Why is HIPAA Compliance Important

Posted on October 16, 2019

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance is an ongoing regulations entity that must be implemented by healthcare providers into their businesses in order to protect patient data. The regulatory standards allow legal use and disclosure of protected health information (PHI). Compliance is regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and enforced by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). HIPAA sets the standards to safeguard sensitive patient information that covered healthcare entities or business associates must comply with. Organisations that deal with PHI are required to have security measures in place to ensure HIPAA Compliance.

Patients share their health and private details with healthcare providers, entrusting them with vital information. A robust solution is therefore vital to help secure patient information; available in any form, may it be structured or unstructured. Moreover, enabling healthcare organisers to share information safely without compromising on a patient's privacy. It is a good way to win patient's confidence and reduces the chances of them withholding information, whereby enabling accurate diagnosis. When they feel their data is secure, they are likely to disclose sensitive information.

Healthcare service providers should make their patients aware of the steps they take to protect their data. By doing so you let people know how strongly human privacy and individual decision-making are valued at your organization. Being transparent about HIPAA compliance can therefore help encourage patients to open up, seek help, comply with recommendations and follow-ups. A healthcare provider that is transparent about its HIPAA compliance will instil the same level transparency in its patients.

A HIPAA violation, whereby an organisation fails to meet any regulation that could result in a hefty fine. Steps to ensure compliance such as having proper processes in place, training employees and keeping systems updated is easier and cheaper. It is critical for healthcare providers not to breach any standards set forth by HIPAA, as doing so could cost them in non-monetary ways too. A security breach could result in major time losses and may adversely affect the brand identity of the healthcare service provider.

In the long-term staying compliant helps organizations carry out their operations without incurring any penalties. It also builds a patient data protection culture, which is very empowering for healthcare organizations and business associates. A comprehensive data security risk management solution helps protect data and enables organisations to prepare for future threats.