Welcome to the First Column IT Tech Blog

HomeBlog
How to Ensure Your Business Remains HIPAA-Compliant

How to Ensure Your Business Remains HIPAA-Compliant

June 7, 2023

In 1996, the United States Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, better known as HIPAA, in an attempt to streamline the healthcare system while also maintaining individual privacy of individuals’ health records. This regulation allowed people to more effectively and securely transfer their health coverage without the risk of fraud or abuse of health records. As you can imagine, your technology plays a significant role in making this happen.

Today, we want to examine four ways your technology works to keep your systems HIPAA compliant. Regardless of what industry you identify your business as, you hold health records, provided you offer health insurance to your team, requiring you to be in compliance with HIPAA standards.

This is difficult for a lot of companies, which is a problem. The fines imposed by noncompliance with HIPAA can be massive, which is why your company needs to know how it can successfully handle this type of sensitive employee information.

How Does Technology Factor In?

Businesses need technology to survive, thrive, and compete, but the role it plays with HIPAA is more about data confidentiality. This is difficult when organizations outsource their benefits and insurance to third-party providers. When this data is sent digitally, it opens up countless avenues for the data to be intercepted, thereby putting it in noncompliance with HIPAA.

Let’s look at some simple ways your organization can use technology to support its HIPAA compliance.

  • Secure communications: You’ll want to only use secure methods of sharing individual health records. This means that no ePHI should ever be sent through a text message or instant message. Instead, you should use platforms that have the necessary security measures built into them, like encryption.
  • Using the cloud to your benefit: Some people fault the cloud for not being secure, especially in the case of ePHI. However, the cloud is widely considered one of the better platforms for hosting this information, as it can be stored and shared without needing to be sent through an unsecured network. There are no paper documents to misplace and no files to hijack while in transit.
  • Keeping passwords secure and updated: Passwords play a pivotal role in keeping your files and infrastructure secure from threats, and they play the same role for ePHI. Encourage your team to change their passwords on a regular basis, and be sure that they are making them complex with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Improving training practices: All businesses need to work toward data security, which also involves training employees on how to properly handle this data. By training your staff, you ensure that they are prepared (at least, as well as they can be) to do what must be done to keep your data safe according to HIPAA and other compliance standards.

There is a reason this regulation exists, and it’s because this kind of information is extremely valuable to hackers and scammers. You can take your protection of it one step further by working with First Column IT. To learn more, call us today at (571) 470-5594.

Previous Post
May 30, 2024
How You Can Increase Your Customers’ Satisfaction Levels
Today's consumers are exceptionally knowledgeable, which makes you need to prioritize a proactive approach to creating exceptional customer experiences to build lasting relationships. Let’s explore strategies for enhancing customer satisfaction and retention.
May 27, 2024
Voice over IP: Changing Communications One Office at a Time
Communications are incredibly important for businesses, but it’s easy to let the other parts of your technology infrastructure take priority. One of the greatest ways businesses can prioritize communications and cut costs is by implementing a VoIP ( Voice over Internet Protocol) system. With the right setup, your business can revolutionize its telephony system and streamline communications across your organization.
May 24, 2024
If You Want to Insure Your Business, You’re Going to Need MFA
Certain businesses have taken a much closer interest in cybersecurity… those businesses being business insurance providers. Many will now only provide coverage if your business maintains certain cybersecurity standards. One key tool they want to see is multi-factor authentication, or MFA.

Have a project in mind?

Start with our free consultation for VA, DC and MD companies. We will provide a detailed proposal and firm quote based on your specific IT support needs. All at a predictable monthly cost per seat.
Free Consultation - Sign Up Here