As a healthcare organization, your ability to keep your patients' sensitive information secure is not just the correct ethical choice—it's the correct legal choice, too. That's why remaining HIPAA-compliant is one of your chief operational duties. But negotiating the complex world of HIPAA compliance can feel challenging, especially now when changes within both industries (information technology and healthcare) are so frequent.
How are you to know if you have blindspots in your data security needs? How can you know if you're remaining current with all updated government regulations and guidelines? Even more importantly—how can you ensure your team will be ready for a HIPAA audit?
A HIPAA audit is a valuable opportunity to ensure your organization is meeting the rigorous standards set by this important legislation. It also helps ensure you're adequately protecting the sensitive information of individuals associated with your healthcare company. If you want to feel the most prepared for your audit, we invite you to consult with an experienced information technology (IT) team whom your security assessment and privacy officers can lean on for individualized support and guidance.
First passed in 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a U.S. federal legislation that regulates data privacy and security of medical information with various healthcare organizations and facilities. It ensures sensitive patient data—from demographics to diagnoses—remains secure and protected.
To ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations, healthcare organizations are subject to periodic HIPAA audits. These formal assessments are conducted in order to evaluate an organization's compliance, and ultimately identify areas where improvements can be made and errors can be corrected.
Of the five sections in HIPAA, compliance with HIPAA section Title II refers to the appropriate safeguarding of protected health information (PHI) for individuals associated with your facility. This includes electronic PHI—the overwhelming majority of most organizations' information and data these days.
We encourage anyone preparing for a 2020 HIPAA audit to enlist the support of knowledgeable professionals who can bridge the gap between cybersecurity and healthcare. Working with experienced healthcare IT professionals gives you access to their enhanced skills while ensuring your company fulfills current best practices and expectations within both fields.
At Integrity Technology Solutions, our team proudly features security advisor professionals who have earned certifications from both HCISPP and CHP:
Both of these certifications ensure you're consulting with individuals who have expertise in IT and privacy and security of healthcare information. Our certified advisors also stay up to date on best-practice standards and evidence, so you don't have to worry about "keeping up" all the time. This further ensures your organization will be able to maintain the rigorous compliance standards of HIPAA, protect your patients, and maintain your positive brand reputation. Ultimately, this can save on costs by helping you efficiently zero in on vulnerable areas within your infrastructure—and by helping you avoid costly data, privacy, and security breaches.
In our years of working with healthcare companies through the HIPAA audit process, we've helped streamline and individualize each company's preparation and response. We work with companies to make sure they're not missing any important aspects of HIPAA compliance, including:
These aspects are vital for ensuring any HIPAA audit goes smoothly and helping your organization's IT infrastructure remains poised to provide optimal security and privacy.
Are you anticipating a 2020 HIPAA audit soon? Get a team of professionals on your side to enhance your IT team's preparation. Call Integrity Technology Solutions at 309.662.7723 or contact us to find out more about how our HCISPP and CHP certified advisors can help you.