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Checklist to Ensure HIPAA Compliance at Your Practice

Each passing day brings an increasing need for cybersecurity and improved security compliance in the medical industry.

HIPAA compliance is not optional for providers, or covered entities, and the industry standards and compliance measures are everchanging. While there are several avenues to reach your HIPAA compliance targets, there are simpler, more cost-effective methods to reach your goals.

How to Ensure HIPAA Compliance:

1) Cloud-Based Software

Cloud-based health practice technology is one of the most recent ways to ensure HIPAA compliance in your practice. Cloud-based software offers a simple and cost-effective solution for providers looking to improve their security and strengthen the integrity of their data. By storing your patient and billing data in cloud-based software from a trusted vendor, your data gains protection from online threats, is automatically backed up, and the software is always up-to-date, never interrupting your practice workflow. This technology helps improve HIPAA compliance at any practice by protecting patient information with encrypted software, only available to approved staff.

2) Controlled Access

Ensuring controlled access is next on the checklist to ensure HIPAA compliance at your practice. In the past, many provider’s health practice technologies were controlled by multiple logins with multiple different passwords. Improving HIPAA compliance means designating a singular controlled username and password for any appropriate team member in your practice. It also means offering controlled access to patient information outside of your software by having a strict procedure in place for the release of Patient Health Information (PHI).

3) Interoperability

Interoperability is noticeably important when it comes to the communication of information between the different departments within your practice. A major HIPAA compliance question is whether or not interoperability remains compliant when PHI is being communicated to individuals outside of your practice. For example, some providers are operating interoperable digital communications with other providers and insurance companies. Software interoperability is much safer for the communication of PHI to other providers as it enables improvements for controlled access where faxed paper-documentation could be picked up by the wrong person. Finding a quality health practice technology vendor will ensure the protection of your patient data as it is communicated to other approved providers.

4) Automatic Log-off

Even the most diligent of providers sometimes forget to log out of their computers when they walk away. In order to ensure HIPAA compliance at your practice, you must make sure no one can access your account other than yourself. The solution to ensure HIPAA compliance is to utilize cloud-based technology that automatically logs out when a provider has not interacted on-screen for a certain amount of time. This way, even if a provider forgets to log out of their screen, no one will be able to access patient data who is without a log-in at your practice.

HIPAA compliance is not an option for providers and is becoming increasingly complicated as technology progresses and cybersecurity risks become more imminent. One key to safeguarding yourself against HIPAA penalties and sanctions is to partner with a quality vendor of health practice technology that is HIPAA and HITECH compliant, and keeps up with the changes to keep your practice and your patient’s data secure . The right vendor will equip your practice software with in-depth security measures without exhausting your financial resources. To learn more about a vendor who can help you, click here.

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