Many data centers claim to be HIPAA compliant, but there is one way to separate the truly compliant from those who offer unproven claims. The key is to find a data center provider that has gone through a rigorous audit process.
Healthcare providers, healthcare plans, and health data clearing houses, along with all of their business associates, are federally regulated under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). If you deal with electronic protected health information (ePHI), you're considered a covered entity and must comply with the mandates and safeguards of HIPAA and the related HITECH. So you may have heard of HIPAA/HITECH compliant hosting a time or two.
If your organization has access to electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), you’re fully aware of the repercussions of not being in compliance with HIPAA regulations. That responsibility and accountability extends to the data center you use to store your ePHI and maintain your IT infrastructure. Whatever type of IT solution you choose—cloud, colocation, managed hosting, etc.—the same HIPAA data center compliance standards apply.
If you’re facing a HIPAA compliance audit by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), knowing that you have a fully compliant data center in your corner will help you face the three main requirements under review: Risk Management, Audit Controls standard, and Evaluation standard.
With the advent of breaches in the recent years and their large scale impact on patient privacy protections, regulated healthcare organizations turn to data encryption best practices to help protect electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI).
If your healthcare organization has very specific high demand resources, a HIPAA compliant private cloud hosting solution would best meet your needs. In a private cloud hosting environment, all resources are completely dedicated to your company and are entirely customizable. For example, organizations that deliver Software as a Service or provide or host healthcare solutions and records would benefit from a private cloud hosting environment.
No organization can afford the fines and the loss of reputation and revenue that occurs with a data breach, especially those in the healthcare industry. When you partner with a HIPAA compliant data center, one whose core business is serving HIPAA regulated entities, you can mitigate the risks associated with the physical and technical safeguards for electronic protected health information (ePHI).
There is a cost-effective way for smaller healthcare organizations to migrate their data to the cloud and still achieve HIPAA compliance. By using a HIPAA compliant public cloud hosting solution, startups and small companies can get a scalable, flexible environment that can grow with them while paying under a manageable pay-as-you-go pricing structure.
Organizations in the healthcare industry are feeling the pressure to utilize new technologies to keep up with both federal mandates for protected health information (PHI) and to provide the best care possible to patients. One key service built on cutting edge technology is the use of the cloud for backup purposes. While it’s crucial to back up your PHI so nothing important gets lost, you need to ensure your cloud backup solution is HIPAA compliant.
Healthcare organizations are turning to the cloud for HIPAA-compliant services such as applications, storage, and networking because they offer improved security for IT systems and operational efficiency usually at cost savings to support their critical business operations. In addition to the cost savings, HIPAA compliant cloud services offer a variety of benefits like remote file sharing, the ability to quickly and easily expand storage, and developing custom applications that allow organizations to create a dynamic infrastructure ready to handle their future needs.