In response to the annual 2023 "Digital Communications Governance, Compliance, and Security Report" survey by ThetaLake, it was found there were critical gaps in governance and compliance for employee communications and that three quarters (74%) of respondents reported that it is likely that their employees are using unmonitored communications channels, up from 66% in 2022. (US)
In Australia, for some industries like NDIS, health, and others, this will only increasingly create issues as two trends converge: the increase in regulation around compliance and privacy and two the increasing availability of communication technology that directly addresses these risks, diminishing any reasons to bear these risks.
Without automated effective call log capture, record keeping, and monitoring of communication, organisations are exposing themselves to risk.
These risks may include:
Data Security: Personal mobile devices may have a different level of security than devices provided by the employer or if the calls are made using a unified communication-as-a-service or UCaaS, such as RingCentral. These steps can reduce unauthorised access to sensitive information.
Breach of Confidentiality: Without controls, there is a risk of confidential information being overheard by third parties or stored in insecure locations like personal call logs, voicemails, or note-taking apps.
Record-Keeping like call logs: Proper documentation of engagements with participants in the NDIS industry, for example, is crucial for service accountability and continuity of care. Using personal phone numbers can complicate the process of recording and storing these interactions in a compliant manner.
Compliance with Policies and Procedures: Personal devices might need to comply with the NDIS provider's policies and procedures for handling participant information. e.g. for phone-based engagements that you invoice on, the records must be stored according to policies and regulations in that industry.
Inconsistent Communication: If an employee uses a personal phone, it may not be apparent when they are acting in a professional capacity versus a personal one.
Difficulty Monitoring Compliance: It can be more difficult for an NDIS provider to monitor and ensure compliance with privacy laws and guidelines when employees use personal phones.
Reputational Risk: Any breach of privacy or confidentiality could damage the reputation of the NDIS provider and undermine the trust of participants and the public.
Legal and Financial Consequences: Non-compliance with privacy laws can lead to legal action, fines, and compensation claims.
Today's technological advances in UCaaS address many of these risks and provide additional advantages in a range of areas:
Improved Privacy and Security: UCaaS platforms often have robust security measures, such as end-to-end encryption and secure data storage, which help protect sensitive participant information and ensure compliance with Australian privacy laws.
Separation of work from personal: Using a dedicated work number for all business communications maintains clear boundaries between employees' work and personal lives.
Consistency and Availability: UCaaS systems allow employees to use the same number across multiple devices, improving availability and ensuring a consistent point of contact for NDIS participants.
Advanced Features: Features such as call forwarding, voicemail-to-email transcription, and call recording (with participant consent) can enhance communication efficiency, record-keeping, and the NDIS participant and employee experience.
Centralised Control: The NDIS provider can centrally manage and monitor communications, which aids in quality control, training, and ensuring communication policies are followed.
Scalability: As the NDIS provider grows, a UCaaS platform can quickly scale to accommodate more users and increase call volume without infrastructure changes.
Audit and Compliance: UCaaS platforms can provide detailed call logs and recording capabilities for audit and compliance with NDIS regulations.
Enhanced Integration: Many UCaaS solutions can be deeply embedded into current systems like CRMs to minimise data capture and monitoring disruption.
Business Continuity: UCaaS platforms like RingCentral have features that ensure business continuity, such as rerouting calls to alternate devices in case of an outage or emergency.
Cost Management: Consolidating communications into a single platform can help control costs by reducing the need for multiple providers or infrastructure.
Data Insights: UCaaS platforms allow you to gather valuable analytics and insights into communication patterns, helping to optimise staff performance and participant engagement. AI can assist in monitoring this activity or automating the presentation of the insights.
By leveraging a UCaaS solution like RingCentral, NDIS and Health providers can maintain a high standard of service delivery while ensuring that communications are secure, professional, and compliant with Australian regulations.