SAFEGUARDING PATIENT DATA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is one of the cornerstones for both regulatory compliance and healthcare cybersecurity. Healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, hospitals and insurance providers must all follow HIPAA compliance guidelines to safeguard private patient data.

Our HIPAA Compliance services include several options such as establishing procedures to prevent or reduce PHI (protected health information) breaches, designing and building HIPAA compliant software to fit your specific needs and switching to a HIPAA compliant infrastructure. 

BECOMING HIPAA COMPLIANT

There are four aspects to becoming HIPAA compliant:

First, an organization is required to establish and implement cybersecurity standards, policies and procedures. Administrative systems must be HIPAA compliant and all stakeholders need to be well-trained. This means not only employees, but also lawyers, accountants, IT personnel and anyone who has data access.

Second, maintaining HIPAA compliance with sound physical and digital safeguards is vital for protecting PHI. Strong password and login precautions such as 2-factor authorization should be utilized.

Third, risk assessments of your physical and technical safeguards for HIPAA compliance must be done annually.

Finally, any violations must be investigated and remediation implemented.

Importance of Compliance

// Meet regulatory standards and guidelines

// Ensure patient trust

// Reduce fraud and abuse

// Avoid costly penalties and fines

// Ensure clear boundaries

// Prevent leaks of PHI

HIPAA SECURITY RULE

The security rule requires three types of safeguards that have to be in place when it comes to PHI – administrative, physical and technical.

Administrative safeguards: organizations must document security management processes, assign security personnel, use an information access management system, provide security training to users and regularly assess security protocols.

Physical safeguards: access to the physical storage of PHI must be controlled, along with securing any workstations and devices that store and transmit PHI.

Technical safeguards: access controls are required, data must be encrypted whether stored or in transit, audit controls put in place to meet network requirements and integrity controls so data isn’t improperly altered or deleted.

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