Key Facts about HIPAA-compliant Cloud Storage

HIPAA Compliance (Health Information Portability and Protection Act of 1996) establishes the importance of privacy over personal health information and health records. Several contemporary cloud service providers guarantee adherence to HIPAA regulations thus making it hard for an organization to sail through the competition and find the right HIPAA compliant cloud provider.

The following facts about HIPAA compliance can help organizations to make a wise choice.

Is your cloud service provider claiming to be HIPAA certified?

The US Department of Health and Human Services does not have any HIPAA certification programs in place and organizations must be aware of cloud service providers that claim to be “HIPAA certified”. Organizations must ensure that the chosen cloud service provider undergoes annual audits. During these audits, the operations of the data center and the entire cloud infrastructure must be measured against OCR HIPAA Audit Protocol.

Have you performed a due diligence?

Before finalizing a cloud service provider and signing on the dotted line, test the HIPAA awareness level of the provider by asking relevant questions. Ensure the provider has all the processes, policies and the technology to be HIPAA compliant. In other words, the cloud service provider must have all the administrative requirements in place while its highest priority continues to be the reporting of PHI breach cases to the relevant parties.

Lastly, remember that breach of HIPAA compliance does not only result in financial penalties and also damages the reputation of the company. Care must be taken to ensure that the chosen cloud service provider has the required processes as well as the people to duly support the HIPAA protocols.