There’s a ton of information available about HIPAA risk assessments designed to serve as guides for a DIY process. But, most of the steps they ask you to take are not self-explanatory, and many of the terms used require a robust security vocabulary. So, how can the average person complete a security risk assessment and ensure they’ve done so correctly? Use a HIPAA third party risk assessment tool.

Benefits of Using a HIPAA Third Party Risk Assessment Tool

  1. Guidance on answering risk assessment questions
  2. All answers stored in a centralized location
  3. Automatic assignment of remediation plans
  4. Verification of your efforts
  5. Ongoing risk assessment support

Guidance on Answering Risk Assessment Questions

If you’ve ever looked at a HIPAA risk assessment questionnaire, you know that many questions are full of legal and technical jargon. You’ve probably thought, “What is this question even asking?” or, “How am I supposed to know if I am meeting this requirement if I can’t understand what the question is asking?” 

Going through a risk assessment questionnaire without guidance can be daunting and frustrating. But, a good HIPAA third party risk assessment tool will provide simplified questions you can confidently answer. And if you have any questions, their support staff is there to help.

All Answers Stored in a Centralized Location

If the HHS OCR ever investigates you for potential HIPAA violations, they will require you to produce evidence that you have conducted an accurate enterprise-wide risk assessment. If you cannot prove that you have, you can face massive HIPAA fines for negligence. 

An online HIPAA risk assessment tool allows you to store your responses and quickly generate reports proving that you took the steps required to meet HIPAA requirements.

Automatic Assignment of Remediation Plans

A good HIPAA third party risk assessment tool will automatically assign you remediation plans based on your question responses. If you answer that you lack a specific measure, the tool will give you a plan for how you should address your deficiency.  

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Verification of Your Efforts

One of the most significant benefits of using a HIPAA third party risk assessment is that someone can verify that you have taken the necessary steps to prove your “good faith effort” toward compliance. If you have missed something, the third party can help identify what you missed and what you should do to remediate it.

Ongoing Risk Assessment Support

Risk assessments should be ongoing. Using a HIPAA third party risk assessment tool that stores your answers in a centralized location, you don’t have to repeat all your hard work whenever there is a simple change in your business. You simply have to update your answers to only the questions relevant to your change.

When Should a Risk Assessment Be Completed?

HIPAA risk assessments should be completed annually or sooner if there is a change in business operations. For example, suppose you start using a new computer in your business that has access to protected health information (PHI). In that case, you must conduct a device audit to ensure the computer has adequate safeguards.

This is why risk assessments are continually completed throughout the year in many cases, especially for mid to larger businesses. You are constantly adding new employees, which triggers the need to onboard a new device, and thus you must ensure that the device meets HIPAA privacy and security standards.

Compliancy Group’s Healthcare Compliance Platform

Let Compliancy Group be your third party HIPAA risk assessment tool. Our automated software platform allows healthcare organizations to conduct HIPAA security risk assessments, automatically assign remediation plans, and store your documentation. We offer ongoing risk assessment support, issuing annual reminders to reassess your risks.

Upon completing our total HIPAA program, your Compliance Coach verifies that you have taken the steps required by HIPAA and issues you the HIPAA Seal of Compliance (SOC). The SOC serves as a HIPAA validation tool for your website visitors when the visitor clicks on the SOC on your website.

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Make sure your business and the tools you use to run it are compliant.