As a medical provider, you closely follow the regulations set forth in the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). You might not enjoy all the safeguards put in place, but HIPAA is in place to protect the public, which means you’ve got to accept your responsibilities laid out to you in the law. When it comes to your data, what are you doing to stay compliant while also providing an excellent experience for the patient?
Providers are finding success in offsite radiology backup services provided in the cloud. If you’re still using external hard drives to backup your radiological images and data, you are using outdated processes. If you’re a rural provider, you probably don’t have the advantages of the datacenters that larger healthcare facilities use to store their medical data, including imaging. You probably don’t have the staff on hand with the expertise to operate a high-functioning datacenter. There is a solution, and it involves letting a third party store your data for you.
When you let a third party take over your offsite radiology backup services, you get many advantages you can’t enjoy when you take on backing up your own data. For instance, the best offsite radiology backup providers store their data at Level IV datacenters, which means the facility is protected by fences, guards and the newest servers that keep your data available to you at all times.
HIPAA has some requirements set out that you need to follow when picking your offsite provider. You can’t partner with anyone that doesn’t have at least 128-bit encryption, deletion and destruction of data. The datacenter has to have locks and a secure access area where only the authorized people can enter. A third important thing to remember is that HIPAA requires various administrative measures, including a finely tuned security management strategy, workforce security, information access management, training and contingency planning.
You should also check out the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in-depth manual on the various security measures required by HIPAA. To be 100 percent sure you’re partnering with the right vendor, you need to fully understand what HIPAA requires.
As you look down the list of finalists, weed out any that can ensure your data will be restored for six years beyond the last edits to it. What are their emergency mode operations plans, disaster recovery plans and data backup plans? Make sure your finalists have redundancies that will keep your data safe.
While complying with HIPAA can be taxing on a facility, it’s these safeguards that help radiologists provide the diagnostic results in a timely manner that also ensures a quality patient care experience.
At OffSite Image Management, Inc., we fully understand the compliance measures set forth in HIPAA. We go above and beyond the protocols to ensure every piece of data entrusted to us will never be compromised. We understand the trepidation healthcare providers have about storing their sensitive and valuable data in the cloud, which is why we do everything possible to keep data safe and available.