Is it Possible for Wearables to be HIPAA Compliant? 

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Yes, it is possible for wearables to be compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA is a federal law that sets standards for the protection of certain health information, including electronic health information. To comply with HIPAA, a wearable device must have appropriate safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of health information that it collects, stores, or transmits.

Medical devices must be HIPAA-compliant to be used in healthcare settings. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals need to be able to use them properly and safely, which is why they must be HIPAA-compliant. Patients also benefit from being able to use devices that are HIPAA-compliant in a safe and comfortable environment.

There are a few key considerations for making a wearable device HIPAA compliant:

  1. Security

The device must have appropriate physical, technical, and administrative safeguards in place to protect health information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. It may include measures such as encryption, password protection, and access controls.

  1. Privacy

 The device must have appropriate privacy controls to prevent unauthorized access or use of health information. It can be achieved by de-identifying or aggregating data or user consent management processes.

  1. Data management 

The device must have appropriate processes to manage health information collection, storage, and transmission. It includes data retention policies, backup, recovery processes, and incident response plans.

By following these and other HIPAA requirements, wearable device manufacturers can ensure that their products comply with HIPAA and can be used safely and securely in a healthcare setting.

HIPAA Violations

A HIPAA violation is extremely damaging and disruptive to a healthcare organization. First, you can expect hefty penalties. $50,000 per violation up to a $1.5 million maximum is punished, and criminal penalties can go as high as ten years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Furthermore, because an information breach is almost always behind a HIPAA violation, you are not just facing fines but also the costs associated with forensics, brand damage, and recovery procedures to repair the damage.

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The goal is to segment the organization into different units and then apply HIPAA compliance across the board. Still, everyone wants to pay particular attention to the areas that are most frequently involved in HIPAA violations. This makes the importance of integrating compliance into our organizations very clear.

The Six Worst Violations Under HIPAA are Listed.

Here are some of the most common HIPAA violations (in no particular order):

  1. The Unauthorized Disclosure of Medical Information by Employees

Health professionals could be the cause of significant penalties and costs when they speak with their colleagues or relatives about patients. Everyone you employ must refrain from divulging health information with anyone who hasn’t obtained written authorization and should be aware that they should only talk to patients in private spaces. Social engineering is a key attack tactic used by hackers. By using this technique, attackers try to gain access to ePHI or systems that use ePHI to gain access through hoodwinking a member of your team.

  1. Device Theft or Loss

It is possible to get into trouble as a laptop that is not encrypted, or a smartphone device is stolen or misplaced. It is more likely that you find mobile devices being taken from desktops as they’re designed to be portable and are typically in transit. As such, that’s why it’s crucial to implement data encryption, password protection, and multi-factor authentication on these devices.

  1. Unsafe Disposal 

When you are getting rid of protected health information (whether digital or physical), it is essential to use proper methods and always remove it instead of leaving the documents open. A person who is not authorized may access the health information they are supposed not to have when a staff member places a patient’s record on their computer or puts a file down on tables. Records that are deleted or destroyed have been discarded or stored in a secure location.

  1. Access to Unsecure Websites 
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Many working in healthcare utilize their own devices to gain access to their health data and stay up late. It could lead to horrendous outcomes. For instance, family members can access health information if it is running on their PC. A family member may also unintentionally install malware, which gives cybercriminals to find and steal the data.

  1. The Absence of a Signature of a Business Association Agreement 

A different HIPAA breach frequently happens when an entity that handles health information doesn’t sign a BAA with one of the companies that handle the data on its behalf. Additionally, more than the mere existence of a BAA is required as some aren’t compliant, especially when they are not modified so that they reflect what is known as the Final Omnibus Rule (technically reflecting a HITECH infraction).

  1. In Excess of the Time Frame for Notification of Breaches

It is required for healthcare provider plans, companies, and clearinghouses to inform affected patients, and sometimes the HHS or media, within 60 days of the time an incident is discovered. HIPAA breaches are often found in the event that this two-month timeframe is not observed.

How to Avoid HIPAA Violations

Making security and privacy a higher priority is one way to avoid HIPAA violations. However, there are some basic key things you can do. Ensure your organization focuses on security and privacy. Employees should be properly trained on how to handle health records – particularly the threat of an insider. All your policies, procedures, and other documentation should be updated to reflect current HIPAA requirements. All members of your staff should be regularly educated. The information must be current in writing, in practice, and in the minds of your team.

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It is also critical to know that you are partnered with business associates who are experienced in working with ePHI systems and meeting the challenges of protecting them. One way to see that an organization is focused on healthcare compliance and cyber security is to look for third-party HIPAA and HITECH compliance certification, as well as compliance with the American Institute of CPAs’ SSAE 18 (formerly SSAE 16).

It’s critical that you know that HIPAA mandates risk assessments as a part of your routine business practices. By doing a risk analysis, you can discover the technical, administrative, and physical safeguards that will help you meet the Security Rules. “A covered entity should perform an ongoing risk analysis,” stipulates the HHS’s “Guidance on Risk Analysis.” By doing so, you may discover aspects of your programs that need more support and attention.

HIPPA compliant with Hucu.ai

Hucu.ai not only offers HIPAA-certified instant messaging for your internal facility it also permits users to securely connect with your network partners and patients as well as the family members of patients who are approved by the patient all in one system. It can also be integrated with your EHR to enhance the efficiency of your staff. Hucu.ai comes with built-in capabilities to streamline collaboration between different employees/collaborators within different companies and take care of those same patients. Hucu.ai also offers users live data analytics on patients’ acuity, user engagement reports, the performance of partners’ transparency, and more! Additionally, Hucu.ai offers self-service signup, which allows first-time users to be established and comfortable with the app in just a few minutes instead of enduring weeks or months of adjusting before using the app. 

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