HIPAA Compliance Requirements in the Changing Technological Scenario
Technological growth while having paved the way for business expansions, e-commerce and web presence for
the enterprises, has also brought with it challenges in the form of cyber threats, targeted attacks, malware
and vulnerabilities. However, with the growing reliance of almost all industries including the healthcare sector
on information technology and its advancements, has made it imperative for enterprises across these sectors
to ensure that they are keeping pace with not just with technology upgrading but also with vulnerabilities
emerging every day.
An insight into the dependence on technology highlights the need for deploying proper IT security monitoring
procedures and practices across the enterprise. Though enterprises use a number of traditional security
controls, these are not enough for the growing vulnerabilities and threats in the present day sophisticated IT
environment. , The introduction of the health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
established in 1996 aimed to address the increasing need for privacy of patient electronic health records and
defined the HIPAA compliance requirements. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical
Health (HITECH) Act, not only updates the HIPAA standards but also strengthens the privacy and security by
adding the specific requirements to prevent breaches or leakage of electronic health information of patients.
Further, with more number of business associates and service providers being involved in the healthcare
industry today, efficient IT security monitoring practices within the healthcare industry ensures the
confidentiality and security of patient health records. However, meeting the HIPAA compliance requirements
begins with security management solutions that facilitate real-time monitoring, compliance reporting and
control management. The best way to maintain compliance is to integrate the people, processes and policies
with technology. As HIPAA security standards apply to electronically stored or transmitted protected health
information (PHI) the people involved, including vendors, covered entities and business associates need to
understand the significance of security.
As an important aspect of computer security, enterprises need to protect all personal health information
from falling into the wrong hands and from being corrupted or lost. . The HIPAA compliance requirements
therefore demands the healthcare professionals, service providers and covered entities to carry out risk
analysis that is specific to the practices followed within the enterprises. This will help them assess the
security risks faced by the existing systems and protocols. The HIPAA security standards are dependent on
the hardware, software, network and IT vendors. Meeting the HIPAA compliant requirements therefore also
differ with the varying electronic forms of patient record transfers carried out between the healthcare
providers and their business entities.
Check out - HITECH compliance, Security Posture Management