6 Sep 2022
Updated on September 15th, 2022
HIPAA Compliant Healthcare Apps: How to Build Your Own Solution?
The onset of Covid-19 will not only be recorded as a global diagnosis but also as a period of the powerful influence that makes the world fight against the pandemic.
During the time when everything was disrupted, our only hope relied on some applications that bridged the space between a doctor and a patient. Moreover, at this time, we could not think of a more convenient option than booking an appointment on our smartphones without visiting the hospital.
The digitalization of the healthcare industry has made all this possible. With the assistance of a healthcare app development company, high-tech solutions like pillCam and EHR (Electronic Health Record) are created that let doctors see everything inside the human body and help healthcare professionals digitally manage patients’ information.
However, the protection of digitally stored data is essential. That’s where the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA compliance, occurs. For every entrepreneur wanting to develop their own healthcare application, it is essential to understand this act clearly.
So, ensure to read throughout the post.
HIPAA compliance represents such laws that restrict unauthorized access to a patient’s stored information. It favors that no one without the consent of the patient can access his/her information. Anyone doing it has to face several penalties and fines of around $25K.
As the leading market favors investing in mhealth apps, such measures are important so that no one can access, misinterpret, and amend the information inside. The penalties will be at your doorstep if you do not follow the HIPAA essentials below.
- Persons with their names having a hold of patients’ data and their medical history
- Every healthcare contributor, such as doctors, insurers, and clinics, has access to PHI (Protected Health Information)
- Contractors that let the healthcare professionals disclose the PHI.
These essentials are vital; however, not all apps fall under HIPAA compliance. The section below covered which app categories can eliminate these HIPAA essentials, therefore, ensure to read further.
Which Healthcare Apps Fall Under the HIPAA Compliance?
As per the survey, it is estimated that 88% of healthcare apps have codes that provide no security against threatful access, and one can easily get hold of patients’ data.
Neglecting such a crucial feature when security is the most critical concern can bring you much more trouble with your digital solution.
That’s why you have to learn the factors that can help you identify if your app falls under HIPAA compliance or not.
If the data type concerns collecting, processing, and sharing of information from one digital platform to another, it signals that you must follow the PHI protection covered under the law.
However, you are in luck if the data ensures allowable uses. That means you can share the information with healthcare professionals for treatment, not for any other purposes.
Thus, you are safe if your app is used appropriately.
It also depends on the end-users whether your app follows the HIPAA rules & regulations or not.
For example, if the mhealth app is created for hospitals, clinics, or telemedicine, where anyone can make amendments to the information, you must follow the regulations correctly. As different third-party groups can access, alter, or edit sensitive data, it is essential to have this.
If you go to the on-demand app development company to build an app that favors the laws and regulations covered inside PHI, ensure that the developer follows the act properly.
HIPAA Compliant Patient Data: What You Need to Cover?
Until now, we have learned about the healthcare apps that must be created with HIPAA compliance; it’s time to move further and resolve your queries on which patient’s information must abide by the regulation.
PHI covers any of the 18 identifiers of a patient given below:
However, removing any of this information means de-identified PHI, which means your app is not restricted from following the rules of HIPAA.
Other Core Components of HIPAA
Core components of HIPAA that signify the collection, sharing, saving, and accessing of PHI are provided below. Ensure to take a deep insight.
Security block plays a major role in protecting health information against all kinds of threats, leaking, and unauthorized access to the data. It includes every technical and non-technical measure for maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the information.
The right technological partner will surely help you build an application that defines the best security. You must present your healthcare app ideas to your team of developers so that they can create a significant product out of it.
While somehow, the PHI is breached, this rule takes shape and prepares such provisions that make the providers chargeable for the following threatful access. The victim only has to file a complaint against the investigation, and everything gets sorted out thereafter.
If we look at the statistics, more than 256,086 out of 259K issues have been resolved since 2003, indicating the powerful impact this rule has been making upon several lives.
Another important block responsible for safeguarding and transmitting information is the Privacy Rule. It is applied to every form in which we usually store information, like paper, oral, or electronic.
Below are the applications’ requirements that let you save, secure, and regulate the information:
- Data access should be limited
- Users can only access their own PHI
- Asking users for permissions before initiating any operations with PHI.
- Right to users for disclosing PHI.
- Restriction to full disclosure of information.
- Notifying users about the use method, cases, and disclosure of data.
Patient Safety Law
According to this rule, healthcare professionals can share the patients’ information with Patient Safety Organizations. It is generally used for collecting and analyzing information while neglecting all kinds of errors and issues.
Breach Notification Law
The law articulates that organizations need to notify individuals if any data breach leads to a threat to information. Within 60 days, the organization has to notify the patient. However, if the rule is violated, the violator must go through any of the protocols according to the people affected.
How to Create a HIPAA-Compliant App?
The requirements to create a full-fledged HIPAA-compliant app may leave you all breathtaking. However, top-notch developers who are perfectly trained in building such quality applications can make you relieve your stress.
But that does not mean your healthcare app will be secured against penalties. You must gain a full insight into everything to avoid a deep pitfall.
Therefore, try to differentiate between the technical and non-technical requirements. The former one requires several rules, so ensure to move into to learn about this.
It restricts access to information to network participants. This safeguard standard will decrease the danger of data breaches and threatful access to information.
Let us explain it with an example of a doctor who is restricted from sharing the data with other associates if they do not have any authorization rights. It falls under the Minimum Necessary Standard that depicts patients will not be allowed to see more than the required data.
Pointers below will help you figure out how Access Control Standard works:
- Emergency access
- Encryption and decryption of data
- Unique user identification system with smart keys, passwords, biometrics, and PIN.
- Automatic logoff.
Data backup is vital to fight against any kind of loss and unauthorized access. The world today favors cloud backup that lets the user recover the data anytime, anywhere, with just the requirement of an internet connection.
Also, you can research the cost to develop a healthcare app with a hybrid backup solution and connect to the best team of developers who can create a significant product that will add more to your growth.
Data encryption ensures a shield against all unauthorized access by making the data unreadable. The patient’s data will not be turned into useful information or cannot be read or viewed if some unauthorized person tries accessing it.
A perfect way to provide safety to a patient’s data. This law requires encoding the data once it moves into other networks.
Security audits is responsible for vulnerability assessment, risk assessment, compliance checks, and penetration verifications. It also ensures regular security evaluation to provide proper protection to data.
This evolves into a concern of making electronic patient information unreadable. So, for that, the law covers the clearing method as the final disposal of electronic records.
To Sum it Up!
No one would deny the fact that healthcare applications prove to be game-changing elements for the industry. The best use of technology is deriving such solutions that bridge the gap between doctors and patients.
However, this arriving technology can prove to be a threat to patients if any of their information gets misplaced. So, in that case, HIPAA compliance is mandatory.
Indeed, it is no more than digging a passageway to build a HIPPA-compliant application. But don’t worry; Techugo, a leading healthcare app development company, is set to create your own digital solution.
You can maintain the integrity of the law while developing a favored application with the support of our top-notch developers.
Ensure to connect with us if you want further assistance and guidance.
Also, stay connected for more tech-related information!