Whether you are a medical facility subject to HIPAA compliance requirements or a business associate, you are likely aware that Protected Health Information (PHI) is subject to HIPAA privacy and security rules when transmitted. However, you may not have taken adequate measures on your website to adhere by those HIPAA requirements. In the event your organization falls under HIPAA regulations, don’t forget to evaluate how your website handles data.
While it is important to be mindful of trackers and other unauthorized access or disclosure of information, client-facing tools are just as vital to evaluate. Consider methods in which you customers communicate with your website:
- Patient Portals
- Live Chat
- Online Forms
- Online Tools for Scheduling
- Reviews and Testimonials
- Online Loyalty Programs
If your entity deals with PHI, you must take specific steps to safeguard it. For example, if your company keeps personally identifiable medical data on a server, that server must have encryption and security measures in place. As the transmission of PHI covers so many digital mediums like text, web forms, and email, it’s important to be cognizant of how your website handles data. PHI can extend to apps, data centers, and many more platforms. Failure to implement security measures for the use of PHI means your company’s website could potentially violate HIPAA regulations, and thus your organization can be fined and have a damaged reputation.
Some tips for mitigating the risk regarding HIPAA compliance within websites include:
- Implementing SSL certificates for your website.
- Ensuring all forms and communication on your website is encrypted.
- Using encrypted, not free, email servers for transmitting PHI.
- Restricting access to PHI to those authorized within an organization.
- Establishing business associate agreements with vendors that have access to PHI, including web hosting providers.
Our team at Pittsburgh Computer Solutions can take the time to evaluate your business and find where HIPAA compliance requirements aren’t being met. Contact us today at (724)942-1337 for more information on how we can help.