Medical Web Hosting Australia
HIPAA Medical Web Hosting.
Whats the difference between standard consumer hosting and medical hosting?
Today web hosting is big business simply due to the fact there is over 6 billion websites hosted around the world. Some hosting companies provide great hosting services while others are not so great. Generally when choosing a hosting provider for many people it comes down to pure cost. In order to host your average day 5 page website you can find a hosting account for just $3 per month as thats as much as most people need.
Medical web hosting is actually quite different and depending what country you are in you may need to adhear to some strict rules and regulations. Laws in Australia state when it comes to storing classified personal medical information the hosting server and company must follow as very specific and strict guidelines.
Any medical orgainisation outside of Australia that wishes to store medical data especially in the cloud must employ HIPAA Compliant Hosting. Australian medical web hosting does not need to meet HIPAA standards because this is a policy set out for the United States. Instead, Australia must meet the requirements of the Privacy act 1988 (Privacy Act)
What is HIPAA?
HIPAA is the government law that shields delicate patient data from being shared without the patient’s assent. HIPAA additionally incorporates arrangements for consistence, implementation, and break warning.
In order for any medical practice to store data either onsite, in the cloud or with web hosting provider they muct ensure the hosting provider can supply a HIPAA compliant web hosting server.
What is a HIPAA Server?
A HIPAA server follows specific compliance guidelines as defined by HIPAA to prevent medical record information data breaches. HIPAA mandates that all entities handling PHI or ePHI data adopt a set of policies to protect those records’ integrity and confidentiality. This change means it’s up to the entities involved to determine how to approach these aspects of protecting the data.
When storing patient or medical data HIPAA servers are always in the Dedicated server class. Medical records are forbidden from being hosted on shared cloud hosting servers.
If you are about to open a new medical practice and planning on storing patient medical data digitally. The first step is to research and locate a HIPAA compliant hosting provider.
If you are a large provider, you’ll probably benefit most from an onsite HIPAA compliance audit. Security experts examine your organisation for security risks, provide guidance as you remediate any problems, and consult on the implementation of any outstanding HIPAA requirements.
What are the HIPAA-Compliant Hosting Requirements?
HIPAA covers a wide range of personally identifiable information, ranging from appointments, treatment plans, healthcare records, medical histories, and other related data.
In addition to protecting health insurance coverage for workers and their families and setting guidelines for various types of plans, the legislation sets out national standards for electronic healthcare transactions and patient records.
HIPAA also requires the healthcare providers obtain sufficient assurances that any businesses related to the data oversight are acting in accordance with the laws — formalized in a Business Associate Agreement. That means hosting providers must go on the record as stating their infrastructure is compliant, sharing responsibility with the healthcare organization.
The most important stipulations are found in the privacy and security sections, where those responsible for storing, control, disposing, and providing access to medical records must meet certain precautions.
HIPAA Compliance Checklist
The following HIPAA compliance checklist will assist healthcare providers in ensuring that HIPAA compliant hosting providers incorporate systems, procedures and technologies that will be considered in HHS audits.
- Documented data management, security and training plans
- Policies in place to address physical security, such as access control to physical facilities, computer platforms, electronic media and Protected Health Information (PHI)
- A system of developing unique user IDs and passwords and procedures for login, logout, decryption and emergencies
- Established and documented policies for the storage, transfer, disposal and reuse of data.
- Logs and audits of software and hardware use and access
- Policies in place to address data transmission over the Internet through e-mail, private networks and private clouds
- Quality control of errors and failures, such as with altered, destroyed, recovered and backed-up data
- Dynamic access and availability of data
- Private firewall services with virtual private networks
- Production servers separate from database servers and web servers
- Offsite backup or IT disaster recovery methods
- SSL certificates and HTTPS for all web-based access to Protected Health Information (PHI)
- Private IP addresses
- Antivirus solutions
- Operating system patch management