How Does HIPAA Affect Healthcare IT in California

HIPAA’s Impact on Your Healthcare IT Operations

Back in 1996, HIPAA (Healthcare Portability and Accountability Act) was established and enacted to protect the private health information of patients, to facilitate health record transfers between companies, to create standards regarding electronic billing and patient information, and to introduce fraud reduction. 

Without Healthcare IT Support, This Ends Up Happening Far Too Often …

In California, the California Department of Health Care Services oversees compliance through the Office of HIPAA Compliance.Electronic health records, electronic billing and other emerging technologies allow your practice to focus on providing quality health care instead of wading through paperwork or chasing down insurance companies, but ensuring your IT health solutions stay in compliance can be challenging. Data security, unauthorized access and wireless device factors are a few IT issues your practice can face.

Data Security Measures

One of the biggest concerns with staying compliant is how non-specific HIPAA technical security regulations are. The HIPAA regulations are written without specifying exactly which technology you need in order to allow for flexibility in choosing innovative technology, but the flipside is that there’s lots of room for interpretation.

The regulations don’t require a specific type of technology as long as the technical solution used adheres to several security guidelines. This regulation can lead to confusion if your practice isn’t accustomed to handling IT security solutions. Major areas covered by these regulations include access control, audit control, integrity, person or identity authentication, and transmission security.

 Connected Devices

Another HIPAA challenge practitioners in the California Bay Area face is factoring in connected devices on the network, whether these are medical devices with connectivity or tablets and mobile smartphones. Devices with access to the network need to meet certain security standards in order to completely comply with HIPAA. It takes time to work through the appropriate security measures on your own, especially if you have many types of mobile devices falling under management.

Outsourced healthcare IT services are an extra resource you can use to help manage these devices, whether they actively monitor the network or offer suggestions on appropriate mobile access solutions.

Electronic Health Records Solutions

Electronic health records cut down on your medical paperwork requirements, streamline patient intake processes and provides you with a comprehensive view into a patient’s medical history. However, choosing the right EHR solution can be a frustrating task, as there are many options on the market.

Working with Healthcare IT service support specialists benefits your medical practice by leveraging their knowledge on available solutions so you don’t choose the first one that presents itself. These services often work with multiple EHR solutions for hands-on experience instead of reading features off a data sheet.

Healthcare technology is intended to help you focus on what you do best: provide quality health care to your patients. If you’re mired in regulations and technology procurement, you don’t get to focus on your core goals. While you theoretically can learn everything you need to know about medical technology and HIPAA technical requirements, your focus has always been and always will be on providing the best patient care. 

Outsourcing your technology support needs to a trusted IT service provider partner allows you to use your time and resources the most effectively for the unique needs of your practice.

If you’re curious to learn more or looking to get started but feeling overwhelmed, contact Bay Computing for your free onsite consultation  and we’ll get your technology back on the road to recovery today!

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