How to Build a HIPAA Compliant App

As technology advances, you need to take steps forward to ensure you can offer what customers or clients expect of you, which could be anything, from secured sites with a dedicated server to HIPPA compliant apps. The following will help you understand why it’s important to build this kind of app and what it means.

What is HIPPA?

Okay, the first thing you should learn about is HIPPA. Most of the time, when this is discussed, people think it has something to do with technology since it is often mentioned along with things like a dedicated server or an app. The reality is this is just an act or law. HIPPA means Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and it was made into law back in 1996.

The law covers a lot of things, but the main goal is to make sure health care institutions provide the best care to their clients. One thing this law does is ensure that health care insurance coverage stays active even if a worker jumps from one job to another.

This coverage extends to his or her family, and it even works if this worker loses a job. Everyone knows there’s always a chance of losing a job, no matter how secure it seems.

On top of that, the law helps protect folks from any type of fraud or abuse. This gives people the power to fight back if they ever need to. A health care provider that is HIPPA compliant is telling patients they are willing to care for them without deceit or abuse.

HIPPA also sets up industry-standards for all electronic billing or other transactions that occur within an app you are trying to create for your patients. This law also says that all confidential information is handled properly and protected, which ensures privacy.

What Does it Mean to Build a HIPPA Compliant App?

Now, the law ensures things are taken care of by requiring you to build a secure app. This means ensuring it has safeguards implemented that help clients or customers feel like you are taking care of them.

Since you are building an app, this means relying on software security systems meant to address electronic protected health information or ePHI. In this particular case, you’ll want to use the dedicated server from a hosting provider that understands HIPAA compliance to help ensure that your app is as safe as possible. Joe Oesterling, Chief Technology Officer at Liquid Web explains, “for your hosting provider to support your HIPAA initiatives, it is important that their support and technology staff are also trained on HIPAA requirements. It is prudent to confirm that your hosting provider does indeed have an understanding of HIPAA requirements and how to best serve you.”

To ensure your app is HIPPA compliant, you’ll have to consider the following:

  • Written policies, procedures, and conduct standards must not only be written down but followed.
  • You have to make sure there’s a trained compliance officer on your team to ensure the app remains compliant.
  • Of course, anyone working on this app will have to be trained to ensure compliance at all times.
  • A big tool you’ll need to establish to make compliance easier is a strong line of communication between everyone involved.
  • Every so often, you’ll have to audit your app to make sure everything is running as it should.
  • Disciplinary actions need to take place if something doesn’t go as it should, and it needs to be documented.
  • If an offense does take place, you need to make sure it is responded to quickly so that your customers know you are taking this seriously.

These are just some points that’ll help you remain compliant. It may seem like a lot of work, but you’ll have a team to help you throughout the process. Keep in mind there are a few perks to doing this, like the following:

  • You’ll be able to remain competitive since many health care providers are offering these types of apps.
  • Billing might be easier, and that means cash flow could improve.
  • Communication between you and customers should improve.

These are some priceless perks you’ll be able to enjoy if you make this move. Talk to a HIPPA expert to help you figure out how to go about building a compliant app

About the Author

Niels is the founder of http://Amongtech.com. He writes about technology, gadgets, tech news, and more. Contact Niels by email at [email protected]

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