EHRs and HIPPA: How to Ensure Your EHR is Secure

Are your company’s electronic health records (EHRs) HIPAA-compliant? EHRs are crucial for improving healthcare interoperability. But healthcare professionals face the risk of incurring heavy fines if in violation of HIPAA regulations. Since EHR data is protected health information (PHI), it must be HIPAA-compliant to ensure protection against data breaches and other security concerns. Experiencing a data breach can also seriously harm your company’s reputation, causing hundreds of patients to lose their trust in you. 

Understanding the relationship between EHRs and HIPAA is crucial for keeping your organization and its patient information safe. In our latest article, the Iron Bridge experts examine the connection between EHRs and HIPAA compliance while offering tips for making sure your company is compliant with their regulations. Learn more about HIPAA compliance in this new age of technology now!

What is HIPAA?

HIPAA closely protects certain patient information

Reliable Physician and Female Patient Shaking Hands before Consultation
Patient information on allergies, weight, prescriptions, and treatment plans can be stored inside an EHR.

Before diving deep into the relationship between EHRs and HIPAA, it might help to review which health information is considered to be protected under the law. 

According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), medical providers cannot disclose sensitive patient health information without the person’s consent or knowledge. HIPAA also stipulates standards for patients’ rights over managing the use of their health information. 

The purpose of this act is to strike the right balance between allowing the use of health information to promote high-quality health care and protecting a patient’s privacy. Several healthcare organizations are subject to HIPAA, including:

  • Providers
  • Insurance companies, employer-sponsored group health plans, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and other entities that pay for healthcare
  • Businesses in charge of claims processing, data analysis, or billing
  • Healthcare clearinghouses

Since EHRs also fall under this category, providers must ensure they are HIPAA-compliant. 

Health information covered under HIPAA includes anything your provider enters into your medical record, conversations you’ve had with providers regarding your health, billing information, and any other health information the aforementioned providers have about you. 

EHRs, Healthcare Interoperability, and HIPAA Compliance

EHRs must remain HIPAA compliant in order to protect their patients’ sensitive healthcare information.

physician entering information into laptop
Adopting an EHR platform that is HIPAA compliant is one of the best ways to show patients that you put them first. It also prevents your organization from having to pay any hefty fines if you are found to be in violation of HIPAA. 

So, how can EHRs remain HIPAA compliant? To keep patient information safe and secure, EHRs need to have:

  • Access control measures like passwords to prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive information
  • Physical safeguards for equipment
  • Encryption services for health data stored inside the EHRs
  • An audit trail that records which users access or edit health information
  • Regular security updates to protect the EHR from new cyber security threats
  • Auto time-out
  • Backup and recovery system

Even after your practice implements a HIPAA compliant EHR, it should conduct regular audits to ensure that it continues to adhere to HIPAA standards. All staff members should receive thorough EHR training as well. This can lower your risk of experiencing a data breach in the future. 

Data Integration With the Nuvola Hub

The Nuvola Hub improves your organization’s healthcare interoperability by connecting EHRs, labs, registries, and providers.

nuvola hub banner
The Nuvola Hub Healthcare Integration Platform as a Service (Hi-PaaS) offers FHIR integration, HL7 interfaces, IPSec VPN, and more.

Not only do healthcare providers rely on a safe and secure EHR platform, but they also need an integration as a service product that connects them to other important players in the healthcare ecosystem. 

The Nuvola Hub is a cutting-edge integration platform built for labs, vendors, payers, and providers. In one installation, users can connect to dozens of external partners. By combining the Nuvola Hub’s innovative connection capabilities with a team of healthcare integration experts, Iron Bridge successfully provides clients with world-class service and support. This allows customers like you to continue to lead the way in healthcare innovation and excellence. You can also rest assured knowing that the Nuvola Hub is HIPAA compliant. 

Some of the Nuvola Hub’s key features include:

  • Integration for FHIR, API, HL7, X12, CCDA, and custom data formats
  • Fully-managed integration service for installation
  • FHIR API capabilities
  • Ability to integrate without any interface engines

Companies of all sizes can enjoy the Nuvola Hub’s impressive connectivity services. Our team of IT experts will be there to help you every step of the way, giving your in-person tech team the time to focus on innovating your company’s healthcare interoperability. 

The staff at Iron Bridge is committed to going above and beyond your organization’s needs. If your organization is looking to improve its healthcare interoperability with a new Hi-PaaS, the Nuvola Hub may be just what you need. To learn more about this innovative health IT solution, contact the team at Iron Bridge today!

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