HIPAA Compliance

The Rising Stakes In mHealth For HIPAA Compliance

January 21, 2016 | Uniphy Health

Last year, 100M+ medical records containing sensitive patient health information were compromised; a whopping 1 in 3 Americans’ health records were exposed in just one year. The leading cause of these HIPAA violations, unlike in years past, wasn’t employee mistakes but rather a rise in criminal cyberattacks.

For healthcare organizations who have yet to make mobile security a top priority, facing a data breach can have unintended consequences on their organization’s reputation. HIPAA violations are now more easily accessible to the general public. ProPublica’s HIPAA Helper tool allows anyone to search whether a hospital, clinic, pharmacy or health insurer has been named in patient privacy complaints, breaches and violations. The site also highlights the biggest offenders of the past five years prominently on its home page.

Despite this added risk, many healthcare IT organizations have entered into the New Year lacking cybersecurity procedures and systems capable of securely enabling patient data sharing. Nearly 70 percent of residents in a recent survey, for instance, admitted to texting PHI using apps that weren’t HIPAA secure. Another survey released at the end of 2015 also found that patient demand for PHI access is outpacing healthcare organizations’ ability to securely enable patient data sharing.

Healthcare organizations, now more than ever, must ensure that clinicians and patients are utilizing HIPAA secure tools to engage in care coordination, in addition to training their employees on data security procedures. According to Accenture, proactively addressing cybersecurity can improve providers’ ability to thwart PHI-related data breaches by an average of 53 percent. Thanks to the the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act 2015 healthcare professionals will soon have a network where they can more easily exchange information on potential cybersecurity threats. In the meantime, we have plenty of resources that will help you better understand your options when it comes to HIPAA and cybersecurity.

Continued Reading

HIPAA Secure Text Messaging Cheat Sheet
Is your mHealth app HIPAA compliant?
Further Information on HIPAA Secure Mobile Care Coordination & Patient Engagement Apps