HIPAA eCommerce

eCommerce Dashboards on HIPAA-Compliant Portals

Updated  |  5 min read

The eCommerce dashboard you choose, and the eCommerce framework it sits on, should let the customer customize it to their specific needs. Ideally this will be possible on a self-serve basis. Let’s look at what the dashboard does and how it can help support your HIPAA eCommerce business.

hipaa ecommerce dashboards

Who’s Using eCommerce Dashboards

Every eCommerce business needs an online way to interact with its customers, which is usually a publicly accessible HIPAA-compliant portal. But because any company holding HIPAA-protected data must take extra steps to protect it, login-accessible portals are put in place so that a client can order products, interact with doctors, or get test results.

Any business that is entrusted with electronic health information (ePHI) is considered a covered entity (CE). Each CE has the legal responsibility to protect the ePHI in its care, which includes electronic health records (EHR), prescription information, and doctor interactions. The most common CEs providing HIPAA-level dashboards to their patients/customers are:

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  • Hospitals – The considerable number of staff a hospital employs means that a single patient’s ePHI can pass through dozens of hands during their stay. This creates multiple opportunities for HIPAA data to be compromised, which means that everyone who has access must receive proper training to protect sensitive data.
  • Private Practice – This includes PCPs, specialists, dentists, mental healthcare providers, and the nurses and staff that work for them. The care they provide often goes beyond their physical building as they send patients for labs and scans. Keeping and transferring this information must remain a priority at all times.
  • Pharmacies – Pharmacies collect extensive HIPAA-protected information that goes beyond the prescriptions they fill. They are also gathering information about the patient’s doctors, information that is considered ePHI.
  • Insurance Companies and Medical Clearinghouses – Insurance companies will have access to every procedure a patient undergoes, which amounts to a huge amount of protected health information.
  • Medical Device Suppliers – Because the devices that these companies sell are of a medical nature, they are considered a CE and their customers are protected by HIPAA. Manufacturers of devices that collect health information—such as Bluetooth-enabled glucose meters—must also guarantee that the devices and sites they connect to are HIPAA compliant.
hipaa dashboard challenges

Problems Companies Have

Because HIPAA is so complex and failing to protect ePHI can be disastrous, common problems arise when trying to create a dashboard on a HIPAA-compliant website.

Messy Dashboards

The primary problem that many companies have when developing a user dashboard is that they fail to step back and look at it from the end-user's point of view. Software is easy to understand if you built it or have been trained to use it...which are two advantages that a customer never gets. A user shouldn’t have to drill down through three pages to find the simple information they came for.

The dashboard must be made as simple as possible, and that starts with immediately presenting the end-user with the information they most likely want to see. Of course, this will often change from end-user to end-user, and it will change based on the services you offer.

messy dashboard
HIPAA Non-Compliance

HIPAA Non-Compliance

HIPAA compliance must always be adhered to, no matter where a customer’s information is stored. ePHI must be protected no matter where it exists, and that means any data that can be accessed via a HIPAA-compliant patient portal. Portals will often include prescription information, records of medical device purchases, and doctor diagnoses. Failure to protect this information could lead to substantial fines from the HHS Office for Civil Rights.

How These Problems Are Solved

Start With What They Want

No matter who your customer is or what they are doing on your site, it’s important to think like they do. If you were the customer, would you rather be greeted with obscure account information or a list of open orders? What shows up first will vary depending on your business model, but it will often include previous orders, upcoming appointments, lab results, or information about billing.

It’s important to start at a high level, at the most common parts of the HIPAA-compliant portal that customers use. You can even use analytics on the site to see where most customers end up. Once that’s determined, you may consider making that the first thing they see from then on.

what customers want from hipaa dashboards
hipaa dashboard details

Give Them Details (But Not Too Many Details)

Too many details on the first page of a dashboard can overwhelm end-users, making them frustrated with the whole experience. Side menus can guide them to information that’s needed less often. Details that will often go on submenus include:

  • Wish Lists – Items on the wish list disappear after they are purchased.
  • Shopping Lists – Items on a shopping list remain after purchase, allowing customers to easily reorder products that they will need repeatedly.
  • Profile Completion – More information about a customer means better service.
  • Messaging Area – Messaging lets clients easily get in touch with customer service.

Ads Can Be Okay

If your HIPPA eCommerce site sells products, offering the customer a discount on a product—such as a deal if they order more—can work. Dashboards aren’t the place that most people expect to find ads, so they must be subtle and well-designed. If you’re offering customers a good deal on a product that could benefit them, they might bite.

hipaa dashboard ads
Data Collection Devices

Data Collection Devices

Wearable devices that collect data and transfer it to computers via Bluetooth are becoming common. The dashboard of your medical app portal can be an excellent place for patients to access the information that the device collects. Even better, the data can display the information any way you wish: numbers, bar graphs, pie charts, changes over time. It can all be customized to the needs of the device the patient is using.

Any device that collects data must ensure that the data is protected according to HIPAA standards. Starting with a HIPAA-compliant website is one step to keeping the data in your care safe.

HIPAA Security

While it’s important to your sales that you provide a dashboard that addresses your customers’ needs, it’s even more important that you address the HIPAA security that’s a part of your patient-doctor portal or website. No matter your eCommerce business model, you will be transferring ePHI data to and from the patient or customer. You have to make sure it’s protected at every point.

Luckily you don’t have to choose between ease-of-use and security. The user dashboard can offer customers an immersive experience while still protecting their data.

hipaa dashboard security
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Work With Clarity

Clarity is deeply committed to helping healthcare providers and other covered entities protect patient and customer data. Doing so protects patient privacy and helps businesses stay out of trouble when it comes to ePHI and other HIPAA-protected data. HIPAA eCommerce platforms can be white-labeled as well, with a parent company purchasing it and the subsidiaries adding their own logos and preferences as necessary.

As a leader in the field, we’re here to offer our services, but we’re also here to offer free resources to help improve your business while remaining HIPAA compliant. That includes a complimentary discovery process and strategy session where we’ll get you started on your way to a more secure and lucrative website or portal. After that, you can work with us or take that information to another company to work with them. Either way, we look forward to building a long-term relationship with you as you increase your HIPAA eCommerce business.

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Stephen Beer is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures and has written about various tech industries for nearly a decade. He is determined to demystify HIPAA, integration, and eCommerce with easy-to-read, easy-to-understand articles to help businesses make the best decisions.