Tips for Developing HIPAA Compliant Applications

Healthcare software companies are required by law to store Protected Health Information (PHI) in a compliant manner. Severe penalties could be applied if PHI isn’t adequately protected and stored. If followed correctly, the following tips can potentially save you time and money.

Public Cloud HIPAA Solutions

Your company should leverage and engage an existing cloud vendor willing to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA). By signing the Business Associate Agreement, the vendor agrees to a set of rules established by the covered entity which will grant them access to certain PHI.

Docker Containers are a great solution for building software on any platform. Not all cloud services offer container solutions that are configured in a compliant manner. We recommend checking out the following:
ClearDATA
Aptible
AWS

Factors to consider when choosing a Public Cloud HIPAA Vendor

Support for Secure File Transfer Protocol

Healthcare still relies heavily on the transferring CSV files. Having a reliable SFTP is essential when selecting the optimal vendor for transferring files in a safe and secure manner.

Database traffic encrypted in transit and at rest

The ideal cloud vendor should apply end-to-end encryption to guarantee that unwanted third-parties aren’t intercepting the PHI.

Centralized Access Control System

Your cloud vendor should have a centralized access control system so that you can track and monitor customer data, in a secure manner.

Automated Risk Management

Engaging in an automated risk management system will help your organization identify risks and vulnerabilities faster than manually assessing risks.

Being HIPAA compliant is more than technology.

Find a 3rd party compliance platform that will walk you through incidence response, risk assessment for security vulnerabilities, operations, policies and procedures, security, and compliance training.

3rd Party Compliance Platforms will also assist you with:

Generating safe, relevant, secure, and compliant policies.

Training your workforce in security and secure coding practices.

Responding to security and privacy incidents.

Conducting internal audits and compliance status checks for your business continuity plan (BCP), vulnerability assessment, and patch management systems.

Preparing for external audits and certifications.

3rd Party Integrations 

3rd party integrations can be tricky. It would be best if you read the BAA provided by the covered entity to comprehend 3rd party integrations thoroughly. 

We recommend the following 3rd party communication services:

Email – Mailgun

SMS – Twilio 

VideoChat – AugMedix

Conclusion

There are several more things to take into consideration before starting the development on your HIPAA compliant application. If you have any questions, we are a software development company with over 15 years of experience developing HIPAA compliant apps and are happy to assist you with any questions that you may have.