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Hipaa Compliance- A Mandate For Mhealth Apps!

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By Author: Ash Rakars
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Today, data is the most valuable business resource. When it comes to the healthcare industry, medical data of the patients is of utmost importance. Theft of data can lead to severe losses and also cost penalties. So, whenever one wants to develop a healthcare app, the first thing that must be considered is HIPAA compliance. HIPAA compliance protects the health information of patients and so, a healthcare app must be HIPAA compliant.
What is HIPAA compliance?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA was passed in 1996 by 104th United States Congress, with the aim of protecting the personal health records and medical data of the patients. Initially, the intention of the HIPAA was to reduce and ease the administrative work and to modernize the way of managing the health data. Gradually, the medical data was increasingly being recorded electronically which led to healthcare reform.
HIPAA compliance are a set of national rules that set the standard for the protection of sensitive patient health data. These regulations ensure the integrity and confidentiality of electronically protected health ...
... information (ePHI).

Why HIPAA compliance is necessary for healthcare mobile app development?
Privacy and security of medical data have become necessary today. There are many reasons why a healthcare app should be HIPAA compliant. It ensures that the patient health data security management systems are optimized for the threats and data violation risks. Let us dive deep into its vital benefits.

Best Practices of Handling Patient Information are Applied
Maintaining HIPAA compliance simply means that the medical data of the patients is handled appropriately and remains safe. How this data is stored, accessed, shared or transmitted has a huge effect on its security. The regulations in HIPAA compliance support best practices in data security. How the data moves through the systems, who is accessing it and where will it be stored? All such points are covered to ensure security from persistent threats.

Trust of Patients Increases
With extended use of the internet, chances of data breaches have increased. It can not only harm the reputation of the clinic or hospital but, also affect the trust of patients. HIPAA compliance in a health app ensures a robust data security infrastructure by reducing the risk of data violation. In case any violation occurs, the damage is comparatively lesser. Also, any probable risk is noticed in advance which reduces the scope of threats and violations. It helps in reducing medical errors and thus increases patient satisfaction, which impacts the brand reputation.

Proactive Protection of Data is possible
When an organization implies HIPAA compliance in their mHealth app, the sensitive medical data is proactively protected against the threats and risks. HIPAA compliant apps have better cyber-security features. A good data protection plan lets the app to adapt quickly to new threats. It ensures that active threat measures are in place. The organization does not need to buy any expensive add-on security services when the app is already HIPAA compliant.

Staff Awareness and Competitive Business Benefits
Being HIPAA complaint has many benefits. It teaches the staff that protection of the patient medical data is as important as keeping them safe from any other diseases. It teaches the staff about “the right way” to handle patient health records. Thus, it increases the healthcare awareness of staff and provides correct instruction about how the staff should keep the patients’ health data safe and secure. It allows the organization to be better than the competitors, as a HIPAA compliant app is looked upon as more secure towards patient data.
Data breaches can result in penalties and legal action against the organization. The medical data of the patients can cost enormously if it gets stolen or misused. Making the apps HIPAA compliant assures that best efforts are being taken by the organization to protect their patients’ medical data. The healthcare IT services have already started developing HIPAA complaint apps. It ensures higher profitability to the organizations in the long term.

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