HIPPAA Compliance Made Easy

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a law that oversees the mass of data collected in the healthcare industry that might qualify as protected health information. Certain organizations called “Affected Legal Entities” and their business partners must comply with this. HIPAA compliance essentially means that you have completed all work that satisfies the security rules and that the necessary policies and procedures to protect your data are set firmly in place—in short, it ensures that you are protecting patient health information.

Healthcare providers must:

  • Guarantee the rights to the privacy of the patient
  • Written privacy procedures include how, what, and why the information will be used and when it will be disclosed
  • Ensure that business associates protect the privacy of health information
  • Teach all employees the provider’s privacy procedures
  • Appoint a privacy officer responsible for ensuring that security procedures are followed

Who/What is Protected?

Certain information is HIPAA protected, and it applies to all types of medical information, including information transmitted by email, paper, or orally. Some of these are:

  • Information that any health professionals write in the medical record
  • Conversations that doctors or other professionals have with nurses or others about care or treatment
  • Personal information is stored on computer systems
  • The patient’s billing information

The entire health system is more efficient by getting its employees to use IT tools or IT companies when sending confidential information. However, it also represented a challenge. The technical security measures in connection with HIPAA-compliant remote access are stringent: 

  • Every user needs a unique ID; deregistration must take place automatically.
  • The ID must be checked several times before the registration is carried out.
  • All user activities related to protected data must be recorded.
  • Data records cannot be changed without knowledge.
  • Data must be encrypted in transit.

Who must comply with HIPAA? Simply put, anyone who uses or collects PHI (Protected Health Information). However, only certain people and organizations are required to comply with HIPAA. This includes:

  • Captured entities such as healthcare providers, health insurers, healthcare, or any job that exchanges protected health information.
  • Business partners of recorded entities, including individuals and companies who work for or on behalf of captured entities.

How to Become HIPAA Compliant

A HIPAA compliant plan is mandatory if your organization falls under the aforementioned categories. If you have a data backup and disaster recovery plan for your infrastructure and your most critical data, it will help keep your organization’s operations running smoothly no matter what happens. In all critical situations that may arise, you should ensure the safety of these personal files infinitely. Having an exceptional IT provider can assist you in hitting HIPAA criteria and avoid being penalized. 

How Excellent IT Service Can Assist You

It will always be necessary to control who can read the data during backup and restore procedures, and of course, who can ask IT to restore the data. IT companies can also ensure your data is fully protected and stored in the cloud. Not all data protection schemes impose this level of security, but in a HIPAA-governed environment, security access should be your top priority. 

Backup and recovery solutions are also vital. Temporary files, copies of files on client computers, removed backup tapes, or any other trace of old data should be erased. At the very least, take advantage of an IT company’s HIPAA compliance consulting services to see if you have any weak points in your current system.

Quite simply, the requirements of HIPAA change typical protocol and affect network computing activities when it comes to storage management. It needs to be undertaken professionally. Organizations today are under a microscope more than ever before because data breaches are much more common than they were ten years ago. Consider all of these factors when ensuring your business is HIPAA compliant.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.