The healthcare industry has some of the most stringent standards in terms of data-related regulatory compliance. HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) applies to 18 different aspects of individual health information that could potentially be used to identify someone. HIPAA privacy rules apply to both written and visual information. Privacy rules are only one aspect of HIPAA. While the entire act revolves around patient privacy, it’s not only organizations within the healthcare industry that need to be concerned about HIPAA compliance. Any covered entity or business associate that interacts with healthcare information also falls under the jurisdiction of HIPAA and must meet the requirements set forth by the HIPAA security compliance checklist. The good news for healthcare providers, dentists, and doctors is that document management providers are able to ensure they remain compliant with HIPAA.
The HIPAA Security Compliance Checklist
The HIPAA compliance checklist is just what it sounds like – a checklist of criteria that organizations must meet in order to comply with HIPAA regulations. The requirements of HIPAA are broad so they can be applied to all organizations that come into contact with Protected Health Information (PHI). There are five main technological safeguards that must be in place, according to the HIPAA compliance checklist. These HIPAA security rules include:
- Implementation of a means of control
- The inclusion of a verified authentication method for ePHI
- Tools for encryption and decryption
- Introduction of activity logs and audit controls
- Facilitation of automatic log-off for network-connected devices
Failing to adhere to HIPAA compliance comes with a heavy cost. Fines for violations can be as high as $1 million when sensitive information is concerned. Needless to say, any organization within healthcare or related to healthcare cannot afford to neglect security measures that involve Patient Health Information.
HIPAA Compliance & Document Security Equipment
The primary challenge of medical software is dealing with document management. Because such software is essential to processing large numbers of documents, most healthcare providers utilize these systems. Some of the key features of quality medical document security software include ease of use, strictly defined structure, and data security. Security solutions at the software level mean little without the hardware necessary to implement those solutions. Document security equipment includes medical office multi-function printers, medical office scanners, and network security, which helps to deal with issues that all organizations must concern themselves with today.
Other than requiring an inventory of all hardware containing ePHI, the HIPAA compliance checklist does not define specific hardware requirements. However, the entire list, when taken as a whole, implies that the proper document security equipment has to be implemented. This includes everything necessary to prevent or detect breaches if and when they do happen. In order to provide an integrated-document security solution, multi-function printers (MFPs) can be outfitted with wireless access points with pre-installed security-conscious firmware. With medical office managed IT, this integration can be accomplished without the need for piecing together every detail on your own.
High Quality HIPAA Compliance
External Managed IT services can provide services that will further integrate the necessary components of HIPAA security compliance into an office’s overall infrastructure. This eliminates the worry concerning the chance of a data leak or a security breach happening in some unexpected corner of document security services.
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have enough to worry about. By placing document-security, for both paper documents and digital files, concerns in the hands of experienced professionals, healthcare offices are able to have a HIPAA-compliant infrastructure that is tailored to meet the needs of their team and patients. Medical offices also benefit from a more efficient workflow that not only keeps them in compliance with HIPAA, but adapts to their changing needs.
Want to learn more about the available IT security options that RJ Young offers to hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other healthcare organizations? Contact us today to learn more about the latest HIPAA compliant document security innovations.