Working in healthcare can be so stressful and intense as it is. Due diligence like tackling HIPAA compliance can feel burdensome and impossible, as it takes away from precious hours and resources.
It appears this way because most practice managers and healthcare professionals view compliance as a burdensome hassle. They view it as a detriment from the patient and view it negatively in large part due to all the work involved to ensure that their technology and processes meet set standards as to avoid violations.
So, how can practice managers, doctors, and other healthcare professionals lessen the negative experience and impact of HIPAA compliance requirements?
HIPAA Compliance: The Audits Are Coming.
HIPAA audits are imminent. It is no longer a matter of if, it’s when.
In the spirit of education, knowing about HIPAA is not enough. As a practice manager, you need to constantly be assessing and auditing your network, your systems, and your data to maintain that compliance once it is achieved.
You need to foster a culture around mitigating risks and security gaps. In order to maintain compliance, you’ve got to have a documented process for monitoring, maintenance, patching, and encryption. You should be aware of how all of this affects all aspects of your environment, and how to craft a security policy around things like devices, data access, and recovery planning.
Why is knowing not enough?
Whether you’re a practice manager, doctor, or administrator, your awareness of HIPAA requirements and how they’re measured must rank at the top of your priority list ahead of your audits or any cyber-attack.
The technology inside your business is now driven by applications. Your clinical operations and staff who operate those systems and applications need process and management. A competent, knowledgeable managed services provider (MSP) or IT staff can carry a great deal of that weight for you.
Having the support of an MSP means that your workforce is more efficient than ever before and you are able to stay focused on running your practice.
With the underlying goal of HIPAA protecting PII, MSP’s seek to share your grave responsibility to ensure that your healthcare practice is safeguarded from present and future threats and protecting patients’ information as a result.
Solving struggles for healthcare professionals.
We’ve found, in our experience working with healthcare providers, that practice managers are relieved when they recognize the uniquely well-rounded approach MSP’s take to supporting them. They want to know that their compliance, under HIPAA, is accounted for, but in that they’re able to take worry and a whole host of tasks off their plate when it comes to other aspects of practice management: Vendor management support, hosting services, proactive monitoring of their systems as a whole, and so on.
Leverage your MSP for ongoing compliance support
Healthcare professionals like yourself need an outsourced IT relationship they can trust. Multiple healthcare organizations trust Streamline Technology Group to manage their technology environments and see that they achieve compliance and maintain it thereafter.
Top 3 Ways Technology Impacts Your HIPAA Compliance
Patient data storage, network security, and digital communications are just a few of the ways that technology functions in the day-to-day operations of a medical practice.
Patient Data Storage
Storage options for protected health information (PHI) are important to consider when maintaining HIPAA compliance. Storage needs will vary and depend on the amount and type of data that the organization. Healthcare organizations should consider opting for HIPAA compliant data storage options, such as on-premise storage or cloud-based technologies.
Operating on a secure network is imperative to maintaining HIPAA compliance. Network security concerns all methods of transmitting data. This data can be transmitted via email, Internet, or even over a private network, such as a private cloud.
HIPAA compliant email ensures that an email with PHI is delivered securely to the recipient’s inbox. By using a secure email server or hosted solution, all messages sent over the network will be protected. HIPAA encryption requirements for transmission security state that covered entities should “implement a mechanism to encrypt PHI whenever deemed appropriate”.
Maintaining HIPAA compliance for your medical practice can seem overwhelming at first, but that’s why we’re here! In addition to handling your HIPAA technology compliance, we can assist you with completing any HIPAA documentation or paperwork.
Finding the right MSP for HIPAA compliance
At Streamline Technology Group, we’ve worked with a variety of vendors and can assist you in choosing a solution that is catered to your healthcare organization’s unique needs, including the stringent demands of HIPAA compliance. For more information on managed service providers, how to maintain compliance, and protecting your data, feel free to reach out to our team at (330) 558-1097 or fill out our contact form.