July 27th, 2017 by adminIf you have to handle or access electronic personal health information (ePHI), then you also need to comply with HIPAA standards and regulations. There is an extensive list of requirements that your business needs to follow in order to fully maintain HIPAA compliance. There are many technical, physical, and administrative safeguards to follow. These compliance rules are modified constantly, so it is vital to follow the regulation changes. In fact, keeping policies current with changing regulations is the number one challenge for 47% of organizations. So what can companies do to keep up?
While data centers may not be the first obvious answer for HIPAA compliance, make no mistake; they are an excellent compliance tool. “But why should I trust confidential information to someone else?”, you might ask. There’s no need to feel apprehensive. A data center can help with HIPAA compliance in several key ways.
Established Hardware and Software
Data centers localize information from many organizations in one central location. As such, laws require that they use highly advanced IT security. An example is the usage of extensive next-gen firewalls and forms of encryption to protect both information and servers. Additionally, passwords, audits, and automation are in place in multiple forms. Likewise, duplicates and backups of information exist, should something go wrong in the data center. Measures also in place so that information will terminate itself, should there be a risk of compromised data.
Multiple forms of encryption, security audits, automatic logoffs, termination of breached information, and limited access, among others; HIPAA compliance requires them all. Data centers already have the infrastructure in place to maintain HIPAA compliance. For a business to follow HIPAA compliance on their own requires extensive time, capital, and training. Many companies may not always have the budget to spend on an extensive IT infrastructure. A data center is a cost-effective method to handle HIPAA compliance for such organizations.
Established Administrative Safeguards
Among HIPAA compliance requirements are constant risk assessments, the creation and testing of contingency plans, and restriction of third-party access. There is a long list of measures that separate hardware and software requirements. There are also copious procedures governing how ePHI interacts with hardware and software.
Data centers must follow many of the procedures required by HIPAA. This is part of following other forms of compliance regulations, with contingency plans and risk assessments being chief among them. Information cannot get compromised due to carelessness. Regular tests of security need to happen. Hierarchies of who has what level of access need establishing. Luckily, data centers address all of these issues. You don’t have to put in new procedures that could slow your operations to maintain HIPAA compliance.
Established Staff Training
Handling ePHI within HIPAA compliance requires detailed training in specific rules and operations. Data centers already staff experienced IT experts. These employees already follow an extensive number of procedures to keep information safe, while following compliance regulations. Furthermore, IT security and privacy training procedures are already a large part of their job.
For a business that has to handle ePHI, the addition of tedious procedure training on top of your staff operations can be a needless burden. Though your office staff may be up to the task, they may not have the bandwidth to follow every necessary procedure. A data center can help with that. Your staff is free to run their operations without getting bogged down in extra training. In short, HIPAA compliance doesn’t need to be something you have to tackle alone.
Helping You Follow the Rules
HIPAA compliance is long, complex, and not something one should take lightly. Data centers are greatly beneficial to you when you need to handle ePHI and abide by HIPAA standards. They already have the established procedures, training, security, hardware, and software to keep sensitive information private.
At IPRO, we want to take the burden of HIPAA compliance off of your business. We’ve assisted companies just like yours for years. Partnering with us means that you’ll experience a smooth transition to a data center, with minimum downtime and maximized benefits. Contact us today to get started on your path to HIPAA compliance.
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