The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a law protecting patients’ privacy to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information (PHI). The rules apply to all types of PHI, even those available on digital platforms like the internet.
Not every website must abide by the HIPAA compliance guidelines. However, if the website collects, displays, stores, processes, and transmits PHI, creating a HIPAA-compliant website should be the company’s utmost priority. But which factors should doctors, hospital managers, and other professionals in the medical industry consider in making a HIPAA-compliant website? Here are some ideas.
1. SSL Certificate
The first key security measure is to have an SSL Certificate installed. Your website uses HTTPS to communicate with users. It ensures that their communication is encrypted and protected from cybercriminals. It’s a vital tool in protecting your company from e-criminals as well.
2. Chosen Server
Choosing the correct server for your website is also an essential factor in creating a HIPAA-compliant website. It should be secure, compliant, and above all, reliable. If the server is not dedicated, it could affect the availability and performance of your website, which are essential in meeting the privacy and security requirements.
Encryption is an essential step in creating a HIPAA-compliant website. To protect the data being transmitted to and from your website, it’s vital to have HTTPS installed and encrypted form fields. More importantly, the encryption is not only applied to the data in transit but also to the data that is being stored in your database.
4. Access Control
Access control is another crucial factor in creating a HIPAA-compliant website. In this case, access control means segregation of duties between the company’s employees and the IT department or code writers. The former shouldn’t be able to modify the code. It brings us to the next point.
5. Audit Trail
Another critical factor for companies in creating a HIPAA-compliant website is the audit trail. You must know who has modified your website, when, and how. It also helps you identify any code breaches. The audit trail must be kept in a secure location and should not be accessible by anyone other than the HIPAA compliance officer or auditors.
Importance of Complying with HIPAA
When it comes to HIPAA, the main objective of the law is to protect patients’ privacy. The HIPAA Privacy Rule applies to all covered entities that use or disclose protected health information (PHI). The covered entities are health plans, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, and many more healthcare providers.
The HIPAA Security Rule regulates how covered entities deal with electronically protected health information (ePHI). It explains how to safeguard ePHI from breaches and unauthorized access. The HIPAA Act is enforced through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Any entity that violates the HIPAA regulations could be subject to fines of up to $50,000 and $1.5 million per violation if the violation were intentional.
Creating a HIPAA-compliant website is not for the faint at heart. You must ensure that you have the right team, that you’re using the most secure and compliant technologies, and that your website’s design and functionality are pleasing to the eyes and safe.
If you’re unsure how to create a HIPAA-compliant website, you can always get help from a HIPAA Compliance Company like Nerdalert Solutions. We can ensure that your website meets the requirements set by HIPAA to ensure seamless business.
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