What is HIPAA Compliant Email Archiving?
HIPAA compliance email archiving requirements, well really HIPAA electronic data retention requirements, state that healthcare organizations must keep data for at least six years. Throughout this six year period, access controls must be enabled to prevent unauthorized access to data, and audit controls must be in place to track data access. By having email archiving compliance requirements, the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information (PHI) is preserved.
Although HIPAA doesn’t require email archiving, there is still such a thing as HIPAA compliant email archiving. This is because healthcare organizations will most likely contract a software provider to convert and maintain their files. As such, email archiving providers that work with healthcare clients are considered business associates under HIPAA.
Since they are classified as business associates, there are certain things that make up a HIPAA compliant email archiving solution. This includes the safeguards the provider has in place to protect their clients’ data, and the willingness to sign a business associate agreement. Providers that are unwilling or unable to sign a business associate agreement should not be chosen to manage HIPAA compliance email archiving for healthcare entities.
Additional Benefits of Email Archiving
We already mentioned that HIPAA compliance email archiving offers searchable data storage, and that encryption keeps the data secure, but there are some other important benefits of HIPAA email archiving.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery.
HIPAA requires businesses to implement business continuity and disaster recovery plans to minimize downtime during a breach or natural disaster. HIPAA compliance email archiving meets the data backup requirement of business continuity and disaster recovery, as exact data copies are stored on an offsite server.
Rapid Audit Response.