Every modern business employs computers and other technology to help organize data and run their business on a daily business. This means that data security is important to every business out there, but it’s especially important to healthcare businesses, which handle sensitive patient information and must comply with HIPAA regulations. While HIPAA standards are many and complex, this article will touch on a few of the main security features your technology systems must have in order to remain compliant. Keep reading to learn more.
All patient PHI (Protected Health Information) must be completely encrypted when it’s stored as well as when it’s sent via email, SMS, or other methods. This encryption is essential to protecting the privacy of the data. If a security breach does occur and PHI is stolen, the encryption should make it completely undecipherable to the thief.
Your clinic needs to not only be using storage methods that encrypt data but also employing communication methods that allow your patients to access their data without potentially compromising their PHI. Email encryption is one possibility, but many clinics now use online patient portals for improved security, as well as allowing patients to access their PHI whenever they desire.
Authorized User Monitoring
This one is a two-fold security measure. First, your data storage system must enable the creation of authorized users—that is, users who can log in to be given access to certain features and information. That information should be limited only to those users who require the information for their work, and the ability to limit users should be another feature of your storage system.
Then, you must be able to monitor what information is being accessed and when. This usually comes in the form of logs, which you can view to see what PHI has been accessed by which employees.
Finally, your storage system, your computers, and any other technology that has access to PHI must be equipped with an automatic logoff feature. This is fairly standard in most computers and storage systems. When the software or computer sits idle for a certain amount of time, it should automatically log the user out and require a fresh login to access data.
Obviously, these three security features are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to HIPAA compliance. It’s essential that you learn and understand all of the compliance regulations so that you can ensure you’re following them all. A managed IT support services company in Orlando can help with this.