicing HIPAA guidelines through every day business.
Not only does this pertain to keeping accurate and careful records but it involves the appropriate and secure storage of those records to prevent problems that arise due to loss and corruptions. HIPAA practices also include careful documentation and secure transfer of related material to only the parties that are involved - this means any data handled by the legal transcription and translation service is held in the strictest of confidence and the only individuals that have access to that material are those directly related to the legal documents or the staff assigned to transcribe and/or translate the material.
While there are no true regulatory committees or organizations that oversee the dissemination & handling of information within the legal transcription and translation industry, those companies that do hold themselves to these standards provide an unprecedented level of service that's vital to maintaining the integrity of legal material be it federal, local, civil or criminal.
Article Tags: Legal Transcription
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
TransDual Forensics accepts audio and video sources for transcription and translation. In addition, we offer Spanish document translation. We are experts in forensic pathology, criminal justice, and law enforcement so whatever your Spanish legal translation needs, visit our website for more information.