HIPAA Security Best Practices 

Create a patient and doctor portal adhering to EMR HIPAA compliance

HIPAA Compliance Requirements

There is a complex set of requirements regarding HIPAA-compliant websites and the doctor/patient portals they integrate with. These requirements are complex and span several key components, but when looking at electronic protected health information (ePHI), a primary concern should be adhering to the privacy rule. 

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Privacy Rules & Information 

There are several important aspects to the HIPAA privacy rule. The primary component outlines how a covered entity might use the individual's private information and how they might disclose it. It covers the individual's rights whenever the electronic protected health information is utilized and how the user can exercise those rights. 

The user should be able to request a deletion of their data, file a complaint, or provide feedback to the covered entity. It also outlines the covered entity’s legal duties and requires a statement by the covered entity ensuring the maintenance of the data and contact’s privacy. 

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Clarity can help you discover the best approach to keeping PHI safe and adhering to HIPAA compliance standards.

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Data Security Requirements

The security rule is very detailed. It is an outline of requirements set to ensure that the data itself is protected and adheres to EMR HIPAA compliance that prevents unintended access to the ePHI. This includes any kind of interaction that might occur with the data, including collection and transition, before becoming data at rest. 

This also includes ensuring access to the data is locked down and heavily restricted, keeping access to a minimum. This means employees at the data center would have a set of rules and restrictions surrounding their access, and all interaction with it follows HIPAA logging requirements. A continual audit of the data should also be standard. This puts a process in place to resolve any incidents where the data is accessed when it should not have been. The general idea behind the security rule is to reduce any exposure to the data unless it’s absolutely necessary. If someone does need to access it, they may need to sign a business associate agreement (BAA). 


EHR/EMR HIPAA Compliance Guidelines

What is PHI data, and what qualifies as protected health information? Per the Health Information Technology (HIT) guideline, PHI is defined by Health and Human Services as “individually identifiable health information, including demographic information that relates the individual's past, present, or future physical or mental condition.” [1] Additionally, it is any information that, on a reasonable basis, can help identify the individual.

This includes data like a medical record, lab record, hospital bill, patient's name, and other identifying information present in the EMR/EHR. Other important PHI includes the social security number, address information, and phone number. Though not medical in nature, they are tied to the data that is health-related, making it PHI. 

PHI isn’t just limited to aspects of a person’s health. Any information they provide, such as information entered into a contact form on the website, is also covered. The reasoning behind this: Someone would not want potentially embarrassing information to leak out regarding the type of specialist they plan to visit. That’s why it’s so important to invest in ERM integration that includes HIPAA-compliant web forms for your website.  

The best practice is to always assume that all information received, no matter the source, should be encrypted. You could also tokenize the PHI to protect it further. No matter how it is done, it’s important that any medical information or demographic information that can identify someone is protected and secure. 

You should follow a very detailed encryption model or use tokenization, leveraging a third party that does all the encryption and validation of the data security. You would then only receive a token value and key that could pull the data for particular users. This means someone would need both the token and key to access any information, serving as a two-fold process requirement to access data and therefore adhering to HIPAA compliance encryption requirements

Get the Best HIPAA-Compliant CRM Software

HIPPA compliance is complex, which is why it’s important to work with a portal integration developer who has experience with HIPAA security best practices. Clarity is here to help.

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Keep HIPAA Security Best Practices

When you’re looking for healthcare app developers for your medical practice, compliance must encompass every aspect of your business. Here are the most common platforms, software, and server issues you’ll have to deal with to maintain HIPAA compliance encryption requirements and best practices. 

  • Patient / Doctor Portal – The best HIPAA-compliant CRM software can bring preexisting platforms and software together. EHR integration includes custom eCommerce solutions for a HIPAA-compliant portal as well as your HIPAA compliance website, app, and email programs mentioned below.
  • HIPAA-Compliant Website – Keeping HIPAA website requirements is a must when providing PHI data security. A well-protected HIPAA website will have multiple security features to maintain compliance.
  • HIPAA-Compliant Web Forms – Even the simplest web contact forms on a public website must be HIPAA compliant. Information is covered by HIPAA as soon as a potential patient enters a name and phone number.
  • HIPAA-Compliant Website Design – Design is important for two reasons. On the front-end, you want your customers to have an easy-to-use experience. On the back end, you want to make sure that any plugins added for high-end web design don’t create additional security problems that compromise HIPAA-compliant EMR standards.
  • HIPAA-Compliant Mobile App – HIPAA-compliant applications are an excellent way to increase interaction with your business. HIPAA apps are often used for logging in to patient portals and for telehealth services.
  • HIPAA-Compliant Email – Email programs can be incorporated during EHR integration services. Emails shouldn’t contain PHI data, but steps can be taken to send patients directly to portal sign-in pages.
  • HIPAA-Compliant Web Hosting – The platform itself isn’t the only aspect of a site that must be secure. HIPAA-compliant website hosting requires its own level of security beyond the sales portal.
  • HIPAA-Compliant Server – Your information will be located on a physical server and backup servers. HIPAA compliance server requirements must be followed on each of these.

Clarity HIPAA-Compliant ERM Solutions

HHS has made it very clear: Each covered entity is responsible for implementing its own HIPPA security. Failure to do so could incur significant HIPAA fines per record.

Once you answer the question "do I need to be HIPAA compliant?", it is best to find the best HIPAA-compliant CRM software provider and work with a team that has completed these types of projects successfully many times. Choose a developer that has exceeds the validation process, ensuring they are compliant with the industry’s best practices. Clarity specializes in EMR integration solutions with the most popular medical software: Epic EMR integration, eClinicalWorks integration, Healthcare GE EMR, Cerner healthcare software, and dozens of others. 

Please feel free to investigate the resources below in order to better. They should help you understand HIPAA's different components, EMR integrations, and how important it is that you and your team are keeping data secure. If you have any questions or would like a complimentary consultation with our team, we're ready to show you a demo of our latest patient and doctor portals.

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EMR Integration Solutions

Patient and doctor portals must do everything possible to provide PHI data security. Make sure you’re completely within EMR HIPAA compliance. Talk to Clarity today.

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