HIPAA Compliance Requirements in the Changing Technological Scenario


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HIPAA Compliance Requirements in the Changing Technological Scenario

  1. 1. 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