It is important for the healthcare industry to maintain HIPAA policy. Maintenance of HIPAA compliance and protecting patient’s information is crucial for any healthcare provider or covered entities. There are many factors coming in play and affecting the organization set up to keep the data secure of the patient. Technology evolves constantly and thus HIPAA compliance in such situation gets a little difficult.
The obstacles that make it difficult for getting HIPAA compliance Certification are as follows:
External data security threats, employee training, evolving technology are the top obstacles that prevent the companies or covered entities from HIPAA compliance.
- Secured communication- maintain secured internal and external communication is very challenging but one of the most important aspect that needs to be considered for HIPAA compliance. Email, faxing, text messages should all be encrypted before transmission to assure that they are not vulnerable. Modern form of communication makes communication simple but the privacy is often risked so care should be taken here.
- Audit of Business Associate Agreement (BAA)- any entity that manages transmission and storage of PHI on behalf of covered entities like hosting service provider, or mobile messaging provider then they are regarded as Business Associate (BA). HIPAA makes it compulsory for the covered entities to enter in to BAA with their BAs to ensure that the PHI remains secured and protected at all times. Incase of failure with the rule the company does not remain HIPAA compliant.
- Protect mobile devices- with the growing popularity of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) the potential risk of information being leaked increases manifold. As per surveys it has been registered that most of the breach occur due mobile device. Therefore the covered entities need to ensure that smartphones, laptops, tablets are secured and don’t result in any security breach. Organizations to avoid the risks due to use of devices need to ensure that the devices are encrypted with strong passwords and multi-factor authentication so that only the staff can exchange the healthy information from pre-approved HIPAA secure applications.
- Go beyond digital- digital data has the most cases of breach but physical information also needs to ne kept secured and protected to be HIPAA compliant. Any old physical document needs to be disposed off in the right manner so that they cannot be accessed by anyone.
Maintain HIPAA compliance round the clock can be very challenging for the healthcare providers and other covered entities. For small and medium sized organizations it can be very challenging for HIPAA compliance because of lack of skilled personnel, resources, and budget. For HIPAA compliance the covered entities should have complete information regarding the rules and hire a compliance officer who undertakes the compliance work and runs risk assessment. Also, the companies should audit the third parties or business associates before entering in contract with them. HIPAA compliance can be successful only in environment that has robust policies regarding security and privacy.