Since 1996, when the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was approved, many key factors have changed. Anyway, modern healthcare businesses successfully manage HIPAA-compliant standards in place, but the issue of keeping protected health information (PHI) is not solved. Remember that third-party vendors, as colocation vendors, have to be guided by compliance with HIPAA, and pass the examination against the HIPAA Security Rule. Apply to the HIPAA hosting once you are interested in keeping your data related to the healthcare business secured. But first, let’s discover what factors are most important while choosing the HIPAA hosting providers.
1. Protected data center infrastructure
One of the key features that you have to look for in the HIPAA-compliant hosting providers is the opportunity for audits to fully evaluate the risk of the IT environment where PHI is stored. Since the audits have to perform a physical control, your provider needs to transfer access to the environment to check the availability, security, and continuity. The data center infrastructure will be inspected concerning the secure network connection, secure location, layered security, etc.
2. Compliance specialists
Don’t refer to those providers that don’t have any compliance experts in their team, as these people are responsible for managing HIPAA compliance and other standards. Using the services of an experienced compliance specialist, you can keep your mind calm that any issues related to data privacy or IT failures will be solved without any hassle.
3. Business continuity plan
Another essential question to ask your provider is whether they ensure clients with reliable offsite backup propositions. This option is a guarantee that your data will be protected from natural or artificial disasters. The business continuity plan is intended for those healthcare affairs that need a cloud-based HIPAA solution for advanced security and recovery from any disaster. Nonetheless, such a plan should incorporate five key requirements mentioned in the HIPAA Security Rule.
4. Business Associate Agreement
For following the HIPAA standards, you need to sign the BAA with a HIPAA business associate. This agreement is required since it separates the responsibilities of each party according to maintaining compliance. Essentially, your business associate is responsible for various services and can be subjected to a penalty. Visit the local Ministry of Health to get acquainted with the example of the Business Associate Agreement.
5. Cloud privacy
A not less important option to look for in the HIPAA-compliant hosting services goes to the private cloud environment. The safe cloud offer is essential while dealing with such sensitive data as PHI. Your provider needs to ensure the best security level for the storage of your essential information and offer the opportunity to customize the cloud concerning the requirements of customers. This way, apart from cloud privacy, you will be allowed to choose suitable storage, infrastructure, and compute options.