While there is no such thing as a HIPAA compliance certification, it is important that you look in detail at your compliant hosting provider’s capabilities to determine if they are qualified to host your data. As a healthcare organization, and a Covered Entity (CE), for purposes of HIPAA compliance, you are responsible for the security and protection of your patients’ electronic personal health information (ePHI).
Topics: HIPAA Compliant Hosting
Healthcare and life sciences companies have some of the most demanding requirements for availability, confidentiality, integrity, and security of data and electronic protected health information (ePHI). Considering the proprietary and personal nature of the healthcare and life sciences industries, it can be catastrophic if there is a breach, compromised data, or security attack against an organization.
Data center regulatory compliance requires a complex set of policies and procedures be put in place, documented, maintained, and executed by highly trained personnel 24 x 7 x 365. These compliance requirements extend to your data center provider who must follow the same high level of regulations as your company. It is crucially important to consider the data center partner you choose carefully to be sure they have appropriate staff, facilities, and policies in place to eliminate costly risk to your company’s reputation.
Take full advantage of working with your data center by engaging in managed services. These data center services provide great value and give you the confidence that things like security and disaster recovery are being handled by professionals for your protection and under HIPAA compliant guidelines.
Within life sciences organizations, each compliance activity is implemented based on the product type and country in which products are sold. Businesses operating in this industry must ensure whatever technology, systems, and infrastructure used in GxP activities are developed, validated, and operated appropriately for the intended purpose.
There can be significant risk involved in opting to have a data center host your company data if you do not do your homework. Specifically, for companies in regulated industries, it is critical to know the requirements under which you must operate, and qualify your data center vendor to be sure they are fully compliant with the standards in your industry.
Standards, protocols, and regulations are customary in the life sciences industry. An organization must depend on the provider's GxP compliant data center services and underlying infrastructure to ensure complete compliance. Your provider's capabilities must withstand any audit and offer the evidence required for a validated infrastructure.
GxP compliance has very clearly documented requirements. Be aware, however, that not all data centers follow them. This is an important distinction for life sciences companies that must maintain compliance not only at their site, but at their data center provider’s sites as well.
Many data centers share similar infrastructures, however, there are also numerous variations of which you should be aware. When thinking about the basics, they all include racks of servers, power, switches, and cooling units inside a highly secured facility. The difference comes in when considering what is required for a qualified infrastructure specifically for healthcare companies. Keep in mind that some of the biggest security failures are the result of insufficient IT services. These breaches emphasize the differences between HIPAA compliant infrastructures and their mainstream counterparts.
The importance of compliance within the data center you choose is critical. It is an essential component of ensuring your organization is meeting regulatory requirements. The data center partner you choose is a direct reflection on your organization’s standards. With increasing risk of being targeted by hackers and other cyber thieves, you need to be 100% sure you are doing everything possible to reduce the likelihood that your company will fall victim.