What Makes a Software Tool HIPAA Compliant?
When it comes to software, there are certain indications of the tool’s HIPAA compliance. Software HIPAA compliance really boils down to two things. Does the tool have safeguards to keep patient data private and secure? Does the software provider sign business associate agreements?
When the answer to both of these questions is “yes,” the tool is likely HIPAA compliant. If the answer to either is “no,” the tool is not HIPAA compliant.
What Are HIPAA Safeguards?
HIPAA safeguards are measures that a healthcare organization puts into place to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information (PHI). HIPAA categorizes safeguards into three groups – administrative, physical, and technical.
Administrative safeguards are written policies and procedures that dictate the proper uses and disclosures of PHI.
Physical safeguards are measures that protect an organization’s physical location, such as locks and alarm systems.
Technical safeguards are measures that protect electronic PHI (ePHI).
While administrative and physical safeguards are important, technical safeguards are generally the determining factor of a software provider’s HIPAA compliance. Technical safeguards that you should keep an eye out for include encryption, user authentication, access controls, and audit controls.