As health records are increasingly maintained online and in the cloud, compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA Compliance) is more important than ever to keep information from becoming vulnerable. Your patients’ personally identifiable health information is some of the most sensitive and personal data imaginable. Working in this field often requires you to handle protected health information (PHI). As such, it is the responsibility of a medical practice to keep that information safe.
Following the established HIPAA guidelines in an ever-evolving world can be challenging, but will help ensure appropriate and consistent security, accessibility, and confidentiality. If you’re outsourcing your data management and information technology needs to a third party managed service provider, the safety of your patients’ data is in that third party’s hands.
When choosing a managed service provider for your practice, it is important to choose a company with a thorough understanding of HIPAA. Your IT company needs to understand the importance of physically protecting your data through facility access controls, workstation use and security, and device and media control policies. Your IT company needs to be well-versed in the technical standards required for HIPAA compliance – things like unique user identification, emergency access procedures, authentication, encryption, and transmission security, just to name a few. Your IT company also needs to have a collection of policies and procedures at an administrative level to govern the conduct of the workforce, implement training programs, and complete regular risk assessments.
If all this sounds overwhelming… it is. But it doesn’t have to be. The professionals at Keystone IT have years of experience developing and implementing HIPAA compliance programs for organizations of all sizes, and they’re ready to help you ensure the safety of your patients’ data and your practice.