Telemedicine is taking the world by storm. Remote services, including healthcare, are a great alternative for those who are limited in time.
For this reason, apps and websites for providing medical services are gaining huge traction right now. Besides the general steps involved in the development of mobile applications and sites, the one setting up such a tool should remember about HIPAA compliance.
As federal legislation, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 sets a strict set of guidelines for those involved in telemedicine.
So, if you want to start a healthcare website, you should bear in mind many points, from necessary safeguards to possible issues.
This article will provide you with all the important information on how to make a HIPAA compliant website. But before heading over to make a HIPAA compliant website, let’s understand the basics first.
HIPAA Website Basics
Before delving deeper into how to make a HIPAA-compliant website, it’s essential to understand some basics of HIPAA.
HIPAA is a general guideline that sets principles for privacy and security-protected health information (PHI). PHI is any segment data that can be utilized to recognize a health care patient. Some examples of PHI include name, address, date of birth, phone number, email address, and clinical records.
Under HIPAA, both medical care suppliers and medical services sellers who come across PHI must be HIPAA compliant. Suppliers are named “covered entities” under HIPAA, and merchants are named “business associates.” That implies that whether your association is a dental practice or an IT supplier working in medical services, you should have a HIPAA-compliant site to ensure any data caught that constitutes PHI.
Does Your website need to be HIPAA Compliant?
Before trying to make your website or server HIPAA compliant, first you need to ask yourself those few key questions to determine if your internet site desires to be HIPAA compliant within the first place:
- Are you transmitting PHI thru your website?
- Are you storing PHI on a server related to your website?
- Are you amassing PHI on your website?
If the solution to any of those questions is yes, then your website desires to be HIPAA compliant.
How To Make A HIPAA Compliant Website?
One of the initial steps you should take to guarantee your site is HIPAA agreeable is by adding SSL certificate to your website. A standard non-SSL site (a site with the standard http://in the URL) is actually insecure in that if a computer is among you and the webserver.
It means that they can see all information going through, such as usernames, passwords, and some other touchy information passed to the computer’s webserver.
When a site has an SSL authentication (when there is an “s” after HTTP – HTTPS://), the transmissions from the computer to the server are protected and unreadable by other parties.
Related Topic –Top Cyber Security Threats For Pharmacies
Take A Backup Of All Essential Data
All customer data should be backed up. Any information gathered by your site should be backed up in some shape or structure to avoid complete data loss. Thus, the data can be protected only via a reliable and secure cloud service or local backup.
This means that approved people inside your organization can access data and ensure wellbeing documentation input into the site. To do this, you must ensure that your representatives signed a privacy agreement.
However, the organization must provide clearance, and access should be provided to employees not in order to complete their job successfully but whether they need access to the client information or not.
When working with any third-party vendor or service providers, these merchants need to sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement with admittance to any piece of your website.
Beyond the encryption of information, once it is filled and submitted successfully into your website, all files stored both via cloud service and locally need to be protected as well.
It doesn’t matter how many locations your backup file exists; every backup coming through your website needs to be encrypted.
You want to make sure there’s no feasible way saved statistics can be accessed, tampered with, or viewed.
However, it depends on your company to establish a reliable tamper-proofing method for all saved information and documentation.
There are several approaches through which you can provide a level of tamper-proof Integrity. One way is by using encryption methods like AES, SSL, or PGP. On the other hand, you can also go with several other traditional data encryption methods if you wish.
Records shared over your internet site are noticeably sensitive. Thus, all records need to be protected once input and submitted to your site. To do this, you first need to ensure that you have a secure internet site (“HTTPS://”).
Apart from having a secured website, specific data encryption needs to be levied on all data disclosed with your website.
The primary purpose of HIPAA is to protect clients’ data in every possible way, so having a reliable encryption service is essential.
Other Important Topic –
- Why Do You Need A Pharmacy Consultant ?
- Why Do You Need A Pharmacy Technology Consultant ?
- Choosing An Internet Provider For Your Pharmacy.
Your HIPAA Compliant Website Checklist
If you’re 100% sure that your website is out of compliance. Following these steps can help you secure your patients protected health information.
Here’s A HIPAA compliant website checklist to make it easy for you to get started:
- Add SSL certificate to your website
- Take A Backup Of All Essential Data
- Business Associate
- Storage Encryption
- Guarantee Integrity
- Transmission Encryption
Having a HIPAA Compliant website is essential for every business in the healthcare industry. You can take steps today to safeguard your patients and their crucial information!
So if you are all set with this information and are thinking about opening a new pharmacy and get all your queries cleared.
Related Topic – Is your pharmacy website HIPAA and ADA compliant?
Are you thinking of starting a pharmacy? Knowing the requirements to open a pharmacy helps. The independent pharmacy world offers a lot of opportunities for pharmacy owners. You can be your own boss. No more 60 hour work weeks for a large pharmacy chain. Actually serve customers and help them take control of their health.