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EMR HIPAA Compliance Facts You Must Know

The HIPAA regulation determines how medical data is used.

It protects the integrity and privacy of patient’s health information.

Each organization operating in the healthcare industry must comply with HIPAA.

As medical records are a crucial part of the healthcare industry, EMR HIPAA compliance services have skyrocketed in the past few years.

Healthcare software development companies should take precautionary steps to ensure HIPAA compliance.

The software platform should not compromise the privacy and integrity of patient data.

HIPAA Compliance with EMR/EHRs

HIPAA standards aim to enhance patient medical information protection.

All covered entities must adhere to HIPAA regulations for collecting patient data to bill and provide healthcare services.

The Protected Health Information (PHI) consists of:

  • Insurance coverage
  • Demographics
  • Test results
  • Immunizations
  • Allergies
  • Medical history
  • Diagnoses

EMR HIPAA compliance is a major concern for all healthcare providers as this information must be protected.

The main elements of EMR compliance that providers need to adhere to are:

1. Authorization

As the patient’s EHR data consists of all the vital patient information.

It becomes vital to ensure the hospital staff can only access the data required to perform their duties.

According to the regulation, you will have to establish who can access the data to perform tasks and who cannot.

Authorization is defined when administrative and integrity standards are involved.

For example – a person carrying out blood sample tests can only see parts of the patient data related to the test they need to perform. Nothing more.

The EMR/EHR development process must have the feature to provide limited access to the users.

The privileges and rights of the employees should be configured into the EMR/EHR systems by the organizations using the limited access feature.

2. Authentication

Whenever a user logs in to the HIPAA-Compliant EHR software, he/she will have to authenticate who they are.

Once the user logs in then only they get access to the privileges and rights mentioned before.

Several ways of authentication include

  • Passwords
  • PIN codes
  • Keycards
  • Biometric access

Though passwords are preferred by employees, they’re breached most frequently by cyberattacks.

Hence, training the staff to follow protocols becomes a vital step in ensuring EMR HIPAA compliance.

3. Automated Logoff

This feature is crucial for the security measures taken in a medical organization.

As the name suggests, the system will automatically log off if it is not used for a certain time.

It prevents unauthorized access if a person has logged in with their credentials and left their system unattended.

If a system has inactivity for a pre-set period, it logs off automatically.

Similar features were introduced in healthcare cloud computing and automated healthcare solutions to ensure data confidentiality and integrity.

4. Audit Trails

Audit trails are used in every industry to prevent unauthorized system access.

Though it is a preventive feature, it implies more toward a deterrence feature.

Audit trails keep the administrators informed about the happenings in the organization.

It logs every access, request, transfer, log-in, etc. conducted on the HIPAA-compliant EHR software.

These logs can be seen periodically to ensure that any employee has deviated from the established protocols.

Audit trails have become a common feature of cyber forensics services worldwide.

5. Encryption

It is one of the best methods to ensure the integrity and privacy of medical data.

Though encryption of patients’ data is voluntary, healthcare organizations will have to provide strong reasons for not doing so.

If they choose to encrypt the medical data then, they’ll have to decide what information to encrypt and when.

During transmission, the medical data is most vulnerable.

Hence, HIPAA-compliant EHRs usually encrypt medical data during transmissions.

It is a vital part of EHR/EMR HIPAA compliance measures.

6. HIPAA Compliant Hosting

During the development of a HIPAA-compliant EHR, it is a crucial consideration.

The developers decide on hosting and the state of the hosting infrastructure by considering the following measure for HIPAA compliance.

  • Physical
  • Administrative
  • Technological

Depending on the chosen hosting, the healthcare organization will be accountable for the measures undertaken to ensure that HIPAA regulations are followed.

Hosting options include

  • On-premises
  • Cloud-hosted
  • Platform-as-a-Service

Data Security – a Major Concern for the Healthcare Stakeholders

With the increase in technology adoption in the healthcare industry, data security has become one of the major concerns for healthcare stakeholders.

With the rapid implementation of IoT-driven data collection and telehealth solutions, it has become crucial to adhere to the HIPAA guidelines for EHR integration and development.

To ensure the continuity of medical data security, technology development should be in lockstep with innovations.

Your technology needs + healthcare compliance = Our solutions

We’re an Ontario-based healthcare IT company.

We’ve been working in the healthcare industry for the past 8+ years and have successfully delivered 60+ projects.

If you want to integrate or develop your EMR/EHR, fill out the contact form, and let’s discuss how we can assist you in achieving your healthcare goals.