Complete HIPAA Compliance Guide for Healthcare Software
L One of the most important things that healthcare software developers must obey is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This law protects personal health information. Anyone who operates or invests in medical companies knows this, but breaking its rules can have very ruthless consequences. Yeah last r, millions of dollars in fines were imposed due to HIPAA information privacy breaches. How can you make sure your product is HIPAA Compliant?
These measures are in place for good reason. The growing demand on dark black market websites for valuable health information has led to a number of violations. In 2020, 616 violations of dRecords containing 500 or more records were reported to the HHS Office for Civil Rights. There have been 28,756,445 health records inadmissibly exposed, compromised, or violated health records .
Companies failed to reasonably and appropriately maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the ePHI. Combined with insufficient ols hardware and software control, healthcare companies have faced millions of dollars in fines on behalf of victims of violations.
As developers of HIPAA compliant software, we at MobiDev want to make sure you are up to date on how to make your product HIPAA compliant afin that these devastating data breaches don't happen to you and your customers. To do this, we provide you with our latest resource, the HIPAA 2021 Compliance Checklist.
How to Ensure HIPAA Compliance for Web or Mobile Healthcare Applications
Ways to make your medical software HIPAA compliant or 'Creating one from scratch depend on your goals and how sensitive data is stored and transmitted. However, let's talk about seven general thoughts on how these requirements should be met.
1. TRANSPORT ENCRYPTION
All ePHI (Electronic Protected Health Information) must be encrypted before being transmitted. A software cHIPAA compliance keeps sensitive health data encrypted during transmissions and the first step is to secure it with SSL and HTTPS protocols. Your public or private cloud provider must allow the configuration of your SSL to guarantee strong encryption methods according to the HIPAA Compliant Hosting Checklist . The first protects pages that collect or display health data as well as login pages. There should not be any unsafe alternative versions of these pages.
It is recommended to validate if the HTTPS protocol is configured correctly rly and it doesn ' there are no expired or insecure TLS versions.
Passwords can be transmitted and stored using hash values. With secure complex passwords, this can prevent compromising events. Here is the specific HIPAA compliance information from WordPress based websites .
2. STORAGE BACKUP AND ENCRYPTION
Most hosting companies offer backup and recovery services so that data is not lost in the event of an accident or emergency. Data should be backed up, stored securely, and accessible only to authorized personnel.
When dealing with sensitive RPSs, care should be taken to ensure that It is only accessible to authorized personnel. This covers all data stored in your software system, includingincluding databases, backups and even logs. There may be times when it is stored in locations beyond your control, such as on a server shared with other clients on the same hosting provider. If this server is compromised in any way, the data should remain encrypted and inaccessible.
To this end, we apply encryption approved by the industry using AES and RSA algorithms with strong keys (preferably 256 bits for AES and at least 4096 bits for RSA). The PostgreSQL manager with a built-in data encryption function could be an alternative solution.
We also use databases managed in the public cloud with encryption, for example, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) or Cloud SQL in Google Cloud Platform.
3. MANAGEMENT OF IDENTITIES AND ACCESS
In orderto maintain HIPAA compliance, identity and access management is essential. When it comes to institutional data, passwords and credentials should be as secure as possible and never be shared between employees. HIPAA has very strict rules on the level of security that must be maintained to ensure the privacy and protection of user data.
System logs are an important part of the HIPAA compliance. The system should write access logs and event logs to track all connection attempts and changes to PHIs.
To ensure that only Authorized users can access sensitive data and information, two-factor authentication (2FA) should be used, using multiple forms of authentication to verify an individual's identity.
CepeHowever, there is a demand for rapid access to this data. In order to stay secure while providing data on demand, new technologies are developing in the healthcare sector, such as biometrics and single sign-on (SSO).
Single sign-on allows users to log in once securely and then access a network of applications and websites during a single session without having to log back in. This is useful for healthcare professionals who need to access user data across an ecosystem of applications and sites quickly and efficiently without sacrificing the privacy of institutional data.
Biometric solutions are also popular due to the character ufingerprint, face or human voice. However, these technologies require advanced anti-spoofing techniques. To prevent hackers from faking someone else's biometrics, activity detection can thwart identity theft attempts. Multimodal biometric authentication technologies are security systems that require more than one form of authentication. This can make it even more difficult for hackers to hack healthcare security and help better ensure HIPAA compliance.
Control d 'attribute-based access is one way to solve the complications of managing user roles. This allows dynamic and contextual access to
It is absolutely necessary to ensure that the information you collect, store and transfer is protected against damage or alteration in any way. either intentionally or not. The first step needed here is to make sure that your system is able to detect and immediately report any unauthorized data tampering, even if only one item has changed. In website development, this is achieved by digitally signing and then verifying each piece of data stored or transmitted in the system, usingmeans such as PGP, SSL, etc. Then the whole system should be designed and built in such a way as to prevent unauthorized access to data.
The above mentioned measures, like regular backup, encryption, allowing access with the appropriate user roles and privileges, as well as restricting physical access to the infrastructure, is an important factor in making your medical software HIPAA compliant.
Blockchain a significant benefits for health information security:
1. Decentralization: Trusted third parties are no longer necessary.
2. Security: the risk of a single point of failure is very low. Insider attacks are alsont prevented by advanced cryptographies c encryptions.
3. Pseudonymity: the nodes of the blockchain network have pseudonymous addresses in order to protect their real identity.
4. Immutability: Editing block records is almost impossible due to one-way cryptographic hash functions.
5. Autonomy: the rights to the data belong to the healthcare patients and they have the possibility to choose when and with whom to share this data.
6 . Incentive Mechanisms: Due to the blockchain incentive mechanism, competing companies that could not otherwise cooperate can work together to develop medical services and research.
7. Auditability: All transactions and dataes are recorded via the blockchain, which guarantees accountability and transparency.
As the blockchain is based on a decentralized, secure and distributed system, it is much more worthy of trust than to place authority in one human being. Instead, cryptography and mathematical methods are used to secure information.
The data is saved in a public or authorized registry. Each node in the blockchain network has access to these ledgers at all times, which allows for data transparency that can build trust and accountability, especially in the event of an audit.
However, there are limitations of blockchain-based EHR systems for secure data storage. The most common of these are:
- High level of variability in medical records storage systems
- Non-uniform data structure
- High network storage costs
Saved and archived data must expire and be permanently deleted. This also applies to all key decryption. It should be foreseen that each place where the data is transmitted could make backups or copy it. Whenever you are no longer using a server, the data should also be deleted to ensure health data security and HIPAA compliance.
6. COMMERCIAL ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT
The final key to HIPAA compliant software: the ePHI must be hosted on the servers of a company with which a business associate agreement is signed. Otherwise, it must be hosted on secure internal servers. Most web hosts don't know about HIPAA. They couldent not be willing to take risks by signing this agreement, which could contradict their own business processes.
We recommend that a healthcare organization use the storage in the cloud with the most reliable HIPAA compliance level. * providers, such as:
Google Cloud Platform
Amazon Web Services
* !! Please note that Apple iCloud is not HIPAA compliant !!
The Business Associate Agreement must be for each vendor that processes your sensitive health data.
Case Study: Developing a Compliant Application HIPAA law for an American healthcare company
It was asked the MobiDev team to create a cross-platform health mobile and web application. The aim was to integrate patient-doctor interactions and allow them to exchange data. To achieve this, our team struck a balance between speed and compatibility using native features, HealthKit / GoogleHealth integrations, live chat, and more. Being a complex application, it has enabled the analysis and management of large-scale information useful for hospitals. This allowed it to be integrated into the EHR.
L 'application was required to perform two main functions: a portal for patients and physicians and a management and analysis module, as well as integration at the hospital level. To help achieve this goal, the client 's internal team was involved in the development of integrations and database management.
As our team worked on a test and anonymize the data, the client team worked on the bridging and provided MobiDev with a data structure. Synchronization between our teams was essential in order to create a reliable solution that would work with different electronic health records (EHRs).
Amazon Cloud Services (HIPAA compliant) has been used in order to make the application reliable and secure. While it has been helpful in this case, some hospitals are more interested in using selflocal drivers for data storage and use. We've worked with their support teams to make sure the app meets their needs. In order to secure data on Amazon 's web servers, our team used encrypted RDS.
In addition, data transport and event handling required protection. The MobiDev team used Encrypted ElastiCache to address this issue. In addition, front-end security features have been added, such as cache restrictions for browsers. This prevents users from saving cached images of X-rays.
Search history has also been restricted for browsers to prevent browsing '' recording of patients' personal data, such as names and e-mails. Oauth2 and JSON Web Token (JWT) were also used to protect authenticationion of users.
COVID-19, telemedicine and HIPAA
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR ) relaxed the HIPAA enforcement. The app's notification discretion allows healthcare providers to use less regulated communication systems such as FaceTime, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangout, and Skype for telehealth services that would otherwise not be HIPAA Compliant.
There are still many waivers in action due to the Public Health Emergency (PHE). However, there are examples which indicate that the telehealth could become more integrated into the health industry . However, regulation allows solutions to be developed that may make it harder for providers to deliver service to patients online.
HIPAA compliance is essential in order to protect institutional health data and avoid high regulatory costs. It is best to be one step ahead of game and design systems with HIPAA requirements in mind. Working with a developer like MobiDev who already has experience developing HIPAA compliant healthcare software may be the right choice to meet government regulations and protect user data.
Written by Alex Vasilchenko, Web Team Leader at MobiDev
Post your first brand story for FREE. Click here.