We’re going to assume that you’re here because you’re responsible for finding a managed service provider. You want one that understands data security and HIPAA IT compliance.
Healthcare organizations need to take extra care when choosing cloud service providers. Your provider should be up to date with all HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) and HITECH laws.
These two laws define the legal standards under which electronic patient information is stored and shared. They also allow for advances in technology like cloud computing and storage. Your cloud service provider should follow HIPAA IT compliance requirements, and you as customer need to make sure they do.
Choosing a Managed IT Service Provider
You will need to understand some of the more technical requirements defined by the law, so here is a guide to help you along. Try starting with the following questions to ask your potential service provider, and some information about each one:
1. What level of support does your potential provider offer?
Through apps and online portals, patients can gain access to their health records. Your vendor should offer dedicated support and quick resolution response times in case of accessibility failure.
2. What safeguards and security policies does your potential provider have in place?
You’ll need to understand exactly how your patient’s data is being guarded. You are responsible for knowing not only how the data is secured, but also the type of encryption they use. You will want to know if they use strong password policies, intrusion systems, and multi-factor authorization.
3. What is their guaranteed uptime as outlined in their service level agreement?
You and your HIPAA-compliant IT service provider are business associates, so your cloud provider will guarantee a certain amount of uptime throughout your agreement duration. Your patients’ data should be available to them at all times.
4. Where is the patient data hosted?
Hosting in another country with looser compliance laws can risk your patient’s privacy. It can also affect the speed with which the data is accessed. Hosting in the U.S. is not the law, but it should be considered a best practice.
5. What is the level of continuity in times of a disruptive event?
Your cloud provider will implement Business Continuity as a proactive measure in case of any events that cause data loss or impair the performance of your applications. You’ll need to understand their risk analysis, data recovery plans, and crisis management to gauge how they react to or prevent these incidents.
It’s also imperative that your provider hires certified IT professionals who can guarantee compliance with all provisions of HIPAA and cybersecurity standards.
Here’s Where You Can Start For HIPAA Compliant IT Services Miami
Look for a provider that can offer you the security and HIPAA IT compliance that you need for your patient’s privacy. Now that you know what to ask, you can feel confident about starting your search.
For more information about HIPAA compliance requirements, check out our risk assessment and find out how we can help you manage, protect, and secure your patient’s health information.