Steps to HIPAA Compliance for Cloud-Based Systems
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The rapid growth of cloud computing has also led a rapid growth in concerns pertaining to security and privacy in cloud-based infrastructure. Hence, such fears create a huge requirement to understand and implement cloud computing for healthcare organizations, while being compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
The benefits offered by cloud-based technology are too good to let go. The agility and flexibility that can be gained by utilizing public, private, and hybrid clouds are quite compelling. We need cloud based environment that can provide secure and HIPAA compliant solutions.
But, how do you achieve HIPAA compliance with cloud?
Image Source: Mednautix
Follow below steps to better understand how to ensure HIPAA compliance and reduce your risk of a breach.
- Conduct trainings
- Quality Assurance Procedure
Make sure all the quality assurance standards are met and are HIPAA compliant. Conduct surprise drills to find out loopholes, if any.
- Regular audits
Perform regular risk assessment programs to check the probability of HIPAA protocol breach and evaluate potential damage in terms of legal, financial and reputational effects on your business. Document the results of your internal audits and changes that need to be made to your policies and procedures. Based on your internal audit results, review audit procedure and update with necessary changes.
- Breach Notification SOP
Create a standard operating procedure (SOP) document mentioning details about what steps should be taken in order to avoid a protocol breach. Mention steps to be followed in case a patient data breach occurs.
Most often you would have a cloud service provider who will take care of your wide range of requirements ranging from finding resources, developing apps & hosting them to maintenance of cloud based infrastructure. While the primary responsibility of HIPAA compliance falls on healthcare company, compliance requirements can extend to the cloud service provider as “business associates”.
Are your cloud service providers HIPAA business associates?
Figuring out if your cloud service provider can be considered as HIPAA business associate can be tough. The decision may vary depending on the type of cloud usage. Considering that the cloud provider agency is an active participant, it must also adhere to security requirements, such as including encryption, integrity controls, transmission protections, monitoring, management, employee screening and physical security.
Investing in HIPAA compliance procedures can save you from many hassles. Follow these steps and minimize your risk of being found noncompliant.