When you hear about HIPPA compliance, you probably think specifically of healthcare professionals as the primary audience. However, national IT support services also have to know and comply with HIPPA guidelines. Special software is used to help IT professionals prepare for HIPPA compliance audits. This software is a result of the Security Rule, which states companies must adapt to and comply with the requirements of HIPPA. Continue reading to see how HIPPA impacts business operations from an IT perspective.
The IT Field and HIPPA Compliance
With such specific requirements, national computer support and network services often look to third parties to assess HIPPA compliance. These third-party companies will conduct a full investigation into a company’s practices and procedures and provide reports to the companies. Not only will these third-party services inform businesses whether they comply with HIPPA or not, but they will also document any evidence of due diligence.
The role of an IT support service group will monitor for HIPPA compliance to ensure privacy and confidentiality of consumers are always protected. Doing frequent internal audits to ensure proper procedures is critical for compliance. Not only do IT services have to look out for external threats to stealing confidential information, but they also have to monitor the possibility of their own employees compromising information for their benefit.
Any company not in compliance with HIPPA could face some pretty steep penalties. Fines of up to $250,000 and ten years of imprisonment are all on the table if a violation occurs. However, the reality is the steepest fines are for those people or companies who violate HIPPA with the intent to use confidential health information to achieve personal gain. Most fines and penalties are much lower, as the violations are generally a result of negligence rather than malicious intent.
What it All Means
To sum it all up, HIPPA has a pretty substantial impact on national IT support services. IT departments can’t afford to neglect the constant monitoring of HIPPA compliance, because some of the penalties would be extremely burdensome. Many IT companies and departments turn to third-party companies to assist with monitoring compliance so they can take action as needed.
As the issue of security in the IT world continues to heighten, HIPPA standards will likely become even stricter. For more information on HIPPA and how it relates to your business operations, be sure to contact us.