In today’s fast-paced virtual setup, the popularity of communication apps is escalating at a fast pace. Most healthcare and healthcare-associated businesses are investing in building a robust and secure communication app. And for this reason, entities are working towards developing Healthcare HIPAA API compliant apps which can meet HIPAA-compliant guidelines appropriately. It ensures that all the conversations that are conducted remotely are protected and secure. In this article, we are going to discuss the process to build HIPAA-compliant apps in detail. So, stay with us and read on!
What is the HIPAA act all about?
HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It was passed on August 21, 1996, with dual objectives. The first one was to make healthcare delivery more efficient and the second motive was to increase the number of health insurance coverage among Americans. Other secondary objectives of the act were to fight against fraud and abuse within the healthcare industry.
The HIPAA law makes sure that all healthcare providers keep personal identifiable health information private and secured. To put it in simple words, it safeguards the privacy of individually identifiable health information which is also known as Protected Health Information (PHI). HIPAA is applicable to Covered Entities and Business Associates. This means that all entities handling the treatment, payment, or other operations of healthcare and the business associates, who have access to patient information must follow HIPAA compliance.
Importance of HIPAA Compliant app Development
HIPAA is an essential act that is important for ensuring optimized patient care and maximizing the protection of healthcare information. In this section, we will cover how HIPAA is important for both patients and healthcare professionals. Let us look into the details one by one.
HIPAA Compliant Apps for Patients
With HIPAA compliance, the privacy of all patient data is protected. Only concerned healthcare professionals are allowed to share patient details with stakeholders. In fact, all the stakeholders who are involved in the healthcare operations should be protected under the Protected Health Information. Protected Health Information (PHI) can be defined as the demographic details, medical histories, lab results, insurance information, and all other relevant health data that medical professionals collect from their patients.
A HIPAA secure app makes sure that even the prescription and billing information is not forwarded to anyone else except the patient himself/herself or the healthcare professional concerned with the treatment.
HIPAA Compliant Apps for Hospitals
The importance of HIPAA is not only limited to patients. Its relevance extends to the healthcare industry in general. Any entity that is associated with the healthcare industry has to follow the HIPAA guidelines. Hospitals that are not HIPAA compliant are charged with a penalty. There are four categories in the penalty structure and they are as follows:
- Entities that make violations unknowingly and could not avoid it.
- Entities that should have been aware of the violation but could not have avoided it even with an ample amount of care.
- Substances that make violations as wilful neglect but also make an attempt to correct them.
- Entities that make violations as wilful neglect and make no attempt to correct them.
In case entities and hospitals don’t follow HIPAA compliance, they are liable to pay fines ranging from $100 to $50,000.
How to Build HIPAA Compliant Apps?
Have you been wondering how to make a HIPAA secure app? Fret not! In this section, we are going to cover the most important steps to consider while developing HIPAA mobile apps. Let’s have a quick look at them.
Remember to Hire a Developer with HIPAA Compliance Expertise
One of the main points to consider while planning building a HIPAA-compliant app is to make sure that you hire an expert developer for the job. The developer should have the right amount of experience and should be well-versed with all the HIPAA guidelines. You can always consider collaborating with a third-party expert who can help you with essential consultation and audit your app development processes. Whether you are a start-up or a well-grown company, it is essential that you hire experts for your HIPAA mobile app development.
Assess all Relevant Data
The next step while developing a HIPAA secure app is to evaluate all data and segregate PHI from other data. You also need to check and identify what PHI data you can’t store or transfer through your mobile app.
Implement third-party Solutions that are HIPAA Compliant
Building a HIPAA-compliant app from scratch can prove to be a costly affair for you. The development cost would include everything ranging from physical to technical security needs. You will also be required to audit the entire system and get all the necessary certifications. But with a third-party solution, you can get access to a ready-made HIPAA infrastructure. It can also handle all your PHI data efficiently and develop a mobile app that completely syncs with all the relevant HIPAA-compliant guidelines.
Perform end-to-end Data Encryption
This is also one of the main steps to consider while developing a HIPPA app. As a business, you need to make sure that all your sensitive information is encrypted. Make sure that there are no data breaches. Also, ensure that all your stored data is also secured with end-to-end encryption.
Keep Testing Your App for Security
This is, perhaps, one of the most essential steps to consider while developing HIPAA-compliant apps. Make sure to test your mobile app frequently, especially after updates. Seek expert consultation in case you need to check if your documentation is up to date or not. You need to make sure that you follow a regular app maintenance process wherein you update your app when required. Failure to do so may lead to data breaches.
Collaborating with MirrorFly to make HIPAA Compliant Applications
MirrorFly ensures HIPAA compatibility to ensure that all the sensitive data of the respective patients is protected against data exposure. It is completely end-to-end encrypted. Mirror Fly’s healthcare communication software and features are carefully designed with multi-layers of security and protection over distributions where your PHI is secure. It tends to encrypt all the data transmitted between the apps and servers to protect from unwanted access. So, if you want to build a complete HIPAA-compliant app for your business, MirrorFly can be your go-to option. It is one of the best third-party chat solutions in the market to choose from.
How MirrorFly Ensures HIPAA Compliance in Mobile Apps
When it comes to patient information, HIPAA needs the communication channel to be secure enough to protect patients’ confidentiality notice with respect to medical documents. Therefore, CONTUS MirrorFly ensures secure transmission of PHI by using a secure connection; data transmission, and encryption. MirrorFly’s security infrastructure as code ensures no stone goes unturned into your healthcare data. Get various app features such as Physician to Patient discussion, Pharmacy rep to doctors interaction, Doctor to Doctor conversation, Doctor to Nurse communication, Communication Hub for a Connected Ecosystem, Scale Video Calls Globally & Across Devices, Rich Media Sharing, File Sharing and much more.
We hope our article helped you comprehend all the relevant nuances revolving around the development of HIPAA-compliant mobile apps. If you’re a healthcare-related entity, getting HIPAA compliance for your app should be one of your top priorities. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your HIPAA-compliant app development process today.