We are living in an era of “everything going online”, and available over our mobiles! Be it shopping, telemedicine, or even our personal use platforms like social media channels, we tend to desire everything on our mobiles.
But, platforms managed over mobile are prone to data threats, breaches, and even data leaks. In such a scenario, looking for a solution that is secure, and safe is no less than dodging a bullet. And, this becomes even more critical when the healthcare app is in concern!
That is where we need to look for a HIPAA compliance checklist. But, what is HIPAA? Why does one need to look for a healthcare app with a HIPAA compliance checklist verified? Let’s discuss it!
What is HIPAA?
HIPPA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is an act that sets the standards, and principles for patient data stored over web portals, platforms, and software. It is specifically for the healthcare industry and medical insurance industry. It also takes care that no matter what, and when happens, the patient’s crucial information never gets compromised during insurance settlements, or claim settlement processes.
HIPAA is governed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Being active since 1996, this act continues to improvise with time and adds extra concern points for authorities, as well as patients. The HIPAA compliance checklist can help make healthcare mobile apps safe and secure for all information and credentials stored.
Further, HIPAA takes into account the sensitivity of patients’ data. It says that the organizations (such as online medication apps, insurance companies, claim settlement authorities, etc.) who collect patient data should follow stringent rules and regulations to keep the data secure up to any means. But, why is HIPAA needed? Why should one develop an app with a HIPAA compliance checklist?
Importance of HIPAA
Any developer developing an app for the healthcare industry is advised to design an app in a HIPAA compliance checklist manner to gain a reputation in the market. All those agencies and life care centers also need to follow HIPAA standards if they wish to serve their services through an app, or any other platform. But, ever wondered why?
“In a study by Statista, it was highlighted that around 80% of the increase was observed in the number of people who were the victims of health data breaches!”
This increasing number of data breaches and data malfunctions urged the legal system to check on organizations that collect healthcare data. Therefore, HIPAA was initiated. It manages and handles the concerns related to patients’ data collected, and stored over online platforms, or mobile apps.
It is believed that if a mobile app satisfies the HIPAA compliance checklist, it will be safe from data breaches, corruption, malfunctioning, and unauthorized access to incredible parties. These can therefore help conquer problems like data masking, data erasure, and many more. A complete HIPAA-compliant app can gain maximum users and can also help in creating an optimally favorable app ecosystem.
So, if you are a developer looking for a guide on how you can make your mobile app HIPAA-compliant, you are at the right place! Let’s move on to comprehend what one needs to keep in mind to satisfy the HIPAA compliance checklist!
HIPAA Compliance Checklist for Healthcare Mobile App
To keep your mobile app updated as per the HIPAA compliance checklist, there is a list of rules and regulations that should be met. Here, we have compiled a list of such rules and regulations for you!
1. Know the Basic Restrictions
HIPAA sets standards for basic restrictions in a healthcare mobile app. These guidelines help in building a safe environment for users leveraging the platform. It can also alert users if any irrelevant action happens on an app. Some of the basic restrictions include-
- Unique User IDs.
- Automatic log-off after a certain period of time.
- Regular encryption methods.
All these standards aid in managing users’ data in a regulated fashion with a unique ID. Further, regular encryption ensures data security after set intervals that can maintain data in a rational way. This adds an added advantage as the mobile app generally contains the data of thousands of users and assigning a unique ID and managing the app with robust encryption methods will keep data stored on the platform sorted!
2. Get familiar with HIPAA Identifiers
To make your app HIPAA compliant, ensure you incorporate, and secure HIPAA identifiers. Some of the HIPAA identifiers are- Patient’s name, geographical location, biometric elements, digital identifiers, images, IP addresses, Fax numbers, etc.
To make sure you meet HIPAA guidelines, keep these HIPAA identifiers secure, and encrypted on the platform. The complete list of identifiers can be referred to from the HIPAA official website.
3. Limiting Access to Facilities and Unauthorized Activities.
Developing a mobile healthcare app with limited, but essential features can further add an obvious advantage. To keep your HIPAA compliance checklist verified, an app should contain threshold facilities and shouldn’t be stuffed with extra features to make it complicated and confusing to use. As a complicated app can have data connection is broken, or functionality issues, keeping it simple is suggested. This can help keep it useful whilst maintaining easy usage and encrypted.
Also, every feature in an app should be properly synchronized and should allow authorized personnel to avoid the illegal use of data. By keeping it easy and friendly, one can reduce the risk of poor regulation and data breaches.
4. Information on User Policies
This is one of the most important factors in the HIPAA compliance checklist for mobile apps. If you are a developer working on a healthcare mobile app, it is recommended you check for user policies needed to be embedded in your app!
And, before letting a user set up an account on an app, the user should be clearly explained all the policies of an app along with data usage, and allowances information. The user should also agree to these policies before final account registration. Getting a user’s agreement on app policies will help in creating a mutual understanding in an app that can establish a loyal as well as secure relationship between users, and authorities.
Sharing the policies of an app with a user in a transparent way will make users aware of the fate of their inputs of information and will help them in participating in the maintenance of the security of an app. Also, make sure whenever you update your user policies, keep users informed beforehand.
5. Control Transferring, Sharing, and Removing ePHI.
ePHI stands for electronic protected health information. It refers to the health information protected and saved in an electronic form. A mobile healthcare app manages the whole data of patients including appointment details, lab reports, personal information, body’s vital parameters stats, insurance details, media claims, etc in the form of ePHI.
To keep this information secured, patients or users should not be allowed to share, manipulate, remove, update, or transfer this information in any form. An app should also work under this scenario and should also contain the checkpoints that save the ePHI’s manipulation or exploitation.
These were some of the HIPAA standards that ensure data security in healthcare mobile applications. The apps should be designed as per the HIPAA compliance checklist to assure the safety and efficiency of the app.
Related Article: 5 Important HIPAA Compliance Tips for Developing Compliant Mobile Apps
Do you want to Build Mobile App Development Following HIPAA Compliance Checklist?
Optimum mobile app development can be daunting. Due to the increased no. of apps available in the market, establishing trust among users is a challenging task in these digital times. Further, the availability of a plethora of healthcare mobile apps concerns the users. In such a competitive market, only an app better in all ways can succeed in gaining a reputation.
A perfect healthcare app is verified on the HIPAA compliance checklist. It meets all the security standards and contains the required features with no compromise on quality as such. And, because building a mutual relationship with users needs trust, it can only be achieved through designing a secure app where the user can feel safe and well-guarded.
HIPPA-compliant apps can achieve the desired requirements and add an extra star to the performance as well as the functionality of an app. Therefore, developing an app keeps in mind the basic HIPAA standards. i.e. assigning IDs, adding authentication and encryption methods, and keeping ePHI confidential can help in coming up with the best app in a genre and can assist in getting an edge over the competitors.
On the other hand, the consequence of non-compliance with HIPAA, or ignorance of the HIPAA compliance checklist, can lead to data leakage, data masking, and misuse of a person’s personal information. This can disrupt the market reputation, and can also drag you into legal complications.
Therefore, if you want to get the mobile app development that takes care of the HIPAA compliance checklist, consider iTechnoLabs. We have a team of experts working for years in the industry. We develop completely secure, and HIPAA-compliant healthcare apps. Reach out today!