HIPAA eCommerce

Protecting HIPAA Documents with Advanced Security

Updated  |  5 min read

All information on a HIPAA site must adhere to strict security standards. The challenge comes from the fact that this information comes from many sources and can be in multiple formats. For instance, a customer may give you information directly by filling out forms in your portal. Their doctor or imaging lab might upload files from their own system, and some of those could be images (as opposed to scalable text). Electronic signatures may also be captured. All of this must be encrypted or tokenized, readable by multiple systems, and restricted only to those who need to see it.

This level of security and organization takes a developer with experience, once that has seen the problems associated with such complex situations.

How to Treat HIPAA Documents

Keeping personal information—names, addresses, phone, email address, credit card information—is difficult enough for any eCommerce website. But when you add HIPAA to the mix, you’re also adding the possibility of government intervention if you happen to divulge that information.

Documents that contain ePHI are just as sensitive as any information you keep. Let’s take a look at some of these concerns to address.

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Perhaps the most difficult aspect of HIPAA law is that the information needs to be highly secure but also easily accessible. Neither the doctor nor the patient wants to spend any significant time searching for a document or have a hard time accessing it. When you talk to a HIPAA developer, discuss how this balance can be achieved.

Technical Security

Security can take many forms on a HIPAA-compliant website. Data should aways be encrypted at rest. When files are being accessed, tokenization can hide the information up the last moment it needs to be viewed.

It’s also important to consider the importance of login security. This may mean requiring—and not just suggesting—very strong passwords. Two-factor authentication is another way to keep information safe on public-facing portals.

Restricted Access

Access logs are created every time protected documents are opened or altered. That’s why it’s important to limit access to people who need the information. Leaving information “out in the open” for too many of your employees could come back to bite you during a HIPAA audit.

HIPAA Training

Requiring strong passwords and multi-factor authentication is an excellent way to keep hackers from stealing information. But it’s the very strength of those measures that have made hackers turn to social engineering to gain information. All employees should undergo HIPAA training so that they can be on the watch for malicious actors trying to get them to reveal passwords or installing malware.

3 Questions to Ask

No matter how simple or complex your needs are when setting up, Clarity can help you create something that works specifically for you. Here is a small collection of questions you might want to start thinking about.

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Who Has Access?

One of the most important aspects of protecting ePHI documents is deciding who has access to what. A robust platform will be able to be incredibly specific about giving permissions. This can be as broad as an entire company to as granular as a single person.

Document libraries can also be sorted based on the sets of information in them. For instance, an employee might only have access to any document tagged as a prescription, preventing them from seeing any other patient ePHI.

Who Can Upload?

That’s up to you. The most common people to upload files are usually patients and doctors (or staff workers acting on the doctor’s behalf). But documents can also be uploaded by other healthcare professionals such as imaging and lab technicians.

Who Has the Source of Truth?

We’re very confident in saying that the HIPAA-compliant platform Clarity offers can integrate with anything. It might be complex, but we can integrate it with any back-office system, EMR/EHR, pharmacy system, or even one you’ve had custom-made. HIPAA documents will be changing all the time, so we’ll work with you to decide what the source of truth is for documents.

HIPAA Security

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Medical records—and any electronic files that contain healthcare information—can come from dozens of sources. It’s vital that you are able to access them as necessary, but you must also keep them safe and secure according to HIPAA standards. It’s your legal and moral responsibility to do so, so make sure you’re doing due diligence.

Clarity always keeps the HIPAA Security Rule and HIPAA Privacy Rule in mind when working with ePHI. Because we’ve done so before, we know where problems can arise.

Working with Clarity

Clarity has been working on HIPAA sites for more than a decade, and we understand the importance of keeping information secure. With experience comes the knowledge of the problems that can arise during HIPAA integration and the holes that can appear in security. We’re ready to use what we’ve learned to make your next project adheres to HIPAA compliance standards.

In fact, we can give you some of our knowledge for free! Besides the dozens of articles we have freely available on this website, Clarity offers a complimentary discovery session with our team. We’ll help you address the business logic side and the security side, helping you create a plan for the future of your company. You can use this plan with us or take it with you to your next prospective developer. We’re here to protect covered entities protect ePHI, even if you don’t work with us directly. Get the process started by clicking below!

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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.