The adoption of cloud computing, especially in the healthcare industry, is widespread. Using a HIPAA cloud service allows users to access their data from multiple devices anywhere that has Internet, making traditional methods of storing data a thing of the past. The downside of cloud computing is the risk of having your data stolen or deleted by hackers. In healthcare, safeguarding protected healthcare information (PHI) and abiding by HIPAA compliant cloud data storage requirements is a top priority.
The Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires those working with PHI to handle it in a specific way. Therefore, cloud service providers (CSPs) with clients in healthcare must increase security measures to properly safeguard PHI. CSPs must address HIPAA requirements when offering their cloud services to the healthcare industry.
Readily Available Patient Health Records
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have become the industry standard, requiring the system hosting PHI to be reliable and easily accessible. This makes a CSPs uptime score extremely important.
Protection and Security of PHI
HIPAA cloud requirements are the same as if it were a traditional data center. This means that encrypted data is a must, while being transmitted as well as at rest. Additionally, data access must be traceable. With this said, many CSPs have taken the necessary steps to encrypt data in accordance with HIPAA law; however, not all cover the full regulation. Therefore, it is recommended that organizations in healthcare add to the security safeguards by restricting data access to authorized users and increasing encryption.
Accessibility and Ownership of Data
The HIPAA Privacy Rule dictates that entities have access to their data, denying access would be considered a breach under the law. HIPAA cloud providers are required to allow healthcare clients to extract their data at the end of service. It is essential for organizations in healthcare to ensure that the CSP they will be working with allows data to be easily exported.
Data Center Security
In the healthcare industry, many fail to understand that cloud service providers (CSPs) are considered business associates (BAs) under HIPAA law. Consequently, healthcare organizations need to have business associate agreements (BAAs) in place with CSPs before they can use their service.
HIPAA Compliance Management
Compliancy Group uses our cloud-based platform the Guard to manage and track your HIPAA compliance. Our dedicated Compliance Coaches will guide you through the process step-by-step. We will provide you with business associate agreements (BAAs) that have been tested against the letter of the law. We evaluate your vendors, such as your HIPAA cloud providers, to ensure that they are properly protecting your data. We simplify HIPAA compliance so that you can confidently focus on your business!