HIPAA was designed to protect electronic health information, so making sure that your healthcare business technology meets HIPAA compliance is of utmost importance. Healthcare providers that are transparent with their HIPAA compliance instill more confidence in their patients, since they can rest assured that their information is private and secure.
How HIPAA Protects Patient Data
There are two parts to HIPAA compliance: the Security Rule and the Privacy Rule. The Security Rule “requires appropriate administrative, physical and technical safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and security of electronic protected health information.”
The Privacy Rule “requires appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy of personal health information, and sets limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures that may be made of such information without patient authorization.” Protected health information must be encrypted at rest and in transit, and all medical professionals who are authorized to access and share protected health information must have unique user identifiers to monitor their use of patients’ protected health information.
Failing to abide with HIPAA compliance can be risky, resulting in fines up to $1.5 million and criminal penalties. The risk just is not worth it!
Impacts on Technology
How does this affect your healthcare business? Technology now permeates nearly every part of our daily lives, including healthcare businesses. The technology you choose for your business will affect patient data storage, network security, and digital communications. Be sure to keep these considerations in mind when assessing your technology needs.
Patient Data Storage
HIPAA compliance will need to be developed to meet your organization’s individual needs for storage, according to the type and amount of data that your business handles. HIPAA-compliant data storage options include both on-premises and cloud-based technologies.
Ensuring that your network is secure is paramount for HIPAA compliance. Network security also comes into play when transmitting data among doctors or other healthcare businesses that are working together to assist a patient. Any connections used to transmit patient data must be secure.
All forms of communication should be protected using a secure solution, such as a patient portal or secure messaging app. While email communications can be designed to be HIPAA compliant, it can require significant IT resources to accomplish this. Other forms of communication such as SMS, Skype, and basic email servers should not be used to communicate protected information with patients.
If you want to ensure that your healthcare business technology is HIPAA compliant, contact Dymin Systems today. We want to make sure that your business is protected and your patients can trust your systems to keep their sensitive health information private and secure.