How IT Providers Help Health Care Providers Stay HIPAA Compliant

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Staying HIPAA compliant has never been more of a challenge than in the current social environment. How can health care providers ensure that their staff and patients’ data is safe from prying eyes and individuals who rely on social media for medical advice?

How can they maintain HIPAA compliance in the absence of air-gapped computers and physical paper medical records?

It’s all about a combination of IT management, compliance assessments, and encryption.

If you’re in the healthcare industry, you have heard about HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Not only is this a federally mandated program, but it also carries heavy fines for each violation.

Many companies in the healthcare industry have started using qualified IT providers to ensure that they are HIPAA compliant. With Cyber Attacks a constant threat, it’s essential for health providers to have a secure network in place.

Keep reading to find out how managed IT providers can help you stay compliant.

How Can IT Providers Help?

IT providers have had to rapidly educate their staff and bring processes up to speed so that they can provide HIPAA-compliant consultancy and assistance.

This means they typically have a high level of competence and have already gone through all the necessary training.

In the long run, it makes more sense to outsource your compliance requirements to a more mature IT provider. This saves you the cost and effort of maintaining your own IT Department.

What Risks Do Healthcare Facilities Face?

Providers in the healthcare industry face quite a few distinct challenges when it comes to HIPAA compliance. Each of these can cause incredible damage to the company’s reputation and lead to debilitating fines.

Cyber Attacks

Cyber-attacks have been rising exponentially in the last decade, with over 5,000 confirmed breaches in 2020 alone. Ensuring that your network is in top shape and that all your defenses, including firewalls, DMZs, and other security mechanisms, are working against potential intruders should be your top priority.

View these managed IT services to check that you’re not being left behind.

Risk Assessments

Risk assessments are a continual nightmare for most healthcare facilities. It’s easy to miss some crucial information and end up non-compliant. Sometimes it’s as simple as not fully understanding the requirements.

At the very least, your risk assessments should cover:

  • Incorrectly updated systems
  • Disaster Recovery plans
  • Constantly evolving vulnerabilities
  • Encryption issues on your network

A Managed IT Provider will have experience in generating risk assessments and know which portions are relevant to your organization.

Infrequent System Reviews

It’s a big burden to review system information constantly. Even a relatively small organization generates a lot of data. Breaches often go unnoticed because nobody reviews transactions and keeps up with remedial actions.

You should constantly be taking action to fix problems, including:

  • Constantly checking that all systems are secure and compliant
  • Checking that all security protocols are adhered to
  • Ensuring only authorized personnel can access systems
  • Making sure that sensitive healthcare data is kept safe
  • Testing and forming data recovery plans

Choosing the right IT Service Provider can make or break your organization’s compliance status. It’s important to choose the right one.

How to Find Quality IT Providers

It can be quite daunting to sift through the many IT providers out there and find the right one for you. A good first step is to evaluate what your organization’s actual needs are and quiz any potential provider carefully before signing up. If they don’t meet your requirements, move on.

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Alice Christina, a seasoned health writer, combines her passion for wellness with a strong foundation in evidence-based research. She crafts insightful content that empowers readers to make informed health decisions. Alice's expertise shines through her concise and reliable health articles.