Since HITECH regulations were passed in the early 2010s, HIPAA and HITECH violations have been on the rise.
Healthcare providers need to protect themselves from these violations. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be an insurmountable challenge.
The 5 Pillars of Compliance
Avoiding violations is best done through a systematic approach. When you successfully check these five items off of your list, you can trust that you are protected from HIPAA and HITECH violations.
For the most part, this boils down to password protecting access to electronic files. The goal is to limit viewership of the files to authorized personnel.
Integrity controls go a step further than access control. Where access defends medical files from prying eyes, integrity ensures that the data is only altered by authorized personnel.
This is the follow through on controlling access and integrity. An audit of your filing systems will check all of your technology and procedures to ensure the system is structured correctly and providing proper control who is seeing and changing data.
Medical data has to be transmitted regularly. Whether it is through fax, phone, email or other, health information cannot be compromised in transmission.
Authentication is the sum of digital protocols that ensure the other four pillars are being maintained. It simply verifies the identity of anyone trying to access health information and determines whether they should be granted that access or not.
It’s easy to see how no single pillar secures health data. But, when they work together, you create a robust, systematic approach to ensuring HIPAA compliance.
3 Methods of Success
Knowing the pillars and implementing them are two different animals. The latter part is best achieved by adding three components to your tech oversight. The first is mobile devices. Most equipment that stays in a medical facility is reasonably secure. Mobile access blows a hole right through that security.
The second component is in the cloud. Cloud-based data sharing and maintenance add layers of security and convenience that make it easier to stay HIPAA compliant.
The final component comes from partnering with the right IT providers. Many managed IT companies focus explicitly on health services. Their experience and expertise, tempered by your knowledge of what needs to be achieved, can readily provide HIPAA security that protects you from unintentional violations.