HIPAA Compliant Software Development

Healthcare organizations require an array of software to run their businesses. However, the software used by healthcare organizations must be HIPAA compliant. Learn about HIPAA compliant software development so you can sell in healthcare.

HIPAA Compliant Software Development: Security Measures

When developing software for healthcare organizations, software developers must consider the HIPAA regulation. HIPAA mandates that the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information (PHI) be maintained. 

The following security measures must be implemented for HIPAA compliance software development:

  • Data encryption and decryption
  • User authorization
  • Authorization monitoring
  • Automatic log off
  • Access control
  • Data backup
  • Remediation plan
  • Emergency mode

HIPAA Compliant Software Development: Implementing a Compliance Program

Under HIPAA law, software developers are considered business associates (BAs). Business associates are required to comply with many of the same standards as their healthcare clients. 

For HIPAA compliance software development requires the following:

  • Self-audits. HIPAA business associates are required to conduct five self-audits annually. Self-audits assess an organization’s administrative, technical, and physical safeguards against HIPAA standards.
  • Gap identification and remediation. By completing self-audits, gaps in safeguards are identified. To comply with HIPAA, software developers must create remediation plans to address the deficiencies identified by self-audits.
  • Policies and procedures. Policies and procedures provide a framework for how PHI should be used and disclosed. The HIPAA minimum necessary standard requires organizations and their employees to access only the PHI necessary to perform their job functions.
  • Employee training. Also an annual requirement, employee’s must be trained on HIPAA standards as well as their organization’s policies and procedures.
  • Business associate agreement. Before working with a healthcare client, it is essential to have a signed business associate agreement (BAA). A BAA is a legal document that requires each signing party to maintain their HIPAA compliance, and dictates that each party is responsible for their own compliance, limiting the liability for both parties.
  • Incident management. Organizations working in healthcare have an obligation to report breaches should they occur. Additionally, employees must have a means to report breaches anonymously.

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