With the standard for consumers in the healthcare space widely shifting towards mobile technologies, the associated security risks may cause some understandable concern for both healthcare providers and patients. Establishing and maintaining HIPAA compliance to ensure healthcare records remain confidential across all platforms should be the largest priority when operating in the mobile healthcare world.
To determine if your application needs to meet HIPAA compliance standards, you must consider:
1.) Who will be using the application, and
2.) What information will be on that application?
The former Senior Health Information Technology and Privacy Specialist at the HHS Office for Civil Rights, Adam H. Greene, JD, MPH, shares his insight on answering these two big questions.
Once you have determined that your application or service does indeed require HIPAA compliance security settings, you then need to decide how you will meet these standards. One method recommended to support HIPAA compliance is to implement a multi-factor authentication (or MFA) measure. According to this article, “MFA is considered the single most important measure to implement to prevent unauthorized account access.”
Using a multi-factor authentication, clients are required to verify: 1.) something you own and 2.) something you know as it relates to identifying your security access. Accessing your bank account using your ATM is a common multi-factor authentication method. You are required to provide your card (something you own) as well as your pin (something you know). The multi-factor authentication method lowers your risk of a data breach caused by unauthorized remote access to sensitive data.
There are many ways to verify security access and your organization will have to decide what methodology aligns best with your project and the level of sensitive data being transferred. As we continue to evolve in this field, it is becoming increasingly important that while technology advances, our methods for safeguarding HIPAA-protected information continue to advance as well.
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